By Rosamond Bernier
Rosamond Bernier has lived an strangely complete life―remarkable for its vividness and variety of experience―and she has identified many (one is tempted to claim all) of the best artists and composers of the 20th century.
In Some of My Lives, Bernier has made one of those literary scrapbook from a rare array of writings, starting from diary entries to her many contributions to the artwork magazine L'OEIL, which she cofounded in 1955. the result's a multifaceted self-portrait of a lifestyles educated and surrounded by means of the arts.
Through the tales of her encounters with a few of the 20th century's nice artists and composers―including Pablo Picasso, Leonard Bernstein, Max Ernst, Aaron Copeland, Malcolm Lowry, and Karl Lagerfeld―we come to appreciate the sheer richness of Bernier's stories, interactions, and stories. the result's pithy, hilarious, and wise―a richly worthwhile chronicle of many lives totally lived.
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Paul and Jane Bowles Aaron Copland brought me to Paul and Janie Bowles in 1937. Lew and that i have been newlyweds; so have been the Bowleses. Janie used to be a small sprite, crop-haired, snub-nosed. “What’s it like being married, for you? ” she requested me. in view that Janie used to be a lesbian and Paul a gay, their marriage used to be now not precisely a reflect picture of ours. She known as Paul, such a lot inappropriately, Fluffy or Bubbles. She limped. As a teen, she had had tuberculosis of the knee. Her mom took her to a Swiss health facility, the place she used to be installed traction for lots of months. She then went to college in Switzerland. hence, she spoke fluent French and knew a few bawdy French songs. She by no means sought after humans to understand she used to be lame. She consistently placed a small Band-Aid on her knee, as though she had simply had an coincidence. Paul was once brief, compact, very blond. at the moment he used to be often called a composer to a small crew that incorporated Virgil Thomson. Writing and The Sheltering Sky got here later. He wore a truss, an item of serious disgrace. It was once to be overlooked. as soon as Janie picked it up. “You touched it,” he accused her. by no means back. Paul was once interested by assisting a theater workforce from an all-black YMCA in big apple. we're within the past due Nineteen Thirties; there wouldn't have been an built-in staff in these days. one of many participants had written a play that concerned white lynchers. This awarded a bit an issue. They appealed to Paul. He appealed to Lew and me. after all we agreed to take part. We confirmed up for practice session. Our half consisted of speeding onstage having a look menacing and dashing off. We did this at the nice evening, to nice acclaim. We have been feted at a dinner given after the functionality; with Paul we have been the one whites. This used to be my first and basically adventure within the theater. Paul and Janie considered going to Mexico. We have been construction a home in Acapulco. “Come along,” we acknowledged. They got here. Our residence wasn’t comprehensive. We rented a home on some extent over the ocean belonging to invoice Spratling, the yankee who made Taxco recognized back (in colonial occasions it have been the resource for silver) for its silver jewellery, and for its comfortable sexual mores. the workers consisted of 1 copper-colored early life, whose ordinary uniform was once a wisp of chiffon draped round his neck. Paul’s room used to be at the higher ground, the place throughout there has been silence, aside from the sound of waves lapping on the rocks. He slept with nice balls of wax in his ears and a black masks. Swimming and the seashore have been the most points of interest and occupations. via noon, within the blazing sunlight, Paul could get a selected glint in his eye and say urgently, “I simply must have a few scorching soup, sizzling soup now. ” Even the main creative hostess may locate this a tricky request. Paul’s father used to be a dentist who had ideal occlusion. Paul had a comic book flip, imitating his father, explosive with rage, his occlusion threatened via a grain of sand within the spinach. It appeared a good suggestion to hire them their very own condo. We came upon one on the town that belonged to a handsome American beachcomber who have been married to a silent-screen megastar (Nancy Carroll), had taught Shakespeare at Princeton, and had settled in Acapulco to benefit from the obliging woman inhabitants and to begin a pearl-diving enterprise.