Christopher and His Kind
Isherwood decided late in his life that he had a moral obligation to renounce the self-censorship that marked his early novels, specifically the excision of any hint of his homosexuality. Accordingly, in Christopher and His Kind he recounts his experiences as a young gay man enticed by the liberated atmosphere of Weimar Berlin into a quest for sexual and intellectual emancipation, and argues that his homosexuality, far from a marginal private shame to be suppressed, was a central element in his human and creative development, an identity he cherished and shared with many others "my tribe", "my kind" , with whom he felt a special kinship. This remarkably candid autobiography was, in Isherwood's view, the way to discharge the obligation he felt due to "his kind", and thus make his own contribution to the cause of gay liberation. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Christopher and His Kind edition cover. Christopher Isherwood. Journey to a War , with W.
In November , Christopher Isherwood - determined to become a 'permanent foreigner' - packed a rucksack and two suitcases and left England on a one-way ticket for Berlin. With incredible candour and wit, Isherwood recalls the decadence of Berlin's night scene and his route to sexual liberation.
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What most impressed the first readers of this memoir, however, was the candor with which he describes his life in gay Berlin of the s and his struggles to save his companion, a German man named Heinz, from the Nazis. An engrossing and dramatic story and a fascinating glimpse into a little-known world, Christopher and His Kind remains one of Isherwood's greatest achievements.
You know, you really are a tourist, to your bones. In the Thirties he appeared to many as the potential interpreter of the human predicament in a socially and historically significant period, and he was still considered as a promising writer long after he had published what was to be his best writing. He played a prominent part among a group of writers who did not actually form a movement but were animated by the same romantic urge to infuse literature with a revolutionary spirit. Isherwood himself was seen as a rebel who had put a stop to his bourgeois education and broken with English middle-class life. However, in the light of his work it is difficult to interpret his revolt as part of a wider and more significant movement.