Goodbye to Berlin
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|Preceded by||Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935)|
Goodbye to Berlin is a 1939 novel by Anglo-American writer Christopher Isherwood set during the waning days of the Weimar Republic. The novel recounts Isherwood's 1929–1932 sojourn as a pleasure-seeking British expatriate on the eve of Adolf Hitler's ascension as Chancellor of Germany and consists of a "series of sketches of disintegrating Berlin, its slums and nightclubs and comfortable villas, its odd maladapted types and its complacent burghers." The novel's plot recounts factual events in Isherwood's life, and most of the novel's characters were based upon actual persons. The insouciant flapper Sally Bowles was based on teenage cabaret singer Jean Ross who became Isherwood's intimate friend during his sojourn and, after an unplanned pregnancy, she had a near-fatal abortion which the shy gay author facilitated.
While Ross recovered from the abortion procedure, the political situation rapidly deteriorated in Germany. As Berlin's daily scenes featured "poverty, unemployment, political demonstrations and street fighting between the forces of the extreme left and the extreme right," Isherwood realised that he must flee the country. Following the Enabling Act which cemented Hitler's power, Isherwood fled Germany and returned to England. Afterwards, Berlin's seedy cabarets were shuttered by the Nazis,[a] and many of Isherwood's cabaret friends fled abroad or perished in concentration camps. These factual events served as the genesis for Isherwood's Berlin stories.
The novel received positive reviews by newspaper critics and contemporary writers. Critic Anne Margaret Angus praised Isherwood's literary mastery in conveying the ingravescent despair of Berlin's denizens and "their hopeless clinging to the pleasures of the moment". She believed Isherwood skillfully evoked "the psychological and emotional hotbed which forced the growth of that incredible tree, 'national socialism'." George Orwell hailed the novel for its "brilliant sketches of a society in decay". "Reading such tales as this," Orwell wrote, "the thing that surprises one is not that Hitler came to power, but that he did not do so several years earlier."
The 1939 novel was republished together with Isherwood's 1935 novel, Mr Norris Changes Trains, in a 1945 collection titled The Berlin Stories. Literary critics praised the collection as deftly capturing the bleak nihilism of the Weimar period. In 2010, Time magazine hailed the collection as one of the 100 Best English-language novels of the 20th century. Goodbye to Berlin was adapted into the 1951 Broadway play I Am a Camera, the 1966 musical Cabaret, and the 1972 film of the same name. According to critics, the novel's character Sally Bowles purportedly inspired Truman Capote's character Holly Golightly in his 1958 novella Breakfast at Tiffany's.
The autobiographical novel recounts Christopher Isherwood's extended residence in Jazz Age Berlin and describes the pre-Nazi social milieu as well as the colourful persons he encountered. While sojourning in the city, Isherwood socialised with a blithe coterie of expatriate writers that included W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Edward Upward, and Paul Bowles.[b] As a gay man, Isherwood frequently interacted with marginalised enclaves of Berliners and foreigners who later would be at greatest risk from Nazi persecution, and various Berlin denizens befriended by Isherwood would later flee abroad or die in labour camps.
The novel's most memorable character—the "divinely decadent" Sally Bowles—was based upon 19-year-old flapper Jean Ross with whom Isherwood briefly shared lodgings at Nollendorfstraße 17 in Schöneberg. Much like the character in the novel, Ross was a sexually promiscuous young woman and a bohemian chanteuse in lesbian bars and second-rate cabarets. Isherwood visited these dingy nightclubs to hear Ross sing, and he described her singing talent as mediocre:
"She had a surprisingly deep, husky voice. She sang badly,[c] without any expression, her hands hanging down at her sides—yet her performance was, in its own way, effective because of her startling appearance and her air of not caring a curse of what people thought of her."
Likewise, mutual acquaintance Stephen Spender recalled that Ross' singing ability was quite underwhelming and forgettable: "In my mind's eye, I can see her now in some dingy bar standing on a platform and singing so inaudibly that I could not hear her from the back of the room where I was discreetly seated."
Although Isherwood sometimes had sex with women, Ross—unlike the fictional character Sally—never tried to seduce Isherwood, although they were forced to share a bed whenever their tiny flat became overcrowded with visiting revelers. Instead, Isherwood settled into a same-sex relationship with a working-class German boy named Heinz Neddermeyer, while Ross entered into a variety of heterosexual liaisons, including one with the blond musician Peter van Eyck, the future star of Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear.
Soon after their separation, Ross realised she was pregnant. As a personal favour to Ross, Isherwood helped facilitate an abortion procedure. Ross nearly died as a result of the botched abortion procedure. Isherwood visited Ross in the hospital following her abortion. Wrongly assuming he was the father, the hospital staff despised him for impregnating Ross and then callously forcing her to have an abortion. These tragicomic events inspired Isherwood to write his 1937 novella Sally Bowles and serves as its narrative climax.
While Ross recovered from the abortion procedure, the political situation rapidly deteriorated in Germany. As Berlin's daily scenes featured "poverty, unemployment, political demonstrations and street fighting between the forces of the extreme left and the extreme right," Isherwood, Spender, and other British nationals soon realised that they must leave the country. "There was a sensation of doom to be felt in the Berlin streets," Spender recalled.
Two weeks after the Enabling Act cemented Adolf Hitler's power, Isherwood fled Germany and returned to England on 5 April 1933. Afterwards, most of Berlin's seedy cabarets were shuttered by the Nazis,[a] and many of Isherwood's cabaret friends later fled abroad or perished in concentration camps. These factual events served as the genesis for Isherwood's Berlin tales.
Following her departure from Germany, Ross became a devout Stalinist and a lifelong member of Harry Pollitt's Communist Party of Great Britain. She served as a war correspondent for the Daily Express during the subsequent Spanish Civil War (1936–39), and she is alleged to have been a propagandist for Joseph Stalin's Comintern. A skilled writer, Ross also worked as a film critic for the Daily Worker,[d] and her criticisms of early Soviet cinema were later described by critics as ingenious works of "dialectical sophistry". She often wrote political criticism, anti-fascist polemics, and manifestos. For the remainder of her life, Ross believed the public association of herself with the naïve and apolitical character of Sally Bowles occluded her lifelong work as a professional writer and political activist.
[Jean Ross] never liked Goodbye to Berlin, nor felt any sense of identity with the character of Sally Bowles ... She never cared enough, however, to be moved to any public rebuttal. She did from time to time settle down conscientiously to write a letter, intending to explain to Isherwood the ways in which she thought he had misunderstood her; but it seldom progressed beyond 'Dear Christopher ...' It was interrupted, no doubt, by more urgent things: meetings about Vietnam, petitions against nuclear weapons, making my supper, hearing my French verbs. It was in Isherwood's life, not hers, that Sally Bowles remained a significant figure.
Ross particularly resented how Isherwood depicted Sally Bowles expressing antisemitic bigotry. In the original 1937 novella Sally Bowles, the character laments having sex with an "awful old Jew" to obtain money. Ross' daughter, Sarah Caudwell, said such racial bigotry "would have been as alien to my mother's vocabulary as a sentence in Swahili; she had no more deeply rooted passion than a loathing of racialism and so, from the outset, of fascism."
Due to her unyielding dislike of fascism, Ross was incensed that Isherwood had depicted her as thoughtlessly allied in her beliefs "with the attitudes which led to Dachau and Auschwitz". In the early 21st century, some writers have argued the antisemitic remarks in "Sally Bowles" are a reflection of Isherwood's own much-documented racial prejudices.[e] In Peter Parker's 2004 biography, he writes that Isherwood was "fairly anti-Semitic to a degree that required some emendations of the Berlin novels when they were republished after the war".
Although Isherwood's stories about the Jazz Age nightlife of Weimar-era Berlin became commercially successful, Isherwood later denounced his writings. He lamented that he had not understood the suffering of the people which he depicted. He stated that 1930s Berlin had been
"a real city in which human beings were suffering the miseries of political violence and near-starvation. The 'wickedness' of Berlin's night-life was of the most pitiful kind; the kisses and embraces, as always, had price-tags attached to them.... As for the 'monsters', they were quite ordinary human beings prosaically engaged in getting their living through illegal methods. The only genuine monster was the young foreigner who passed gaily through these scenes of desolation, misinterpreting them to suit his childish fantasy."
I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking...
I thought of Natalia: she has escaped—none too soon, perhaps. However often the decision may be delayed, all these people are ultimately doomed. This evening is the dress-rehearsal of a disaster. It is like the last night of an epoch.
—Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin (1939)
After relocating to Weimar-era Berlin in order to work on his novel, an English writer explores the decadent nightlife of the city and becomes enmeshed in the colorful lives of a diverse array of Berlin denizens. He acquires modest lodgings in a boarding house owned by Fräulein Schroeder, a caring landlady.
At the boarding house, he interacts with the other tenants, including the brazen prostitute Fräulein Kost, who has a Japanese patron, and the decadent Sally Bowles, a young English flapper who sings tunelessly in a seedy cabaret called "The Lady Windermere". Due to a mutual lack of funds, Christopher and Sally soon become roommates,[f] and he learns a great deal about her sex life as well as her coterie of "marvelous" lovers.
When Sally becomes pregnant after a brief fling, Christopher facilitates an abortion, and the painful incident draws them closer together.[g] When he visits Sally at the hospital, the hospital staff assume he is Sally's impregnator and despise him for forcing her to have an abortion. Later during the summer, Christopher resides at a beach house near the Baltic Sea with Peter Wilkinson and Otto Nowak, a gay couple who are struggling with their sexual identities. Jealous of Otto's endless flirtations with other men, Peter departs for England, and Christopher returns to Berlin to live with Otto's family, the Nowaks.
During this time, Christopher meets teenage Natalie Landauer whose wealthy Jewish family owns a department store. After the Nazis smash the windows of several Jewish shops, Christopher learns that Natalie's cousin Bernhard is dead, likely murdered by the Nazis. Ultimately, Christopher is forced to leave Germany as the Nazis continue their ascent to power, and he fears that many of his beloved Berlin acquaintances are now dead.
- Christopher Isherwood – an English writer who visits Berlin and becomes entangled in the lives of various locals. The character is based upon the author. Isherwood specifically relocated to poverty-stricken Berlin to avail himself of underage male prostitutes, and he was politically indifferent about the rise of fascism. Jean Ross later claimed that Sally Bowles' political indifference more closely resembled Isherwood himself and his hedonistic male friends, many of whom "fluttered around town exclaiming how sexy the storm troopers looked in their uniforms". Ross' opinion of Isherwood's political indifference was confirmed by Isherwood's acquaintance W. H. Auden who noted the young Isherwood "held no [political] opinions whatever about anything".
- Sally Bowles – a British cabaret singer with whom Christopher briefly shares a small Nollendorfstrasse flat. She has a number of sexual liaisons, becomes pregnant, and undergoes an abortion. The character was based upon 19-year-old Jean Ross. Like Ross, Sally attended the exclusive Leatherhead School in Surrey, England, and hailed from a wealthy family. According to Isherwood, Sally should not be either viewed or interpreted as "a tart." Instead, Sally "is a little girl who has listened to what the grown-ups had said about tarts, and who was trying to copy those things".
- Fräulein Schroeder – a plump German landlady who owns the boarding house where Christopher and Sally reside. The character was based upon Fräulein Meta Thurau. According to Isherwood, Thurau "was tremendously intrigued by [Jean Ross'] looks and mannerisms, her makeup, her style of dressing, and above all, her stories about her love affairs. But she didn't altogether like Jean. For Jean was untidy and inconsiderate; she made a lot of extra work for her landladies. She expected room service and sometimes would order people around in an imperious tone, with her English upper-class rudeness".
Frl. Schroeder [the landlady] is consolable... It's no use trying to explain to her, or talking politics. Already she is adapting herself, as she will adapt herself to every new regime. This morning I even heard her talking reverently about 'Der Fuhrer'... If anybody were to remind her that, at the elections last November, she voted Communist, she would probably deny it... Thousands of people like Frl. Schroeder are acclimatising themselves.
—Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin (1939)
- Otto Nowak – a very handsome and gamine teenage boy whose family briefly lodges Christopher after he returns from his vacation on the Baltic Sea. Otto was based on the bisexual teenager Walter Wolff who had been born in eastern Germany prior to its transfer to Poland after the Treaty of Versailles. Unwilling to become Polish citizens, Walter and his family moved to the Berlin slums after World War I. Although irrepressibly merry, Wolff was described by Isherwood as an incorrigible narcissist who cared very little about the feelings of the men and women who pursued him.
- Peter Wilkinson – an English expatriate who sexually pursues the narcissistic Otto Nowak and then departs Germany due to Otto's flirtations with other men. The character was partly based on William Robson-Scott, a lecturer in English at Berlin University. Robson-Scott "was at this time homosexual and, according to Isherwood, occasionally paid boys to beat him." As three family members had died before he turned fifteen years old, Robson-Scott was "deeply apprehensive about life, believing that if one loved somebody the natural consequence of this would be their death."
- Natalie Landauer – an earnest young Jewish woman whose affluent family pays Christopher for English lessons. Natalie's cousin Bernhard is later murdered, presumably by Nazi street thugs. The character was loosely based upon Gisa Soleweitschick. According to Soleweitschick, her mother had discerned quickly that Isherwood was "not interested in girls" and, accordingly, she trusted him as her daughter's unchaperoned companion. However, Gisa herself did not realise that Isherwood was gay, and she attributed his lack of sexual advances to his "fine English manners."
- Klaus Linke – an itinerant musician who impregnates Sally and is based upon Peter van Eyck. Although some biographers identify van Eyck as Jewish,[h] others posit van Eyck was the wealthy scion of Prussian landowners in Pomerania. As an aristocrat, he was expected by his family to embark upon a military career but he became interested in jazz as a young man and pursued musical studies in Berlin.
- Clive – a wealthy playboy based upon American expatriate John Blomshield who inspired the enigmatic character of Baron Maximilian von Heune in the 1972 film adaptation. According to contradictory sources, Blomshield sexually pursued both Isherwood and Ross for a short while in Berlin, and he invited them to accompany him on a trip abroad to the United States. When they had agreed to go, he then abruptly disappeared without saying goodbye. Blomshield bluntly terminated his relationships in the same manner that Clive ends his affair with Sally.
Goodbye to Berlin received positive reviews by newspaper critics and contemporary writers. Critics praised Isherwood's "flair for sheer story-telling" and his ability to spin "an engrossing tale without bothering you with a plot." In a review for The Observer, novelist L. P. Hartley wrote that Isherwood "is an artist to his finger-tips. If he were not, these sketches of pre-Hitlerian Berlin (the Nazi regime is coming into force when the book closes) would make still sadder reading, for all around is poverty, suspicion, and the threat of violence." Hartley concluded by noting that "if his glimpses are oblique and partial, they are also revealing: Goodbye to Berlin is a historical as well as a personal record."
Critic Anne Margaret Angus praised Isherwood's mastery in conveying the ingravescent despair of Berlin's denizens, "with their febrile emotionalism" and "their hopeless clinging to the pleasures of the moment". She believed Isherwood skillfully evoked "the psychological and emotional hotbed which forced the growth of that incredible tree, 'national socialism'." She concluded by noting that "suffering sometimes from too great restraint, his studies, when they do succeed, surely (and often painfully) enlarge our knowledge of human nature."
Contemporary writer and literary critic George Orwell likewise praised by the novel. Although Orwell believed the work to be inferior to Isherwood's earlier novel, Mr Norris Changes Trains, he nonetheless believed that Goodbye to Berlin contained "brilliant sketches of a society in decay". In particular, Orwell singled out for praise the chapter titled "The Nowaks" which concerns a working-class Berlin family on the verge of destitution and disaster. "Reading such tales as this," Orwell observed, "the thing that surprises one is not that Hitler came to power, but that he did not do so several years earlier. The book ends with the triumph of the Nazis and Mr. Isherwood's departure from Berlin."
In her book Anti-Nazi Modernism: The Challenges of Resistance in 1930s Fiction, author Mia Spiro remarks that "despite that which they could not know, the novels that Barnes, Isherwood, and Woolf wrote do reveal the historical, cultural, political, and social conditions in 1930s Europe that made the continent ripe for disaster".
The novel was adapted by John Van Druten into a 1951 Broadway play called I Am a Camera. The play was a personal success for Julie Harris as the insouciant Sally Bowles, winning her the first of her five Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress, although it earned the infamous review by Walter Kerr, "Me no Leica." The play's title is a quote taken from the novel's first page ("I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking."). The play was then adapted into a commercially successful film, also called I Am a Camera (1955), featuring Laurence Harvey, Shelley Winters and Julie Harris, with screenplay by John Collier and music by Malcolm Arnold.
The book was next adapted into the Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret (1966) and the film Cabaret (1972) for which Liza Minnelli won an Academy Award for playing Sally. Isherwood was highly critical of the 1972 film due to what he perceived as its negative portrayal of homosexuality. He noted that, "in the film of Cabaret, the male lead is called Brian Roberts. He is a bisexual Englishman; he has an affair with Sally and, later, with one of Sally's lovers, a German baron... Brian's homosexual tendency is treated as an indecent but comic weakness to be snickered at, like bed-wetting."
Isherwood's friends, especially the poet Stephen Spender, often lamented how the cinematic and stage adaptations of Goodbye to Berlin glossed over Weimar-era Berlin's crushing poverty: "There is not a single meal, or club, in the movie Cabaret, that Christopher and I could have afforded [in 1931]." Spender, Isherwood, W.H. Auden and others asserted that both the 1972 film and 1966 Broadway musical deleteriously glamorised the harsh realities of the 1930s Weimar era.
According to literary critics, the character of Sally Bowles in Goodbye to Berlin inspired Truman Capote's Holly Golightly in his later novella Breakfast at Tiffany's. Critics have alleged that both scenes and dialogue in Capote's 1958 novella have direct equivalencies in Isherwood's earlier 1937 work. Capote had befriended Isherwood in New York in the late 1940s, and Capote was an admirer of Isherwood's novels.
- Many Berlin cabarets located along the Kurfürstendamm avenue, an entertainment-vice district, had been marked for future destruction by Joseph Goebbels as early as 1928.
- Paul Bowles was an American writer who wrote the novel The Sheltering Sky. Isherwood appropriated his surname for the character of Sally Bowles.
- Peter Parker notes that Ross "claimed that Isherwood 'grossly underrated' her singing abilities, but her family agreed that this was one aspect of Sally Bowles that Isherwood got absolutely right".
- Ross wrote many articles using the alias Peter Porcupine.
- In an article for The New York Review of Books, writer Gore Vidal notes Isherwood's inordinate preoccupation with racial matters. In contrast to Isherwood, Ross was noted in her later years for her commitment to racial equality.
- Relations between Isherwood and Ross were not always amicable, and they often quarrelled. Stephen Spender claimed relations between Isherwood and Ross were often acrimonious, and Isherwood referred to Ross as "a bitch" for snidely claiming he might one day "write something really great, like Noël Coward".
- Isherwood wrote in 1976 that, "in real life, Jean and Christopher had a relationship which was asexual but more truly intimate than the relationships between Sally and her various partners in the novel, the plays and the films".
- Critic David Thomson and writer Peter Parker assert that Peter van Eyck was Jewish. Others contend van Eyck was a Pomeranian aristocrat. The character of Klaus Linke in Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin is based upon van Eyck.
- Daily Herald 1939, p. 8.
- Doyle 2013.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 244–245; Spender 1966, p. 127; Spender 1974, pp. 138–139.
- Spender 1966, p. 129.
- Spender 1977.
- Spender 1966, p. 129; Parker 2005, p. 254.
- Parker 2005, p. 221.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 164–166; Isherwood 1976, pp. 150, 297; Farina 2013, pp. 74–81.
- Hartley 1939, p. 7; Angus 1939, p. 52; Orwell 1998, p. 237.
- Angus 1939, p. 52.
- Orwell 1998, p. 237.
- Grossman 2010.
- Izzo 2005, p. 144: "Truman Capote's Holly Golightly... the latter of whom is a tribute to Isherwood and his Sally Bowles..."
- Norton 2010.
- Garebian 2011, pp. 6–7.
- Bowles 1985, p. 110: In his autobiography Without Stopping, the author Paul Bowles surmised that Isherwood, whom he met in Berlin, borrowed his surname for the character Sally Bowles.
- Izzo 2005, p. 144: "Isherwood himself admitted that he named the character of [Sally Bowles] for Paul Bowles, whose 'looks' he liked."
- Garebian 2011, pp. 6–7; Spender 1977; Spender 1966, pp. 125–130.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 164–166; Farina 2013, p. 74–81.
- Isherwood 1976, p. 150: "Erwin [Hansen] returned to Germany several years later. Someone told me that he was arrested by the Nazis and died in a concentration camp."
- Parker 2005, p. 614: "It was probably during the Berlin trip that Isherwood learned that the Nazis eventually caught up with his other companion on his 1933 journey to Greece, Erwin Hansen, who had died in a concentration camp."
- Isherwood 1976, p. 297: "Heinz [Neddermeyer] might easily have been sentenced to an indefinite term in a concentration camp, as many homosexuals were...Like the Jews, homosexuals were often put into 'liquidation' units, in which they were given less food and more work than other prisoners. Thus, thousands of them died."
- Garebian 2011, p. 30: "Sally seems satisfied to be divinely decadent..."
- Mizejewski 1992, p. 4: "The Sally character herself is this century's darling of divine decadence, an odd measure of how dear to us is this fiction of the 'shocking' British/American vamp in Weimar Berlin."
- Isherwood 1976, p. 63: "Jean moved into a room in the Nollendorfstrasse flat after she met Christopher, early in 1931".
- Izzo 2005, p. 144; Isherwood Obituary.
- Parker 2004; Parker 2005.
- Lehmann 1987, p. 18: "Jean Ross, whom [Isherwood] had met in Berlin as one of his fellow-lodgers in the Nollendorfstrasse for a time, when she was earning her living as a (not very remarkable) singer in a second-rate cabaret."
- Lehmann 1987, p. 18.
- Parker 2005, p. 220.
- Isherwood 1963, p. 25, Goodbye to Berlin.
- Spender 1993, p. 74.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 10–11.
- Isherwood 1976, p. 63: "Jean never tried to seduce him [Isherwood]. But I remember a rainy, depressing afternoon when she remarked, 'What a pity we can't make love, there's nothing else to do,' and he agreed that it was and there wasn't".
- Isherwood 1976, p. 63: "On at least one occasion, because of some financial or housing emergency, they [Isherwood and Ross] shared a bed without the least embarrassment. Jean knew Otto and Christopher's other sex mates but showed no desire to share them, although he wouldn't have really minded".
- Izzo 2005, p. 6; Vidal 1976.
- Frost 2013; Gallagher 2014; Thomson 2005; Parker 2005, p. 220.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 244–245; Gallagher 2014; Thomson 2005.
- Lehmann 1987, pp. 28–9; Gallagher 2014.
- Izzo 2005, p. 144: "The abortion is a turning point in the narrator's relationship with Sally and also in his relationship to Berlin and to his writing".
- Parker 2005, p. 221: "Isherwood recognized that he could not remain in Berlin much longer and on April 5, the day measures were brought in to ban Jews from the teaching professions and the Civil Service, he arrived back in London, bringing with him many of his possessions."
- Farina 2013, p. 79.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 100–101; Croft 1989, p. 156; Firchow 2008, p. 120.
- Williams 1996, p. 265; Fyrth 1999; Whaley 1969, p. 44.
- Hogenkamp 1986, p. 119.
- Hutchings 2008, p. 122.
- Forbes 2011, pp. 206–19.
- Croft 1989, p. 156; Firchow 2008, p. 120.
- Caudwell 1986, pp. 28–29.
- Izzo 2005, p. 144: "Sally's attractiveness is also diminished by two anti-Semitic remarks she makes, which are omitted in all the postwar adaptations".
- Isherwood 1998, p. 45: "This job at the Lady Windermere only lasts another week. I got it through a man I met at the Eden Bar. But he's gone off to Vienna now. I must ring up the Ufa people again, I suppose. And then there's an awful old Jew who takes me out sometimes. He's always promising to get me a contract; but he only wants to sleep with me, the old swine."
- Vidal 1976.
- Hensher 2005.
- Fryer 1977, pp. 146–47.
- Isherwood 1998, p. 9.
- Isherwood 1963, p. 177, Goodbye to Berlin.
- Isherwood 1976, p. 63.
- Spender 1966, p. 122.
- Isherwood 1976, p. 2: "It was Berlin itself he was hungry to meet; the Berlin Wystan had promised him. To Christopher, Berlin meant Boys. At school, Christopher had fallen in love with many boys and had been yearningly romantic about them. At college he had at last managed to get into bed with one."
- Moss 1979.
- Firchow 2008, p. 120; Caudwell 1986.
- Isherwood 1976, pp. 124–125; Doyle 2013.
- Allen 2004.
- Parker 2005, p. 192.
- Parker 2005, p. 206.
- Parker 2004.
- Van Druten 1983, p. 6.
- Parker 2005, p. 175.
- Isherwood 1963, pp. 206–207, Goodbye to Berlin.
- Parker 2005, p. 167: "He was principally heterosexual, but he enjoyed sex wherever he found it and was easily aroused by Isherwood's physical infatuation with him."
- Parker 2005, p. 167.
- Parker 2005, pp. 167–168.
- Parker 2005, p. 208.
- Parker 2005, p. 186.
- Parker 2005, p. 218: As the Nazis seized power, Gisa Soleweitschick "left Berlin to continue her studies in Paris".
- Parker 2005, p. 220; Thomson 2005.
- Bergfelder 2007, p. 47; Bock & Bergfelder 2009, pp. 495–496.
- Thomson 2005; Parker 2005, p. 220.
- Bergfelder 2007, p. 47.
- Izzo 2005, p. 30; Fryer 1993; MacLean 2014.
- Parker 2005, pp. 191–192: "Although married, Blomshield was entirely homosexual and had the sort of unlimited funds that enabled him to enjoy the city in a way Isherwood never could. He was also generous, and decided that Isherwood, Spender and Jean Ross should be given a taste of the high life. 'He altered our lives for about a week,' Spender recalled—a week Isherwood re-created in Goodbye to Berlin, where Blomshield inspired the character of Clive, the rich young man who takes up, treats and then unceremoniously dumps Chris and Sally."
- Isherwood 1976, p. 84: "... the American thrilled them by inviting them to come with him to the States and then dashed their hopes by leaving Berlin abruptly, without saying goodbye."
- Parker 2005, pp. 191–192; Fryer 1993; MacLean 2014.
- Izzo 2005, p. 30.
- Hartley 1939, p. 7.
- Spiro 2012, p. 244.
- Botto 2008.
- Spender 1977, p. 198.
- Johnstone 1975, pp. 33–34.
- Clarke 1988, Chapter 19.
- Allen, Brooke (19 December 2004). "Isherwood: The Uses of Narcissism". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
The real Isherwood, though not without many sympathetic qualities, was petty, selfish and supremely egotistical. The least political of the so-called Auden group, Isherwood was always guided by his personal motivations rather than by abstract ideas.
- Angus, Anne Margaret (6 May 1939). "Isherwood's Picture of Pre-Hitler Berlin". The Province (Saturday ed.). Vancouver, British Columbia. p. 52 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bergfelder, Tim (2007). "The Passenger: Ambivalences of National Identity and Masculinity in the Star Persona of Peter van Eyck". In Davidson, John E.; Hake, Sabine (eds.). Framing the Fifties: Cinema in a Divided Germany. New York City: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-84545-204-9 – via Google Books.
- Bock, Hans-Michael; Bergfelder, Tim, eds. (1 September 2009). The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. New York City: Berghahn Books. pp. 495–496. ISBN 978-1-57181-655-9 – via Google Books.
- Books: Fact and Fiction. Daily Herald (Thursday ed.). London. 2 March 1939. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com.
- Botto, Louis (28 May 2008). "Quotable Critics". Playbill. New York City. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2021 – via Internet Archive.
- Bowles, Paul (1985) . Without Stopping: An Autobiography. New Jersey: Ecco Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-88001-675-2. Retrieved 4 March 2021 – via Internet Archive.
- Caudwell, Sarah (3 October 1986). "Reply to Berlin". New Statesman. London. pp. 28–29.
- Clarke, Gerald (1988). Capote: A Biography. New York City: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-22811-0. Retrieved 2 July 2022 – via Google Books.
- Croft, Andy (December 1989). "Forward to the 1930s: The Literary Politics of Anamnesis". In Shaw, Christopher; Chase, Malcolm (eds.). The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia. Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester University Press. p. 156. ISBN 0-7190-2875-2 – via Google Books.
This side of Jean Ross' life is mentioned in John Sommerfield's The Imprinted (1977), where she appears as 'Jean Reynolds.' In this novel, she has been immortalised as Lucy Rivers in a novel by L.P. Davies titled A Woman of the Thirties. 'I realized that A Woman of the Thirties had been a misfortune for her; she had been fixed by the book, turned into a fictional character whose story ended in 1939.' She has an affair in The Imprinted with 'John Rackstraw' (based on John Cornford, a young Cambridge Communist with whom Sommerfield fought in Spain).
- Doyle, Rachel B. (12 April 2013). "Looking for Isherwood's Berlin". The New York Times. New York City. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
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