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Past Tense: The Cocteau Diaries Volume 1 Paperback – October 31, 1988


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Covering 1951-1952, this first publication in English of part of Cocteau's diaries chronicles what he was reading and writing; his activities as a poet, playwright, painter, filmmaker, designer of mosaics and tapestries; the people he saw (Colette in a wheelchair, Garbo in a restaurant, Matisse receiving acupuncture in bed) and those he dined with (Picasso and Stravinsky, the two men who had the greatest influence on him). Overwhelmed by requests, suffering constantly from an inflamed hand, Cocteau worked on a play (Bacchus, an oratorio text for Hindemith and drawings for Radiguet's novels, and traveled to Germany, Greece and Vienna. He comments on the abdication of King Farouk, lauds the novels of Dumas, criticizes Sartre's book on Genet ("The last chapters sink into a disgusting mud"), evaluates Maugham's success (it "comes from the fact that he writes on the level of the public. Nothing underneath. Nothing behind"), castigates Chagall and Soutine ("There is a collective hypnosis here and a taste for a certain 'subjective' scribbling"). His long reflections on Proust alone make the diary worth reading. First serial to the New York Times Book Review.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

For the last 13 years of his life Cocteau kept a diary, the existence of which was revealed only recently. This first in a projected series of volumes runs from the middle of 1951 through 1952, and finds him installed in a friend's villa on the Riviera. Fresh from the triumph of his finest work, the movie Orpheus , Cocteau maintains a prodigious level of activity: preparing a new play for production, shooting a "private film" for his hostess, lecturing, painting, dashing off articles. Too self-absorbed to chronicle his times, this most protean of writers instead chronicled himselfwith results that will nevertheless interest any student of his era.Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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