By Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes has proficient his serious eye on many major subjects: from Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Goya) to the town of Barcelona (Barcelona) to the historical past of his local Australia (The deadly Shore) to fashionable American mores and values (The Culture of Complaint). Now he turns that eye on possibly his such a lot attention-grabbing topic: himself and the area that shaped him.
Things I Didn’t Know is a memoir in contrast to the other simply because Hughes is a author in contrast to the other. He analyzes his studies the way in which he may possibly research a Van Gogh or a Picasso: he describes the outside with a view to photograph the result, then he peels away the layers and scratches beneath that floor if you want to comprehend the entire good looks and tragedy and keenness and background that lie lower than. So while Hughes describes his courting along with his stern and far-off father, an Australian Air strength hero of the 1st global struggle, we’re now not easily easily informed of usual father/son problems, we see the exciting exploits of a WWI pilot, find out about the character of heroism, get the background of contemporary conflict — from the air and from the trenches — and we turn into acutely aware how all of this pertains to the wars we’re battling at the present time, and we know how Hughes’s superb anti-war diatribe comes from either the guts and an knowing of the horrors of wrestle. a similar excessive criteria observe all through as Hughes explores, with razor sharpness and lyrical depth, his Catholic upbringing and Catholic college years; his improvement as an artist and author and the honing of his severe talents; his starting to be appreciation of artwork; his pleasure at leaving Australia to find a brand new lifestyles in Italy after which in “swinging 60’s” London. In every example, we aren't simply taken on a journey of Bob Hughes’s lifestyles, we're taken on a travel of his brain — and prefer the precise journey, it really is academic, humorous, expansive and certainly interesting, by no means veering into sentimental stories, regularly in retrospect with the perfect sharpness of objectivity and perception to ascertain a rebellious interval in artwork, politics and sex.
One of the extreme points of this publication is that Hughes permits his observations of the area round him to be its point of interest instead of the main points of his prior. he's in a position to regale us with anecdotes of unknown abilities and eccentrics in addition to recognized names equivalent to Irwin Shaw, Robert Rauschenberg, Cyril Connolly, Kenneth Tynan, Marcel Duchamp, and so forth. He revels within the joys of sensuality and the affliction of damaged relationships. He appreciates genius and craft and deplores waste and stupidity. The ebook can bounce with excitement and power in addition to drag us into virtually insufferable pain.
Perhaps the main startling portion of Things I Didn’t Know is available in the very beginning, whilst Hughes describes his close to deadly vehicle crash of a number of years in the past. He indicates not only how he survived and adjusted — but additionally how he refused to melt or weaken whilst dealing with mortality. He starts off via facing what was once nearly the top of existence, after which is going on from there to teach us the price of existence, particularly the price of exploring and celebrating one particular and outstanding lifestyles.
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Additional resources for Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir
He shook her hand and sauntered out the door of the restaurant. ” Hollywood is full of such organisms! Probably an entire book could be written about this subject. A more digestible way of describing a parasite in human form is to detail the actions of these people. In 1954 I arrived in Hollywood bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to start my film-acting career. I came with a friend from college who had the same ambitions. I had one connection with someone that might be of help in establishing me, an actor who had worked with both my brothers at the Jewish People’s Institute in Chicago.
Robert Christopher and I were talking about our exploits in show business. Robert, who just turned ninety and looks years younger, has acted in scores of films and was telling me about his role in The Barefoot Contessa, which he did many years ago. He also talked about Rome and acting in Europe, where he spent some time working in films. He always sits at the same table and is irritated if, when he arrives, other people are there. ” It consists of aging Italian actors who have worked in films over the years.
That, in a sense, told the whole story of his life. On the other side of the pool lived a guy around twenty-eight or thirty years old, who was married to an attractive want-to-be model or actress. Every time she left the apartment to go somewhere, he would come out, look at her departing and check to see if there was anyone sitting around the pool who could witness his good fortune to be with such a beautiful woman. Next to my apartment, in 112, was an older woman in her late fifties or early sixties, by the name of Hennie Mohr.
Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir by Robert Hughes