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Harry Crosby was the godson of J. P. Morgan and a friend of Ernest Hemingway. Living in Paris in the twenties and directing the Black Sun Press, which published James Joyce among others, Crosby was at the center of the wild life of the lost generation. Drugs, drink, sex, gambling, the deliberate derangement of the senses in the pursuit of transcendent revelation: these were Crosby's pastimes until 1929, when ...
Harry Crosby was the godson of J. P. Morgan and a friend of Ernest Hemingway. Living in Paris in the twenties and directing the Black Sun Press, which published James Joyce among others, Crosby was at the center of the wild life of the lost generation. Drugs, drink, sex, gambling, the deliberate derangement of the senses in the pursuit of transcendent revelation: these were Crosby's pastimes until 1929, when he shot his girlfriend, the recent bride of another man, and then himself.
Black Sun is novelist and master biographer Geoffrey Wolff's subtle and striking picture of a man who killed himself to make his life a work of art.
Posted December 17, 2012
Came across the book accidently through my Pulse app on kindle and what attracted me to it was the picture on the cover, the image of Harry is mesmerizing and his looks and expression are powerful, somewhat hypnotic. I can not discern why I had no knowledge of this man, his life and loves, writings and tragedies.
How decadent...PLEASE SELL $10,OO WORTH OF STOCK. WE HAVE DEDIDED TO LEAD A MAD AND EXTRAVAGANT LIFE....of a statement! Loved the lack of sentiment and remorse for such a morose lifestyle.
I enjoyed the book immensely and the author gave Harry a moving tribute, legacy and a voice.
I have a theory as to what happened on that fateful night in which Harry left this world without a word.
When he first met Josephine, he wrote to his mother that he had a new girlfriend who was very young (21 yrs) and he liked them young because they didn't know much. He found his Sorceress, the one person he could influence and perhaps force to do his bidding. He had a fondness for the act of suicide and talked about it for most of his life but wanted or needed a participant and his wife Caresse was not a willing partner in that regard, she was older and not naive or ignorant. He most likely talked to her in length about his passions for death and that he dreamed that him & Josephine would be married by blood in this act.However, Josephine was getting to be too much to handle even for Harry who was always overly theatrical. After their tumultous affair in Boston, Detroit and NY...Harry wanted to end it and insisted she go home to her husband which she agreed to but never left NY. Harry told a friend that the Rotch gir was pestering him; he was exasperated; she had threatened to kill herself in the lobby for the Savoy-Plaza if he didn't meet her at once.
Josephine had already agreed to be his accomplice in murder/suicide hence, the cable he received from her on ship coming to america. One word...YES. This is the note he had in his pocket of his jacket at the scene of the crime. The same word he received from his wife years earlier in a cable when he asked her to marry him...YES. That was for Caresse to decipher on what had happened and she most likely did and kept it to herself. He found his death mate! But, it went awry. Josephine went ballistic and could not see why he wanted her out of his life and in her drunken state, she took away his gun and killed herself so he was forced to play along. He loved Death and although he felt it wasn't the time, he knew what he had to do. That is why he (or Josephine) removed his wedding ring, another token of explanation to his wife. For 2 hrs, Harry must have studied the dead girl trying to find in her smile some clue as to where he was about to take himself. This is what I believe as to what happend on that fateful evening in Dec. 1929.