• Lisa M. Schwerdt
Part of the Studies in 20th Century Literature book series (STCL)


From the middle of 1966 throughout the next four years Isherwood was involved in the ‘different approach to autobiography’ he had been interested in since his first college lectures in 1960. Still interested in the self, his emphasis was . now on understanding universality rather than asserting individuality. He saw this next piece as ‘a sort of Jungian study of the main characters in my mythology, as opposed to the real people in my life’ , explaining to Dodie Smith that it would also include such subjects as ‘the Home– image, the romance of distant places, loneliness, homosexuality, the cult of being an Outsider, the anti– Hero, Vedanta as anti– Religion, High Camp, etc.’ (quoted in Finney 268). Reading through his father Frank’ s letters to his mother Kathleen convinced him of the inexorable ties between him, his parents, and his brother. He decided to write the book he called Kathleen and Frank in a fluid manner, shifting between the past and present in order to demonstrate the influence of his parents on himself and his brother. In reading Kathleeri s diary, however, Isherwood became convinced that it could stand pretty much on its own and the book began to move away from overt autobiography and more towards a biography of his parents.


Black Girl Distant Place Television Interview Fellow Traveler Modern Language Association 
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© Lisa M. Schwerdt 1989

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  • Lisa M. Schwerdt

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