[ilds] MacNiven Bio

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Fri Jan 28 16:35:04 PST 2011


I am noting that I have the revised edition, much thumbed. Yes, Bowker is a 
sharp writer but writing a biography of any complex 'genius' would be hard 
task as I am sure Michael Haag has discovered, especially if you want to go 
beyond a chronicle into a analysis of motive, muse, the meaning of self in 
relation to the world. Things are bound to slip. That said I enjoy 
biographies as much or more sometimes than the subjects own writings.

Have been waiting for old Haag's biog for a while - in fact I'm getting that 
'when's it going to be wine o'clock feeling if'n you take my meaning?

David Whitewine

btw, am hoping to get sorted a decent look at Durrell's islomania; form to 
be determined.

From: "James Gifford" <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, January 29, 2011 11:01 AM
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] MacNiven Bio

> Hi David,
> Michael Haag is writing the next biography.  As for Bowker and MacNiven,
> it's worth noting that Bowker's biography has changes between the first
> and second editions.  Nonetheless, in both he's darker and more
> speculative, though he did access some archives (like UVic's) that
> MacNiven did not -- his Malcolm Lowry biography is excellent, and it
> took him to some of the smaller places that MacNiven didn't reach.
> Between the two, I prefer MacNiven's and trust it more, though it's not
> without slips here and there as well, which is inevitable in such a work.
> Best,
> James
> On 28/01/11 3:44 PM, Denise Tart & David Green wrote:
>> William,
>> I have read Bowker's biography several times and can recommend it to
>> you. yes, you are right that it has its problems and that Bowker does
>> speculate at times, but it is a good contrast to tact of MacNiven, who
>> as well as being a scholarly and authorised, is also a fan. Bowker, as
>> his book title suggests, paints a darker picture of Lawrence
>> particularly in relation to his treatment of women and his over fondness
>> of alcohol; his creative madness being at times hard on people close to
>> him. Read both a get a deeper picture - someone else out there is
>> currently doing so and could perhaps ad to this commentary??
>> David Green
>> *From:* William Apt <mailto:billyapt at gmail.com>
>> *Sent:* Saturday, January 29, 2011 10:04 AM
>> *To:* ilds at lists.uvic.ca <mailto:ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
>> *Subject:* [ilds] MacNiven Bio
>> Dear all:
>> I thought the book outstanding. How Prof. MacNiven was able to gather
>> and synthesize so much material, and then put it into such an eloquent
>> narrative is remarkable. Moreover, Prof. MacNiven honors his fiduciary
>> obligations well: it is a most tactful book.
>> I had tried reading Bowker's bio but was put off by it. Perhaps because
>> it was unauthorized, and Bowker was deprived of sources MacNiven had
>> recourse to, there was way too much speculation-as-explanation for my
>> taste. Can any one tell me how it essentially differs from MacNiven's
>> book, and whether it is worthwhile?
>> Ultimately I find LD truly enigmatic. I have so many questions about why
>> he was the way he was that, perhaps, cannot be clearly answered except
>> to say that he was a genius, and genius is a mystery.
>> Again, thanks to everyone who was so helpful to me, including Prof.
>> Godshalk, whom I forgot to thank yesterday.
>> --
>> Attorney at Law
>> 7004 Bee Cave Rd, Bldg 1,
>> Ste 205
>> Austin TX 78746
>> 512/708-8300
>> 512/708-8011 FAX
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