I see that BBC Four have set aside two hours tonight to transmit a two–part televisual biography of Bruce Chatwin, done by Nicholas Shakespeare. This should be worth watching. Shakespeare wrote what must surely be the definitive biography of Bruce Chatwin, who, it must be said, was something of a monster.
I thought Shakespeare’s biography of Chatwin was masterful and said so:
I recently purchased this biography of Bruce Chatwin written by Nicholas Shakespeare. I probably did it to confirm my own prejudices (the sneaking suspicion that Chatwin was ‘not a nice man’) and on that level it delivered in spades. Shakespeare gives a magnificent warts-and-all portrait. Chatwin’s friends and his apparently long-suffering wife could obviously see beyond the warts – all I saw was a monstrous egotistical carbuncle called Bruce Chatwin. I am pleased to have made his acquaintance via this biography; I would never have wanted to meet him in real life. I would have viewed him as a black hole – always taking, never giving.
I am very much looking forward to seeing Shakespeare’s TV program tonight – all the more so because some of the real people that Chatwin interacted with are going to be featured. I am curious to hear what they have to say.