By Christopher Isherwood
In 1939, Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden emigrated jointly to the USA. In spare, luminous prose those diaries describe Isherwood's look for a brand new existence in California; his paintings as a screenwriter in Hollywood, his pacifism in the course of global battle II and his friendships with such proficient artists and intellectuals as Garbo, Chaplin, Thomas Mann, Charles Laughton, Gielgud, Olivier, Richard Burton and Aldous Huxley. all through this era, Isherwood endured to write down novels and maintain his literary friendships - with E.M. Forster, Somerset Maugham, Tennessee Williams and others. He became to his diaries numerous instances every week to list jokes and gossip, observations approximately his followed kingdom, philosophy and mystical insights. His devotion to his diary was once a fashion of accounting for himself; he used it as either a self-discipline and a unlock.
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January 25. within the afternoon, I went to Chaplin’s studio. Chaplin was once in a talkative temper. He repeats himself, amplifies, contradicts. (Meltzer later imitated him asserting: “The purely factor i will say for myself is—I’ve by no means been depression. by no means. after all, each person is depression round the age of twenty. whilst i used to be twenty-one, i used to be extraordinarily depression. i used to be depression till i used to be thirty. good, no—not precisely what you may name depression. I’m by no means depression, particularly … and so forth. and so on. ”) this day, he mentioned the portrait painted of him via George Bergen, and its mysterious disappearance from the artist’s studio, many years in the past. “Oh, it used to be an excellent portrait. He painted me opposed to a white wall, in a white silk jacket—a type of a pyjama jacket. It was once only a reliable directly portrait—none of that Van Dyck stuff—light and shadow. ” an afternoon or after it was once complete, a person ripped it correct out of its body. The police searched far and wide, yet they by no means discovered it. Chaplin then obtained directly to the topic of the Duke of Windsor, whom he met a number of instances in the course of a visit to Europe. Windsor was once then the Prince of Wales. His first query used to be, “How outdated are you? ” He desired to comprehend what Chaplin had performed within the 1914 war—and while Chaplin informed him, “Nothing,” there has been a frosty silence. Then Chaplin requested him what number uniforms he owned and the way he knew which one to put on on any given get together: did a person inform him? “No one,” Windsor spoke back coldly, “ever tells me to do something. ” however, he turns out to have taken a good fancy to Chaplin and sometimes requested him right down to fortress Belvedere. Chaplin approximately devoted a major breach of etiquette through going into the bathroom whilst Windsor was once already there. this can be strictly opposed to the principles. even supposing Windsor had right away started calling Chaplin “Charlie,” Chaplin had caught rigidly to the formal “Sir. ” He imitated himself announcing demurely: “Oh, no, Sir! Oh, definite, Sir! ” at the back of a lot of these anecdotes, there has been the flicker of guttersnipe impudence. One sees him in his vintage position of debunker of professional pomposity, continually, all over. “How can they very likely move on with all that nonsense,” he stored repeating. this day, they have been doing a scene open air at the lot. Hitler and Mussolini (Jack Oakie) are leaving the railway station. the group breaks during the police cordon. Madame Mussolini is driven into it, and the dictators’ automobile drives off with no her. Meltzer says that the Hollywood extras are the main depressing, silly, gutless crowd of individuals you can find anyplace on the planet. the ladies have been all copies of recognized filmstars—literal copies, made with no the least mind's eye or individuality. the lads have been sullen, around shouldered, down-at-heel gum chewers. They confirmed no longer the slightest curiosity in Chaplin’s instructions—but, while the capturing begun, they post a shockingly convincing functionality. January 26. Dapper little George O’Neil—who can be operating for Gottfried, at the script of lady with a Cello—told me a few extra in regards to the robbery of the Bergen photograph. while the image disappeared, the police suspected everybody—including Constance Collier,58 Bergen, an previous woman who accumulated Chapliniana, a laundryman, Chaplin’s eastern valet, the half-witted son of the studio caretaker, or even Chaplin himself.