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Isherwood, Christopher

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Theatre.

(1904-1986) UK poet, playwright and author, in US from 1939. His work – including famous tales like Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935; vt The Last of Mr Norris 1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which are set in a Germany anticipating World War Two – is essentially nonfantastic; the musical Cabaret (1966; filmed 1972), was based on the two books here cited. In The Dog Beneath the Skin; Or, Where is Francis?: A Play in Three Acts (1935) with W H Auden, Francis is disguised as – and in a sense may be – a dog. On the Frontier: A Melodrama in Two Acts (1938), also with W H Auden (who see for more details), is a fantasticated vision of a world entering War. "I Am Waiting" (21 October 1939 The New Yorker) is a Time Travel tale whose protagonist travels to the end of World War Two to find out who won (see Sleep No More). Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) with Don Bachardy, which adapts the authors' own teleplay for Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) directed by Jack Smight, is competent, though moderately inattentive (see Frankenstein).

The Mortmere Stories (coll of linked stories 1994) with Edward Upward, presents a sequence of fantasticated spoofs written but not published in the 1920s. The hands in Jacob's Hands (Radio version 3 April 1956 CBS Radio Workshop; 1998 chap) with Aldous Huxley have a supernatural power of healing. [JC]

Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood

born High Lane, Cheshire: 25 August 1904

died Santa Monica, California: 4 January 1986

works (highly selected)


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