From a Darkened Room: The Inman Diary

Overview

THE INMAN DIARIES

a chamber opera by Thomas Oboe Lee

based on the life and writings of Arthur Crew...

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Overview

THE INMAN DIARIES

a chamber opera by Thomas Oboe Lee

based on the life and writings of Arthur Crew Inman

and on the play Visitations by Lorenzo DeStefano

INTERMEZZO NEW ENGLAND CHAMBER OPERA SERIES

September 14-16, 2007

Tower Auditorium Theatre

Massachusetts College of Art

621 Huntington Avenue

Boston, MA

617-899-4261 for further information

produced with the cooperation of Harvard University Press

Only a few of us seek immortality, and fewer still by writing. But Arthur Inman challenged the odds. He calculated that if he kept a diary and spared no thoughts or actions, was entirely honest and open, and did not care about damage or harm to himself or others, he would succeed in gaining attention beyond the grave that he could not attain in life.

The diary became a many-layered and strikingly animated work of a gifted writer, by turns charming, repellent, shocking, cruel, and comical. But the diary is also an uninhibited history of his times, of his eccentricities and fantasies, of his bizarre marriage arrangements and sexual adventures. Inman's explorations of his own troubled nature made him excessively curious about the secret lives of others. Like some ghostly doctor-priest, he chronicled their outpourings of head and heart as vividly as he did his own. The diary reads like a nonfiction novel as it moves inexorably toward disaster.

This is an abridged version of the celebrated two-volume work published by Harvard as

The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times

A fascinating document, by turns bizarre and illuminating, poignant and obscene...Delving into Inman's diary is like being able to eavesdrop on a conversation in a priest's confessional or psychotherapist's office...It also presents the social historian with a panorama of the twentieth century viewed from an exotic angle.
— Michael Vincent Miller

Washington Times
A sometimes trenchant, sometimes caustic account of Inman's times.
New York Times - Michael Vincent Miller
A fascinating document, by turns bizarre and illuminating, poignant and obscene...Delving into Inman's diary is like being able to eavesdrop on a conversation in a priest's confessional or psychotherapist's office...It also presents the social historian with a panorama of the twentieth century viewed from an exotic angle.
Library Journal
Wealthy invalid, rabid racist, inveterate lecher, and compulsive voyeur, Inman was devoted to his diary above all else. By the time of his suicide in 1963, he had written more than 17 million words in 155 volumes. The two-volume edition issued by Harvard University Press in 1985 was generally praised for its value as social history. This abridgment, about one-third the size of the earlier edition, sacrifices political and historical material to focus on Inman's personal life: his relations with his wife, servants, and "talkers"those women who bared their souls (and often their bodies) to him for a few dollars an hour. This condensed version is no doubt meant to attract general readers. The problem, however, is that many of those readers will find Inman's bigotry and arrogance repellent.William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674454439
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Series: Inman Fund Series
  • Edition description: Abridged Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 596
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Aaron is Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature, Emeritus, Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

Cast of Characters

Introducing Arthur Inman

Arthur Remembers

Arthur's Jazz Age: The Overaged Adolescent

Arthur after the Crash

Arthur's Churning World: Domestic and Foreign

Arthur's War and the Postbomb Years

Arthur Doomed: The Chronicler Assessed

Index

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