In Touch: The Letters of Paul Bowles
This is a collection of correspondence, spanning eight decades in the life of Paul Bowles. Despite his reclusiveness, Bowles has been an ... Show synopsis This is a collection of correspondence, spanning eight decades in the life of Paul Bowles. Despite his reclusiveness, Bowles has been an indefatigable correspondent, and his letters provide a look at the many aspects of his diverse career - as composer, novelist, travel writer, translator, ethnographer and critic. From his earliest surviving letter, written at the age of four, to his precocious surrealist effusions to Gertrude Stein and Aaron Copland; from his meditations on the effects of mescaline to his moving letters to his wife Jane during her last illness, the book aims to fill in the gaps left by previous biographers and by Bowles's autobiography "Without Stopping" (so notoriously unrevealing that it was nicknamed "Without Telling"). Here is Bowles on the genesis of his novels; on his dogged expeditions attempting to record Moroccan tribal music; on the Beats, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote and Tennesee Williams; on appearing as an elderly extra in Bernado Bertulocci's film of "The Sheltering Sky". Gossipy and reflective, the book is both an epistolary autobiography and a chronicle of the 20th-century avant-garde from Tristan Tzara to David Byrne.