A LIFE OF ONE'S OWN by Gerald Brenan


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A life is like a long journey on a train, says Englishman Gerald (South From Granada) Brenan introducing his autobiography, for there is the outer life (what happens on the passing landscape) and the inner (what happens in the crowded carriage). It is the latter occurrences with which A Life of One's Own is concerned, from the author's late Victorian childhood, through the philistine whoopdedoo of public schools (we'd call them private), onwards to adolescent involvements and/or revolts, reading Verlaine and Rimbaud, skipping off to France, Italy and Germany with a Wildesque-letzschean buddy, then a vaporous romance or two, finally the War years, the agonies of battle at Ypres and manhood at twenty-five. Thus the chronicle ends. But frankly, it's all rather tame; to be sure Brenan has a sort of charming circumspect candor, a suggestive style; still Robert Graves' Goodbye To All That dealt with similar times and temperaments and there everything sparkled. Brenan's Life lacks fire.

Pub Date: April 10th, 1963
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Co.