American devotees of Acton's elegant prose, please note: despite its title, this is not a continuation of the reminiscences published here in 1970 by Viking and called Memoirs of an Aesthete. Rather, this is a reissuing of that volume under its original British title. Whatever its tangled history, however, it remains a delightful excursion into the worlds of artists and aristocrats, soldiers and socialites from 1939 to 1969. Acton is a raconteur of the highest order, with an unerring eye for the all-revealing foible and a pen honed to Ã‰pÃ‰e sharpness. His portrait of Gertrude Stein mesmerizing a group of goggle-eyed, gum-snapping GIs and his depiction of Edith Sitwell in full gothic fig are classics of their kind--and in recounting his experiences during wartime, Acton can be very moving indeed.
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1987
Page Count: -
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton--dist. by David & Charles