Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts

Monday, March 21, 2011

Writers Group Schedule Update - March and April 2011

Here is a update of our creative writing workshops / writers group schedule:
  • Miracle Mile / Koreatown writers group starts March 23, 2011, this Thursday! (Mid-City)
  • Rancho Palos Verdes writers group also starts March 23, 2011, this Thursday! (South Bay)
  • El Segundo April 2011 writers group is SOLD OUT (South Bay)
  • Glassell Park / Glendale April 2011 group is now open to new members (San Fernando Valley, East Hollywood)
  • Valencia / Saugus April 2011 writers group is now open to new members (Santa Clarita)

Photo by Keith Evans [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 07, 2010

LA Literati - Christopher Isherwood

Christopher Isherwood was born in England.  In 1929, he moved to Germany (where he wrote, among other things, Goodbye to Berlin which was the basis for the Broadway musical and film, Cabaret).

He moved to the states in 1939 and eventually settled in Hollywood.  He met Gerald Heard, the mystic-historian who founded his own monastery at Trabuco Canyon that was eventually bequested to the Vedanta Society of Southern California. Through Heard, who was the first to discover Swami Prabhavananda and Vedanta, Isherwood joined an extraordinary band of mystic explorers that included Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, Chris Wood (Heard's lifelong friend), John Yale and J. Krishnamurti. He embraced Vedanta, and, together with Swami Prabhavananda, produced several Hindu scriptural translations, Vedanta essays, the biography Ramakrishna and His Disciples, novels, plays and screenplays, all imbued with the themes and character of Vedanta and the Upanishadic quest.

A chance encounter in a Los Angeles bookstore with the fantasy writer Ray Bradbury led to a favorable review of The Martian Chronicles, which boosted Bradbury's career and helped to form a friendship between the two men.

Isherwood became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1946.  He began living with the photographer William (Bill) Caskey. In 1947 the two traveled to South America. Isherwood wrote the prose and Caskey provided the photographs for a 1949 book about their journey, The Condor and the Cows.

On Valentine's Day 1953, at the age of 48, he met teen-aged Don Bachardy among a group of friends on the beach at Santa Monica. Reports of Bachardy's age at the time vary, but Bachardy later said "at the time I was, probably, 16." Despite the age difference, this meeting began a partnership that, though interrupted by affairs and separations, continued until the end of Isherwood's life.  During the early months of their affair, Isherwood finished–and Bachardy typed–the novel he had been working on for some years, The World in the Evening (1954). Isherwood also taught a course on modern English literature at Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles) for several years during the 1950s and early 1960s.

The more than 30-year age difference between Isherwood and Bachardy raised eyebrows at the time, with Bachardy, in his own words, "regarded as a sort of child prostitute" but the two became a well-known and well-established couple in Southern Californian society with many Hollywood friends.

Down There on a Visit, a novel published in 1962, comprised four related stories that overlap the period covered in his Berlin stories. In the opinion of many reviewers, Isherwood's finest achievement was his 1964 novel A Single Man, that depicted a day in the life of George, a middle-aged, gay Englishman who is a professor at a Los Angeles university.

Isherwood and Bachardy would live together until Isherwood's death in 1986 at the age of 81.