I’ve just finished reading a book, and I just wanted to mention it. Two reasons:
a) It’s very good
b) Something reminded me of it today
c) It’s my site, I’m allowed to do that.
Anyway, the book was The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan, edited by John Lahr, and it’s just great. I usually avoid diaries and autobiographies like the plague, finding them too boastful, or too humble, filled with minutia or who-cares-less confession, too self-aggrandising or self-effacing or both at once. The level of name-dropping is usually abysmal. And I can’t stand footnotes. And they always have footnotes.
The thing about Tynan’s diaries is that the name dropping really is abysmal. But you get the feeling he’s aware, and that he name-drops because he’s in awe – and feels not quite up to the society he keeps – as well, in fact, as feeling better than the lot of them. He’s very clever, and talks about theatre, and I enjoy that. There’s also a lot in the writing that anyone who has been depressed can recognise. Oh, yes. And there’s the spanking. The man really, really liked his spanking.
So one day’s entry could run;
Lawrence Oliver was saying to me the other day… blah blah blah… can’t pick up a pen, too tired to work, and hate myself all the more for it… blah blah blah… The problem is not with absurdist theatre in the real world, it’s realism in a world so very abs… blahblahblah blah blah… on the other hand, went to see n. today. Three straight hours of spanking. Little pink bottom. Mmmmm. Off to NT to see KL directed by PH tonight. LO ‘stars’ bound to be a somulent affair. Who speaks for the real Lear in Richard’s England?’
There’s something odd about the whole deal. Jesus, i was about to say it reads like a good weblog. That couldn’t be more wrong. But a good weblog should read a little like that. Not the spanking, I mean, the spanking isn’t mandatory. I just meant in terms of variation and… Oh, forget it.
The thing that reminded me of it today was this. And it made me laugh all the way through yesterday morning.
“Kenneth Tynan is my homeboy” says P Diddy.
Excellent. Very good stuff.