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The Swimming-Pool Library

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Though he always had a novel "on the go", Hollinghurst initially saw himself as a poet. He published a well-received volume of poetry with the provocative title Confidential Chats With Boys in 1982, but says the muse deserted him in 1985 on the day he signed a contract for a book of poems with Faber. In any case, by then the novel that was to establish him was well under way. Protesters said they won’t stop their fight, despite being unable to voice their concerns at Monday’s meeting. What's he having?' I said, as I watched the wild pink liquid rattle from the shaker into the inverted cone of the glass. The story is interestingly told through the eyes of a thirtyish gay man in the prime of his life simply lounging, working out, and having sexual encounters of the various kind. The plot dupes you into regarding the plot as non-existent and that the book will tell the typical tale of a lounger, but the author starts dropping hints to an underlying secret. I wish I could quote more but already there is a lot going on. Hollinghurst takes a cliché of romantic fiction and gives it several ironic twists. The cliché in this case is that of the serial philanderer who meets our heroine and is reformed by love. Here the philanderer is a gay man. This is a beautiful twist. But he is also the narrator, which is another twist. We are asked to identify with the philanderer. To make it even more piquant, the philanderer is an aristocratic English gentleman who has been brought up in the finest English traditions – the traditions of queazy tums and other feeble excuses.

He is also deeply interested in the form of the novel – a form in which he says he has an “undiminished confidence”, feeling that people will continue to want to read it for a long time to come. Our conversation about reflecting historical change in fiction leads him to an astute observation, about “a larger question, which one’s always seeing articles about, wondering why there are so few mobile phones in novels”. His view is that there is something “inherently old-fashioned in the novel. There is a subconsciously retrospective element of entering the world of a novel, even if it’s about something burningly contemporary. There’s something old-fashioned about the experience of being narrated to.” I have witnessed the devastating loss that the pool would be for all ages and people of all physical abilities,” protester Jillian Burt said. Saved by Art, the Shy, Steely Ronald Firbank,” edited version of the third of the 2006 Lord Northcliffe Lectures given at University College under the title “Delightful Difficulties.” The Times Literary Supplement. November 17, 2006: 12-15. Between the new leisure centre and new library are five commercial units. Currently empty, these units are set to be filled with new businesses later in the year. WalesOnline understands the new Cadno Lounge restaurant is set to fill one - you can read more about the new restaurant here - while another unit will be filled by a bilingual childcare company. Further information about businesses in the other units is expected to come later in the year. Alongside helping the local community keep fit and active, staff at the leisure centre also want to develop links with the local community. Community groups are welcome to book out the studios and with the leisure centre standing just a stone's throw from independent shops, cafes and businesses, management hope it will bring more footfall to Neath and help regenerate the town centre.it is clear he pays homage to (or how I say "name-dropping") his inspirations of Firbank and E.M.Forster throughout, his major interest while studying English in school Beautifully welds the standard conventions of fiction to a tale of modern transgressions.It tells of impurities with shimmering elegance, of complexities with a camp-fired wit and of truths with a fiction's solid grace' - The New York Times Book Review Before The Swimming-Pool Library , it didn't seem to me that being Alan and being gay was particularly happy. A lot of it revolved around opera,' says Alan Jenkins of the TLS . 'After it, life became a sort of party. He had a bit of success and money, and every gay man in the world had read and admired his book. That opened up a range of possibilities that hadn't been there before.'

a category that i like to call Gay World Novels in which, oh, everyone is pretty much gay. fine. dream on, gays, dream on. if you can't live it...dream it! Motion bought The Swimming-Pool Library when he was editorial director of Chatto: 'I knew it was going to be good, but I was flabbergasted by how brilliant it was.' Hollinghurst became godfather to Motion's eldest child.Finally I have found time for Alan Hollinghurst. He's been on my list for a long time because everybody in the literary establishment says what a fine style he has. Alan Hollinghurst is not a prolific novelist, with only five novels to his name, but he is an important one. His first, The Swimming-Pool Library, burst onto the scene – the gay one and the literary alike – in 1988 just as Thatcher’s third government was introducing the Section 28 laws. The infamous clause prohibited local authorities disseminating material deemed to be endorsing homosexuality, and attempted to silence teachers who dared instruct children that being gay was a normal lifestyle. At the same time, the AIDS crisis had devastated lives around the world, and the World Health Organization began its effort to promote awareness, founding World AIDS Day. retrogressive logic that informs Hollinghurst’s fiction-writing extends from the characters’ individual destinies to include the “irresistible elegiac need for the tendernesses of an England long past” ( SPL 122). For example, the Romantic idealisation of childhood finds its expression in the ethos of the public school. William’s perusal of Charles Nantwich’s papers only convinces him that they are no more, no less, than the record of his own destiny. Charles’s schooldays at Winchester are the fore-echoes of William’s own schooling, much later, in the very same prestigious establishment. Hence, a sort of solipsistic closure, in so far as the biographer’s life retraces the steps of his biographee’s, to such an extent that the former can only yearn for all the adventures which historical changes deprived him of. William, while owning up to the rights granted to the homosexuals of his generation, evinces a sort of nostalgia for the frisson of homoerotic life prior to Gay Lib. Charles Nantwich’s diary of his stay in prison, as a result of the purges in the 1950s, probably evokes Wilde’s De Profundis (Wilde 980-1059) to a younger generation, who missed the opportunity to be celebrated as martyrs. And, in the last resort, William shows no critical distance whatsoever when Charles spins out his colonial romance, pointing out how gays qualified as perfect candidates to be sent to the outposts of progress, because the authorities “had the wit to see that [they] were prone to immediate idealism and dedication” ( SPL 241). I definitely don't think that Hollinghurst was very critical of Will in the text--at least not in an overly visible or emphatic way. However, he certainly expected the reader to be. His sympathetic yet unembellished portrayal of Will is very much done to give the reader the independence to decide on Will's actions and thoughts. Is he nothing but a narcissist? The reader is forced to look critically on Will as an Oxford graduate and as the grandson of a Peer of the British Empire. His boyfriends are all lower class, and he seems to sometimes ruthlessly exploit them. Hollinghurst, as I said earlier, doesn't visibly admonish Will, but he doesn't excuse his actions either.

Not knowing a hell of a lot about gay life or the gay community (in Britain or anywhere else) or British fiction, I feel this is something I can't really comment on. Bradley, John. “Disciples of St Narcissus: In Praise of Alan Hollinghurst.” The Critical Review 36 (1996): 3-18. Taking it away is going to be taking away swimming from nearly 100 children with additional support needs.”Hard though Hollinghurst tries to hide in public, he drops in clues about himself throughout his novels. He even appears in person at the end of The Spell, "a sympathetic-looking man with short grey hair and a darker goatee", spotted by Alex when he goes cruising on Hampstead Heath. Another character in The Spell, an unappealing antique dealer called George, is said to have "a delight in artifice and a mania for honesty". The same might be said for Hollinghurst. In The Spell, Alex – who has "contracted the occasional ailment of the late developer, an aversion to his own past" – recalls his horror of the country town in which he'd grown up, with its "old outfitters selling brown and mauve clothes [and] photos of fetes and beauty contests and British Legion dinners in the window of the newspaper office, which might almost have been the window of a museum". He also tenderly recalls the solitary child's "taste for lonely places", playing hide and seek alone. "It can't be hide and seek if no one's coming to look for you, darling," his mother tells him. "It's just hide." The Sparsholt affair, by contrast, despite one of the character’s memories of it – “Money, power … gay shenanigans! It had everything” – seems puzzlingly unscandalous; the reader intuits simply a threesome. “It’s happened at a time, of course,” says Hollinghurst, “when, if it was, as we have reason to think it was, a gay threesome, it’s illegal. It’s happening before the changes in the law that we’re celebrating at the moment.”

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