Mr Norris Changes Trains

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Mr Norris Changes Trains

Mr Norris Changes Trains

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In 1953, he fell in love with Don Bachardy, an eighteen-year-old college student born and raised in Los Angeles. They were to remain together until Isherwood’s death. In 1961, Isherwood and completed the final revisions to his new novel Down There on a Visit (1962). Their relationship nearly ended in 1963, and Isherwood moved out of their Santa Monica house. This dark period underpins Isherwood’s masterpiece A Single Man (1964). Sally Bowles & Co came later, c 1939, when our author "got the political pittcha." Although the musical "Cabaret" is a rouser with everyone singing that life is a cabaret ole chun, Isherwood focused on the lost and rejected. He caught the tormented, self-destructive spirit of Berlin which Broadway excised. He'd gone to Berlin because of the favorable money-exchange. And, coming from a strangulating UK environment where you faced jail if caught in the bushes with a boy, he read that anything went in Berlin. As Gerald Hamilton said, "We live in stirring times. Tea-stirring times."

Ho ritrovato temi e umori, atmosfera e situazioni del romanzo di Isherwood perfettamente riportate nella bella serie TV tedesca Babylon Berlin, che però ha tutt’altra fonte d’ispirazione (i romanzi di Volker Kutscher). Ma guardarla era un po’ come ritornare nelle Storie Berlinesi di Isherwood, il nome collettivo col quale si includono sia questo romanzo che l’altro Addio a Berlino (dal quale è invece liberamente tratto il musical e il film Cabaret). William Bradshaw, an English teacher in Berlin, has a chance encounter on a train with the slightly sinister Arthur Norris. On the surface Norris is a charming, if highly strung and down at heel, English gentleman. As the reader realises, and well before Bradshaw, Norris's charm masks a morally bankrupt personality. The character of Arthur Norris was based on a real life character, who Christopher Isherwood befriended in Berlin, called Gerald Hamilton. Isherwood wasn't known in the US until 1951 when John Van Druten took a couple of his Berlin stories and wrote the play "I Am a Camera," later a musicom. He told an interviewer, "I've never had a great success at first with anything I've written." He may have been the earliest to write about Berlin in the 30s, but the forgotten and slighted Robert McAlmon caught the nether-scene, steeped in drugs and unzippered frolics ten years earlier in "Miss Knight and Others," which, for years, was unpublished here. This novel begins with William Bradshaw, a young English tutor, meeting the slightly ridiculous Mr Arthur Norris on a train to Berlin. Mr Norris is nervous at having to present his passport, elusive about what he does and, with his rather obvious wig and odd habits, does not seem as though he is a character to take seriously at first. However, this chance meeting results in a firm friendship and, fairly soon, William is visiting his new friend frequently and becomes involved in his disreputable life and associates; including his bullying secretary Herr Schmidt. After a chance encounter on a train the English teacher William Bradshaw starts a close friendship with the mildly sinister Arthur Norris. Norris is a man of contradictions; lavish but heavily in debt, excessively polite but sexually deviant. First published in 1933 Mr Norris Changes Trains piquantly evokes the atmosphere of Berlin during the rise of the Nazis. Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood – eBook DetailsSoon after his return to Berlin William goes round to Arthur’s flat (at 168 Courbierestrasse, a real Berlin street) where the eccentricity builds up. Arthur’s apartment has two doors right next to each other, one is the private entrance, one is marked ‘Import/Export’. A sinister young man with a big head opens the door, takes his coat, and visibly disapproves of his visit. Arthur flusters though, takes William by the hand and escorts him round the oddly arranged flat. The Berlin Stories is a 1945 omnibus by Anglo-American writer Christopher Isherwood and consisting of the novels Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The two novels are set in Jazz Age Berlin between 1930 and 1933 on the cusp of Adolf Hitler's ascent to power. Berlin is portrayed by Isherwood during this chaotic interwar period as a carnival of debauchery and despair inhabited by desperate people who are unaware of the national catastrophe that awaits them. This is an odd novel. Here we have a book which is at the same time a relic from the past and something modern.

Peter Parker notes that Ross "claimed that Isherwood 'grossly underrated' her singing abilities, but her family agreed that this was one aspect of Sally Bowles that Isherwood got absolutely right". [23]After Isherwood wrote joke answers on his second-year exams, Cambridge University in 1925 asked him to leave. He briefly attended medical school and progressed with his first two novels, All the Conspirators (1928) and The Memorial (1932). In 1930, he moved to Berlin, where he taught English, dabbled in Communism, and enthusiastically explored his homosexuality. His experiences provided the material for Mister Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1938), still his most famous book. As far as the novel itself goes, I was expecting something more. I imagined that there would be a much closer look at the debauched lifestyles being led in Berlin by the Bright Young Things of this period, something closer to a Vile Bodies in Berlin than I found but that aside the characters are wonderfully drawn (most natably the fabulous titular character of Mr Norris) and the relationship between Bradshaw and Norris is terribly entertaining.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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