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Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – August 31, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm glad to see that "Black Sun" has been reprinted in this new 2003 paperback, and it contains an afterword by Wolff discussing how and why he chose to write about Crosby.Read more ›
I knew I was going to love this book when I read in the first chapter about the cable Harry and his wife Caresse sent to Harry's rich Boston family: "Please send $10,000 immediately -- have decided to live a wild and extravagant life." Very few people are able to create their own realities and inhabit them as fully as Crosby -- his determination recalls not only Jarry but even earlier figures like William Blake.
Wolff's writing is superb: his sense of narrative and description are pitch-perfect without sacrificing detachment or sinking into the realm of hagiography. It is a fascinating portrait of a man who lived his life to the fullest through his love of Art.
The best aspect of the biography for me is that there is no attempt at some sort of psychobabble analysis in the study of a character that surely invites it: Not one "Id," "Ego," "Oedipus Complex," "Jungian Archetype," et blah, blah, blah. Wolff deftly narrates the life-story of this fantastic, wealthy, sybarite with his literary ambition as he lived it through his short, kaleidoscopically decadent and unbalanced life.
But, given all this, there is a prodigal consistency to his life worthy of symbolic logic, right up to the end. Thus, to me, reading this book was brisk and refreshing (pace to the Puritans). Near the end of the book, Wolff quotes Mrs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read this book as a high school student after finding it in a bargain bin in a shopping mall bookstore. Read morePublished 13 months ago by wilfen
Compelling! A very in-depth story of the a tormented young man. Had Harry Crosby been born after the internet, he would have gone viral beyond belief. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Corkasaurus
The NYRB continues to put out 'lost classics' like this - a fantastic biography of a fascinating character.Published 18 months ago by Eric D Lehman
This was an interesting book by a cerebral writer. It could have greatly benefitted by a more heavy handed editor. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Roger Dean
Came away from this sometimes interesting book without a clear sense of who Harry Crosby was, and what made him tick....Published on November 23, 2013 by johnnyangell
A fascinating draw into a sybarite's life among the American expats in Paris during the '20s and '30s. Read morePublished on October 11, 2013 by A. Goodfriend
Thankfully some reviewers actually saw far more deeply into Crosby's deep, (often hidden) suffering, than others did. Read morePublished on July 17, 2013 by Comparison Shopping Consumer
Good book but the author novelized the story some and I prefer to draw my own conclusions. I does make it very readable.Published on June 4, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I am not sure how I feel about this account of a sure to have been forgotten soul if not for minor mention in Malcolm Cowley's Exiles Return... Read morePublished on April 9, 2009 by Christopher Vitto