February HouseThe Story of W H Auden Carson McCullers Jane and Paul Bowles Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Brooklyn Review ☆ PDF DOC TXT eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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February HouseThe Story of W H Auden Carson McCullers Jane and Paul Bowles Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in BrooklynY Sherill Tippin. 7 Middagh Street literally doesn't exist any longer It was torn down to make way for an Expressway During the last decade of his life the poet Frank O'Hara lived in four different apartments in Manhattan and at least one of them has a commemorative plague If 7 Middagh Street were still standing the entire building would have to be bronzed George Davis the fiction editior for Harper's Bizaar rented and renovated the house with the assistance of friends W H Auden and Carson McCullers Together they sought to create a kind of year round Yaddo a boarding house for artists They were joined by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears Jane and Paul Bowles Gypsy Rose Lee Oliver Smith and Klaus Mann among others This is their story As you can imagine life at 7 Middagh Street was anything but boring This is the kind of biographical history I most enjoy reading It focuses on a very specific period of time communicating brilliantly the personal and professional triumphs and failures as well as the ravaging effects of current world events these artists were dealing with while living together It provides just the right balance of background material on each resident without ever becoming bogged down in trivial details that interrupt the natural progression of the story Yes there is a certain amount of dirt The spats between Auden and Paul Bowles are well documented and the endless parade of sailors the parties that lasted until dawn the battling McCullers Most of the residents even those who were married were either homosexual or bisexual The book and this history is simply fascinating If you care at all about 20th century art literature and music especially this is a book you shouldn't miss

Read February HouseThe Story of W H Auden Carson McCullers Jane and Paul Bowles Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Brooklyn

February HouseThe Story of W H Auden Carson McCullers Jane and Paul Bowles Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee Under One Roof in Brooklyn Review ☆ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ð SHardcover Editi. In 1940 Harper's Bazaar fiction editor George Davis finally pushed his frivolous gay luck and lost his job He needed a new place to live George saw what would become that place in a dream a recurring dream of a house enveloped in what looked like Brooklyn Heights Finally he went off in search of it beginning with the general area until there it was as foretold the house itself a house that very uickly became a place that anyone who was anyone wanted to at least visit or party at if not live in A sort of precursor to Auntie Mame's penthouse while being a bit like a Chinese opium den without the opium but with similar stimulantsThe idea for the house that George had early on was a sound and practical one to gather together a small group of like minded artists who could inspire each other as they shared expenses Ultimately this worked surprisingly well for awhile Thus with this book we get what starts out as an almost heartwarming tale of admirable camaraderie as Davis is joined by WH Auden who eventually became housemaster closer to 'Mother' Carson McCullers Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears and for added spice Gypsy Rose Lee all ready to cohabitate for the sake of friendship art literature and economy This bohemian ideal soon enough turns to being much bohemian than ideal as the best of intentions give considerable way to wild abandon Sherill Tippins' wonderfully affectionate book detailing this 'experiment' simply overflows with names of the famous ie Christopher Isherwood Einstein Kirstein way too many to mention and infamous ie Salvador Dali who wafted in and out of the lives of the home's core group It all reads like one long party after another with the effervescence mixed by turns with serious writing or composing eventually helping all involved forget or ignore reality when the US is pressured into entering WWII Tippins gives just enough focus on the war to highlight its effect on those whether Americans Brits or refugees residing in or passing through February House It's no surprise that this experiment had a shelf life with an expiration date invisibly set from the get go It's not like a group this talented could or should stay together forever It seems the bond was kept until its purpose was than served Once the initial group's members began to disband individually others continued to move in But the inceptive spark was gone What came to George in a dream was only for a relatively fixed few In telling the house's tale Tippins reveals limitless compassion as well as an artfulness in the way she blends like the insides of a lava lamp the artistic accomplishments achieved in an overlap of uniue bursts of energy Tippins clearly loves the people she wrote about enough to want to present each of them without prejudice but warts and all As a result the book Tippins gives us is heartfelt engaging and breezy It's also of course because of its subjects occasionally agonizing while being nevertheless deeply human

Sherill Tippins ´ 2 Read

February House b. 45 rounded upIf time travel were possible I would send myself back to 1940 41 to spend just one evening at 7 Middagh Street Brooklyn As that option is currently impossible stepping into the pages of Sherrill Tippins’ February House offers the next best thing And what a treat it is The rundown house was the talk of New York Artists musicians and authors clad for an invitation and there was a long list of those looking for a chance at occupancy It was the most exciting literary salon of the time the ’epicenter of European American culture’ The inhabitants consisted of a group of young artists under the age of thirty four most still in their twenties who had shot to early fame WH Auden Carson McCullers Benjamin Britten and his lover Peter Pears Jane and Paul Bowles the famous burlesue star Gypsy Rose Lee and others Even a chimpanzee lived there for a short period ‘February House’ as it was coined by Anais Nin was George Davis’ dream an experiment in communal living of sharing ideas with the hope of fostering productive artistry Although the drinking and partying led to loud long nights not always conducive to work McCullers while living there off and on due to her health worked on her last two masterpieces The Ballad of the Sad Café and The Member of the Wedding Gypsy Rose Lee started writing her mystery The G String Murders and Auden did some of his best work Many notable people passed in and out of the house as guests – Christopher Isherwood Janet Flanner Klaus and Erika Mann Salvador Dali and his intimidating wife Gala the list goes on Tippins does an admirable job in juggling her prodigious cast of characters portraying these larger than life artists while working within the constraints of a small slice of history She avoids sacrificing the individual under these limitations capturing their uniue personalities and bringing them to life She manages to portray a motley mix of eccentrics with respect and sympathy while providing some fabulous unforgettable ‘gossipy’ anecdotes along the way She also offers a look at the tensions that arose as Europe fought the Nazis it was the year before the United States entered WWII and how they impacted Auden Isherwood and Britton who faced criticism for not returning to England to fightTippins’ book is serious thoughtful well researched and the most fun I’ve had with a piece of nonfiction in recent years even if I felt it fizzled out a bit at the end Admittedly my pleasure springs from the fact that several of the artists are beloved and have fascinated me for years ‘February House’ 7 Middagh Street was demolished in 1945 but it will not be easily forgotten It even inspired a short run musical of the same name in 2012 If time travel is ever available in my lifetime book my ticket