Isherwood and Berlin


I’ve received this email:

There was a shoddy BBC4 documentary on this the other night, concentrating on the film of Cabaret. Isherwood like  the film, but pointed out that most of the cabarets in Weimar Berlin weren’t nearly so glamorous  and Broadway professional as the Bob Fosse musical.
The documentary made only a brief allusion to the original of Sally Bowles, Jean Ross, of whom I should like to know more. After Berlin she kept in touch with Isherwood all their lives. She married Claud Cockburn. She was herself a  radical journo as well as a singer. I think Sally Bowles is one of the zippiest women in twentieth century fiction, a truly great creation. She is the essence, the embodiment of a reality. That really, Berlin in the early Thirties, was the pivotal moment of the century. It was there that the future was decided. Any witness to those years, especially so sensitive a writer as Isherwood, must be seen as authentic. Of course one point of view is not every point of view, but the perspective is valid. The secne on Reugen Island where Ishyvoo and friends meet the amiable man who turns out to be a Nazi is chilling.
However, that ‘s enough for now.
Thank you Geoffrey!

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