What do Francis Bacon, William Burroughs, John Cage, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Patricia Highsmith, Peter Owen, James Purdy, Ned Rorem, Maria St. Just, Sir Stephen Spender and Gore Vidal have in common? Paul Bowles, apparently. Whether in Berlin in the ‘30s, New York in the ‘40s or the years since in Tangiers, Bowles has known a veritable who’s who of writers, painters, journalists and publishers. Offering a collection of anecdotes and reminiscences, this work presents a composite portrait of this complex yet reticent figure. Whether through Cage’s word puzzle, or Bacon’s and Burroughs’ conversational remarks about Jane Bowles’ electro-shock treatments, a fuller portrait of Paul Bowles emerges while the contributors offer glimpses of themselves. In describing Bowles, Patricia Highsmith relates: “One has the feeling that Paul Bowles sees life as it is: meaningless in the long run, sees humans as indifferent to suffering and death as is mother nature herself. Paul looks at it steadily and tells it simply.” An intriguing addition to the writings of and about Bowles, this book provides an interestingly oblique overview of this legendary figure.
Publisher: Peter Owen
Paperback: 160 pages