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Description - The Inman Diary by Arthur Crew Inman

THE INMAN DIARIESa chamber opera by Thomas Oboe Leebased on the life and writings of Arthur Crew Inmanand on the play "Visitations" by Lorenzo DeStefanoINTERMEZZO NEW ENGLAND CHAMBER OPERA SERIESSeptember 14-16, 2007Tower Auditorium TheatreMassachusetts College of Art621 Huntington AvenueBoston, MA617-899-4261 for further information produced with the cooperation of Harvard University PressBetween 1919 and his death by suicide in 1963, Arthur Crew Inmanwrote what is surely one of the fullest diaries ever kept by any American.Convinced that his bid for immortality required complete candor, heheld nothing back. This abridgment of the original 155 volumes is atonce autobiography, social chronicle, and an apologia addressed to unborn readers.Into this fascinating record Inman poured memories of a privilegedAtlanta childhood, disastrous prep-school years, a nervous collapse incollege followed by a bizarre life of self-diagnosed invalidism. Confinedto a darkened room in his Boston apartment, he lived vicariously: through newspaper advertisements he hired "talkers" to tell him thestories of their lives, and he wove their strange histories into the diary.Young women in particular fascinated him. He studied their moods, bought them clothes, fondled them, and counseled them on their loveaffairs. His marriage in 1923 to Evelyn Yates, the heroine of the diary, survived a series of melodramatic episodes. While reflecting on nationalpolitics, waifs and revolutions, Inman speaks directly about his fears, compulsions, fantasies, and nightmares, coaxing the reader into intimacy with him. Despite his shocking self-disclosures he emerges as anoddly impressive figure.This compelling work is many things: a case history of a deeply troubled man; the story of a transplanted and self-conscious southerner; ahistorical overview of Boston illuminated with striking cityscapes; anodd sort of American social history. But chiefly it is, as Inman himselfcame to see, a gigantic nonfiction novel, a new literary form. As it movesinexorably toward a powerful denouement, "The Inman Diary" is an addictive narrative.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674454453
ISBN-10: 0674454456
Format: Hardback
(220mm x 140mm x 90mm)
Pages: 1600
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1985
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Inman Diary by Arthur Crew Inman

US Kirkus Review » Proving McLuhan's dictum that in the media-dominated world, everybody will be famous for 15 minutes, this is the diary of an unknown man, Arthur Inman, the sick, reclusive son of a wealthy Atlanta family. Unfortunately, 15 minutes is about all the time his diary can sustain interest. Inman, who spent the last 40 of his 68 years in the same Boston apartment, deeply believed that his raison d'etre was to chronicle the 20th century for posterity. Samuel Pepys Inman definitely was not. This is unfortunate, for despite Inman's reclusiveness, his daily doings had the makings of some interesting chronicling. While living in a dark room, Inman advertised for readers and talkers whom he paid to tell him their life stories. Apparently, he was invested with enough personal charisma that many of these folks became hangers-on at his apartment, allowing him to keep long-term tabs on them. Their stories, in effect, became Inman's vicarious life and, through his diary pages, his story of our century. But as W.B. Yeats said, "Events are in the saddle and ride mankind." As the century progressed, events gradually took over from personalities in Inman's daily jottings. But here, he comes off even worse, for in being sort of a curmudgeon-at-large, he managed to support just about every unpopular cause possible - including fascism and Hitlerism. Inman occasionally sprouts a nice turn of phrase. However, posterity can only view his magnum opus as did reviewers who tackled several books of poetry which he paid to have published in his day. To a one, they ascribed his poems to mediocrity. So too his diary. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Arthur Crew Inman

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

Books By Arthur Crew Inman

From a Darkened Room by Arthur Crew Inman
Paperback, September 1996