The Dream at the End of the World: Paul Bowles and the Literary Renegades in Tangier

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9780060165710: The Dream at the End of the World: Paul Bowles and the Literary Renegades in Tangier

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From Kirkus Reviews:

More a nightmare than a dream, the Tangier that Green (a senior writer for People magazine) depicts so vividly here attracted an international collection of expatriate artists, writers, aristocrats, disaffected rich and their parasites, lovers, criminals, addicts--all drawn by a free-money market, inexpensive living, and a permissive atmosphere. In 1947, Paul and Jane Bowles, talented writers, homosexuals, and married--``famous among the famous,'' as Gore Vidal claimed, but otherwise unknown--found a refuge in Morocco's exotic blend of worldly pleasures, decadence, spirituality, and occult. Over the next 40 years, they were joined or visited by Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Timothy Leary, Susan Sontag, Mick Jagger, New York intellectuals, European aristocrats, and American heiresses such as Barbara Hutton and her various consorts. While rioting and civil upheaval brought independence to Morocco in the 50's, the sybaritic expatriates, their activities only partly curtailed by new restrictions, wandered about the Casbah, Casablanca, Marrakech, and the Sahara, gathered periodically at the Parade bar, exchanged sexual partners, experimented with drugs, and created an entire culture of their own, hallucinatory and brutal, where deviance, eccentricity, extravagance, even insanity were the norm. Here Burroughs, living in a male brothel he called ``Villa Delirium,'' wrote ``routines'' that his friends, particularly Ginsberg, gathered into Naked Lunch, and Bowles wrote The Sheltering Sky, an autobiographical fiction that remained a cult novel until popularized by the 1990 film version that Bowles narrated. Working from letters, book reviews, and conversations, Green captures the pace, vitality, and immediacy of a good gossip, and the dynamics of time, place, people, and style that comprise cultural history. She also offers an enlightening context for the 1989 Malcolm Forbes birthday party that drew Henry Kissinger, William Buckley, and Barbara Walters to this ``depraved Eden'' at the end of the world. Entrancing history, then--and there is a great novel to be made of all this. -- Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In this prodigiously researched and richly detailed book, Green recounts the sojourn of Paul and Jane Bowles in decadent yet alluring Tangiers. Effectively rendering in pointillist prose the artists and writers, the ultra-rich and demi-mondaine who thronged the sunbaked medina at the height of Tangiers's popularity in the Fifties and Sixties, Green offers a rush of shifting alliances and perverted pleasures as compelling as the events of a swift-paced novel. But ultimately she fails to bring the Bowleses to life, having neglected to plumb their reasons for fleeing respectable America and enjoying (or, in Jane's case, enduring) an unorthodox, sometimes tortured existence in northern Africa. Green simply plunges into their life in Tangiers without background or introduction, leaving the reader feeling somewhat abandoned, and further offers only the sketchiest information on Tangiers's history and political situation. Still, her prose is as seductive as Tangiers itself, and her book will appeal to fans of the Bowleses or their intellectual milieu.
-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Harper Collins, New York, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Account of literary exiles in Tangier including William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Jane Bowles, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles etc. Paul Frederic Bowles (December 30, 1910 - November 18, 1999) was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making various trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for various theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with the publication in 1949 of his first novel The Sheltering Sky, set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931. In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife, Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) during the early 1950s, Tangier was his home for the next fifty-two years, the remainder of his life. Paul Bowles died in 1999 at the age of 88. His ashes are buried in Lakemont Cemetery in upstate New York. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 043290

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