Talk:Paul Bowles

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Added Points in Time[edit]

I have added Points in Time under short stories, although Miscellaneous might be more appropriate. It certainly is not a novel, though it was so described when it was first published.Chris k 17:29, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Without Stopping reference[edit]

[JoshMahar:] In the opening section entitled "Youth and Childhood" there is a reference in the last line to his starting of writing "Without Stopping". I was wondering if this was true since this is his autobiography and not published until 1972. Perhaps it is suppose to be Sheltering Sky?

Josh:

That is a bit of a puzzle. I have to refresh my memory; it may be that the "Without Stopping" referred to is not the same book, since I believe I remember reading that Bowles re-used one title (and perhaps didn't publish the first book he applied it to?). In any case, it can't be The Sheltering Sky, which could not have been begun at that time.Chris k 03:00, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I have now clarified the reference to "Without Stopping" and removed the characterization as a "mature work," since it was never finished. I have also corrected the year of Bowles's final departure from the University of Virginia to 1931. These corrections are based on Sawyer-Lauçanno's biography, Invisible Spectator.Chris k 17:09, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Article protected[edit]

I've just protected this article and a few other related articles as per the mediation process going on at User:FayssalF/JK. Thanks for your understanding. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 15:40, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Link added by User:PiCo[edit]

The link to an article from a paper of record The indpendent , London was in fact added by User:PiCo Opiumjones 23 (talk) 01:51, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The proper procedure is to link it directly without using a partisan reference. If there is no direct link then try to use a reliable third party as a source. Anyway, this article is on Paul Bowles and not Mohamed Hamri. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 13:50, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

What's it all about?[edit]

I wandered into the middle of this war by accident. I like Bowles' writing. I was surprised to find that the article is caught up in a battle, spread over multiple fronts (the most active area is in the Master Musicians of Joujouka/Jajouka, tho I don't quite know why), involving user:BKLisenbee ( I think) on one side and apparently half the known Tangerino world on the other. And Fayssal plays the role of UN. Anyway, I never would have known of the existence of Joe Ambrose and Frank Rynne if it hadn't been for this little war. Who the hell, I wondered, is Frank Rynne? I googled him and came up with an interview involving him and Joe Ambrose. Both, from their bios, sound a bit dippy. But when you start reading, they come across as intelligent and reasonably balanced individuals, for musicians. But to the main poin t: apparently Ambrose/Rynne have been saying things about Paul Bowles that user:BKLisenbee doesn't like. user:BKLisenbee is the (or just "a") caretaker of the Offical Paul Bowles Website (it's in the External Links). And I'm not surprised he doesn't like what R/A say about PB. Like this: "He was a murderer, a sadist, a voyeur, a poisoner, a polymath, a sexual exploiter of adolescent boys. He tried to kill Hamri once. Most entertaining company." As this suggests, R/A actually to admire PB - but not without reserve. They see a wart or two. Whether the warts were there or not I have no idea. But user:BKLisenbee sees no warts. And that's the essence of the edit dispute, and I think Fayssel has his work cut out. PiCo (talk) 03:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Bisexual[edit]

Reading through the article, one gets the impression that he was a straight man (he was married, to a woman) who happened to have some gay friends. Who doesn't? Then we see the categories Gay writers, Gay composers etc etc. So, if he was indeed gay, let's have some information about that. It's misleading as it stands because the details of his marriage are all there but there's nothing about his other side, so any reasonable reader would come to the wrong conclusion about him. -- JackofOz (talk) 07:59, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

That is because the Estate of Paul Bowles have had the webmaster of their official website sitting on this page since 2005, editing any info they disliked and removing all gay refs see User:BKLisenbee's edits in the history. You are welcome to try bring some truth to this page Opiumjones 23 (talk) 20:14, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I haven't trawled through all the relevant edits back to 2005, but as far as I can tell it's been a very long time, if ever, since we've mentioned anything at all about his sexuality in the body of the article. There was a link that talked about his predatory habits with Moroccan boys, which was removed, maybe for good reason (its veracity was disputed). But that seems to be all. If I missed anything pertinent, let me know. The LGBT categories started appearing, but without any supporting evidence, which in itself is a no-no, so we can't just point the finger in one direction if any finger-pointing's to be done. What I've gleaned about Bowles from other reading tells me he was at the least bisexual, and possibly exclusively homosexual and used his wife as a "beard", so it's appropriate to make some mention of this as long as it's properly cited. But we can't have what we have now and have had for a long time: categorisation without explanation. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:33, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I've added some brief words taken from the Bowles official site to explain the nature of the marriage. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Those lines you added are very conceited way of saying that they married but were both gay . The truth is more interesting told as it was. Opiumjones 23 (talk) 22:10, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, this says they were both gay, as do various other sources. If the "truth" you refer to is that they were both bisexual, we need to state that explicitly. We can't have him in an LGBT category without saying something about why that category is relevant to him. I'm sorry if you thought my post was conceited - it was taken directly from the official site. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry Jack, I did not mean that you were conceited but rather that the info from the official Paul Bowles Estate site was. As to the Cats they are recent and seem to be changing. Perhaps a Cat Gay/Married that would apply to a few pages no doubt. Opiumjones 23 (talk) 23:53, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Ignorant readers would assume only that just because someone was married they where straight. Reasonable readers would not. Hyacinth (talk) 23:32, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
That could start the great debate. What defines ignorant (a pejorative term in this case)and reasonable(in this case what is that?)The Paul Bowles official site is not a good source either by Wiki standards or given the POV edits of its webmaster as User:BKLisenbee and his socks on this site? Perhaps independent sources like Michelle Green's book should be used? She has great insights and information Opiumjones 23 (talk) 23:47, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh, come on, Hyacinth. Would a reasonable reader read the articles on George W Bush, Winston Churchill, Paul McCartney, Pablo Picasso or any number of others, and form the conclusion that they were, or may have been, anything other than straight? I hardly think so. There would have to be something in the article that gives the reader that impression. Until yesterday, there was nothing in Paul Bowles article that gave the impression he was anything other than straight. (Having stacks of gay friends and associates doesn't make you gay.) Except for the LGBT categories, which many readers don't even read. A reasonable reader who did scan the categories would ask themselves "Hmm, I wonder why Wikipedia is classifying him as gay, when they say nothing about this in the article. Moroever, everything they do say, in particular the fact that he was married, led me to believe he was straight". I'm simply putting myself in the readers' shoes, as any decent writer does, and as we all here at WP should do. -- JackofOz (talk) 00:00, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Well he was gay and there is tons of secondary sources that ref that. He also hated being viewed as such, hence his Estate's websites paulbowles.org's equivocation. His marriage is the subject of debate by biographers. Jane also had lesbian relationships , the main one with a Moroccan woman. There is speculation that this may have been a direct reaction to her husband's relationships with young Moroccan men.Opiumjones 23 (talk) 00:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

C'mon Jack! Instead of making standards stuff up, quote some Wikipedia policies and find some sources on Bowles. Does Wikipedia have standards for the inclusion of LGBT categories in biography articles that indicate he should currently be left out? ("out" of the category, "in" the closet)

I would be willing to assume that a reader is not familiar with Bowles sexuality. I don't assume all our readers are blindingly heterosexist, is there a Wikipedia policy or guideline indicating we should do so?

If there are tons of secondary sources referencing Bowles sexuality they should be easy to find either way and this argument should have been short lived. (Lastly, homophobes, that's who may try not to have gay friends) Hyacinth (talk) 01:24, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I fear you may have misconstrued what I'm saying. I am not for a moment denying Bowles was gay. Nor am I attempting to remove anything about his sexuality from the article. The very opposite, in fact. What I'm trying to do is ensure that, when we put someone into Category X, there's some information in the article that makes it clear why they're in Category X. Can you imagine putting someone into the category Opera singers from Peru but making no mention of opera in their article? Well, that was the analagous situation with Bowles's article until I did something about it yesterday. We have to write for readers who've never even heard of Bowles before, not for readers who've researched his life or written books about him or know more than we do about him. It has nothing to do with anyone being heterosexist or any other kind of -ist. It has to do with common sense and not creating confusion in readers' minds. And it has to with Wikipedia's credibility and reputation, something very dear to my heart.-- JackofOz (talk) 06:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
It's a reasonable bet that the average male Western visitor to Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia between, say, 1880 and 1980 was not there for the cous-cous. Nor the kus-kus. (I've been longing to make that joke). Ok, so let's exculpate Matisse and a few others. But Bowles and Co (that means assorted American millionaires in publishing, British aqnd American dramatists and drama-queens, and artists with bars) were voluminous letter-writers and diarists and memoiristes, and the evidence is all there. But to get it, you have to visit a "library" (gasp) and get a "book" (shock). Start with a biography or two. But if you don't want to go to the trouble of (horror) reading, try this.
Some second thoughts: Bowles is famous only for his writing and, to a lesser extent, music. His sexuality should only be mentioned insofar as it directly connects with his achievement. Since many of his short stories have homosexual themes, and since much of his fostering of talented young Moroccan musicians and writers had a sexual component (or at least tinge), it does. But the link is essential if the mention is to be justified.PiCo (talk) 13:54, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm afraid I have no idea what it is I'm supposed to be "getting". The link you provided gave me no more information about his sexuality than I was already aware of. There's no disagreement about the facts, only about whether we can say anything about his sexuality in the article, and if so, what. You talk of justification; fair enough. But if we can't justify saying anything about it, how can we justify making him LGBT? Conversely, if we can justify categorising him as LGBT, that must mean we can justify talking about it in the text. That's been my goal all along. Does nobody understand where I'm coming from? -- JackofOz (talk) 23:15, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

If you follow the category up to Category:LGBT people one finds a box which reads: "This category may inappropriately label persons. See Wikipedia:categorization of people for advice on how to apply categorization to articles relating to people." Hyacinth (talk) 00:19, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:categorization of people says: "The article must state the facts that result in the use of the category...Category tags regarding religious beliefs and sexual preference should not be used unless two criteria are met: (1) The subject publicly self-identifies with the belief or preference in question; (2) The subject's beliefs or sexual preferences are relevant to the subject's notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources." Bowles and the article meet none of these criteria - the article doesn't mention his sexuality, and he never self-identified as homosexual. It would be possible to add a few paras discussing his short stories and the gay themes they contain - sometimes quite explicit - but at the moment there's not even enough here even to establish that he was a notable writer. PiCo (talk) 02:25, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
The passage you quote refers to #Biographies of living people only. Hyacinth (talk) 02:38, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Categorization/Gender, race and sexuality. Hyacinth (talk) 02:40, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I've added a section on his achievement which should justify adding him to your category - User:BKLisenbee isn't going to like it, though.PiCo (talk) 09:38, 13 June 2008 (UTC)Macwoman (talk) 10:21, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

According to a recent Biography about Paul Bowles he was bisexual and not gay. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/books/31bowles.html

The composer Aaron Copland took him under his wing and helped his music career. Bowles was bisexual, and the two also had a sexual involvement.

Sheltering Sky - contents of Life section[edit]

I've added a paragraph about Sheltering Sky to the Early Years in Tangier subsection (part of the Life section). I want to note the publication of each major novel or collection of stories like this, as we go, as the come up in his life. The content should be quite restricted: the title and year of publication, it's reception by critics, it's impact on the public. For this one, I've drawn on the TIME magazine review that appeared at the time of publication - but far better would be to draw on whatever the biographers say. I've also said that it was a bestseller - but is it possible to say that it "stayed on the NYT bestseller list for X weeks"? I don't have the references to do this. PiCo (talk) 06:58, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Very good idea. It's looking very good, PiCo. What I've been thinking a lot about today is all the hassle that's been going on for years on this page - when all that time Paul's Bibliography wasn't even complete. I think I've added most of the rest today, but I think there may be more to come. Macwoman (talk) 10:13, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Development of Bowles page[edit]

Do you think it might be a good idea to create three new sections just before the "Achievements and Legacy" section and call them "Translation Works" and "Literary Criticism" and "The Music of Paul Bowles ? I'm not sure how to do this, but if you think it is a good idea then by all means go ahead and do it PiCo. One could then put the literary criticism into there away from the "Achievements and Legacy" section. I'm sure that I have a mountain of stuff already to talk about on these three topics, as I'm sure that you probably also have too and other editors as well Macwoman (talk) 07:30, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd suggest beginning by creating subsections with those headings within the Achievements and Legacy section. If they get long enough - more than, say, 3 paragraphs each - they can be made into sections.
Incidentally, I see the meaning of those terms as being:
  • Achievement: critical appraisal of his work by others (is this what you mean by "literary criticism"? I'm not aware that he did any criticism himself?) This isn't the same thing as the things reviewers wrote about his books in newspapers as they came out - that's critical reception, and goes in the Life section.
  • Legacy: things that have been done with his work by others - the Bertolucci movie, the contribution of his ethnomusicological work, and other things of that nature.
You have access to books, and I don't. I'd love to see you write from these resources. I'm a good editor (I say modestly), and will help you say things in the smallest number of words with the best phrases. PiCo (talk) 07:49, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, PiCo, you are a very good and proficient editor, and I must say that I have been very impressed with your recent edits, whereas I have not previously posted very much to Wiki in the past and a lot of the manoeuvring around the site is very new to me. I have a lot of referenced material on Paul Bowles (this Wiki can be addictive, I think) :-) and you are good at editing, so for a start, you and I can pool these talents to make this page really really good, PiCo and then other editors I'm sure will join in. I think that this is the spirit of Wiki - for people to pool their talents in research and editing to produce a good result, would you agree? There have been some terrible fracas between people in the past that I have reading about. Some people don't seem to realise that Wiki is not a competition to see who can be Top Dog but a collaborative effort between people who are qualified to edit and provide material. To me, that's the key. No single editor is in control of a page, although I have seen some people get carried away with their sense of their own importance. Wiki will be around when we're all gone from this planet. Please don't think that I am referring to you in my previous comments PiCo - I am just speaking in a general manner. I don't mind at all how the material I put up is moved around to be presented at its best on the page. I'm afraid this page will be under your daily watchful eye, as I am going back to Tangier in two weeks time and we don't want people trying to vandalise it.

Concerning "literary criticism" - what I was implying is if someone wants to give a quite brief description of a book, or magazine, or piece of music, a little bit like I mentioned about the 4 translations of the Borges short story, for lack of a better example to think of right now as I have been here for about 6 hours already and must go soon - or would that come under a different section? Legacy, that sounds fine to me. Achievement, is, obviously what Bowles achieved by his work i.e. writings, music, awards, etc. >I'd love to see you write from these resources. I'm afraid I have not had much encouragement in the past eight years due to a lot of unpleasantness from certain quarters. But if I can attune myself more fully to this task then I'm sure I can. You saw my work already? Later Macwoman (talk) 09:48, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi PiCo, There is a lot more music to add, so I thought to suggest (it's up to you, of course) that you might like to wait a couple of days till it's all up, before reformatting the music section. Do you think it might be an idea to separate the Music section into 3 parts, for example: "Compositions", "Recordings: LPs and CDs" and "Opera and Theater Music"? There is an awful lot of it yet to come. Bowles truly was a genius. Just an idea anyways, I'll leave that one with you to decide. Later Macwoman (talk) 14:04, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
If there's so much music that it looks like taking up most of the article, it might be better to make it into a list and put it on a separate page (i.e., a new article). Then we'd have a heading here "Music of Paul Bowles" with a link to that page. Add it here and we'll see what it looks like. PiCo (talk) 07:08, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Will do. Your suggestion on a separate page for the music is a good one, PiCo and makes good sense to me. Please give me a little time with this. I need to separate the compositions (time consuming and a bit more research for clarity) from the recordings (relatively easy). The plays, opera and ballets are already marked as such. I'll try to be as fast as I can :-) Macwoman (talk) 14:50, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Outline of the article (sections)[edit]

I've created some new subsections. The complete table of contents now runs: Life-Tangier-Music-Writing-Moroccan music and writers-Legacy (the actual wording is slightly different.) A lot still needs to be done to fill these in, but this is what I see as the contents of each:

  • Life: basic biography, including major book publications (but not all of them) and such landmarks as education, formative friendships, etc. But no analysis - that goes in the last section.
  • Tangier: PB as expatriate - why was Tangier important, why did he live there, how did it impact on his work.
  • Music: PB's own music, not his recording of Moroccan music.
  • Writing: The Life section will give a chronological picture of his writing, this will allow a thematic approach, probably with more detail.
  • Moroccan music and writing:About his encouragement of Moroccan writers and his collection of Moroccan music.
  • Legacy/assessment: Assesment of PB by academics and the better class of journalist. Also includes such things as the film of Sheltering Sky.PiCo (talk) 08:41, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Ideas?[edit]

Hi PiCo, Nice going. Good sections. Just two points: /Paul Bowles and Tangier/ and /Music/ and /Writing/ - the statements in all 3 sections need to be referenced. If we add unreferenced statements then everybody else will come along and do the same and it would then become an editor's nightmare. I know that you are very keen to have Bowles as an existentialist, but you must add verifiable, non rumorous or nonopinionated references. If they don't exist, then the edits must be removed. I removed one just 2 days ago about the subjects he was teaching in California - I found the ref in WS - nothing to do with existentialism. I don't want to keep removing your stuff, PiCo, but it all must be referenced. We are showing a Paul Bowles that most of the world is not even aware of. One editor made a comment which I removed where they added "oddly enough" before the statement on his teaching in California. Oddly enough, nothing. Those of us who are familiar with the work of Bowles find nothing odd in the depth of his works. It is to this high standard of editing that we aspire, PiCo - add God knows that this page has been deeply in need of it for quite a long time. What? only a sparse Bibliography in over 4 years? and the people who have been sitting on this page fighting with other editors ought to be ashamed of the fact. Here I go, PiCo. Sorry to go on about it, but I want to see a high page on Bowles, one that we can be proud of when we look over it, a complete page for people to see in the future. Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe everyone will be gay or existentialist - and who will give a damn if Bowles was or was not, one, both or either? There are some minor notes on that page already, and I personally would like to keep them minor but we are going to get people on this page in the future, and they will just want to blitz the whole page with unreferenced rhetoric. It's up to responsible editors like us to make sure that it doesn't happen - and I believe that the only way we can do that is to have a high standard for ourselves in the here and now. later. Bests Macwoman (talk) 11:03, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I changed the Music and Authors to a Bowles Moroccan Music and Bowles Translation of Moroccan Authors, PiCo. If we open this up these 2 sections as a general Moroccan Music and/or Authors, then there may be a re-run of the recent musicians problems on this page all over again. I personally don't want to see that happen. I think we should put back the references for the book The Sheltering Sky. It is important that all of his books and music works are referenced by publisher and date.Macwoman (talk) 13:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I wasn't aware that any reference to The Sheltering Sky had been removed - it must have been an accident. Feel free to put it back. As for the changes to the section titles, I don't see any need to add the word "Bowles'" to them - in an article on Paul Bowles, it should be obvious that any material has to have Bowles as its focus. On the material ion the new sections, at the moment it's just filler- something to take up space while waiting for the real content to arrive. The real content will certainly be referenced. Cheers PiCo (talk) 10:01, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This article is clearly B-class. However, it suffers from some content-related issues, and some WP:MOS-related issues, some of which might be readily fixable by editors working on it. Read my detailed review on the comments page; questions or comments can be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 15:03, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Spoilers[edit]

Can someone please eliminate the spoilers or put a spoiler warning in the section describing Bowles' The Sheltering Sky I am in the midst of reading this book and it was really irritating to have major plot points given away in the middle of a paragraph that starts with a description of the environment he wrote the book in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 143.229.181.157 (talk) 03:52, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Communist party member[edit]

I was astonished to learn recently that Bowles had been in the American Communist Party from 1938-40. Somebody undid my cat.-edit with the remark that Bowles had been a member only for a short time and had resigned. Well, the short time may be an argument against including him in the category (but are only long-time members true members?), but isn't he resigned an argument for his membership, not against it? And: it is interesting to know that Ralph Ellison had been a fierce propagandist for Stalin for a short time (though perhaps no party-member) in the late 1930s.--Radh (talk) 13:46, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed; ~2 years does not indicate some momentary whim. (Similarly, W. E. B. Du Bois was a member for ~2 years and is included in the cat.) Rostz (talk) 14:18, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

However, Bowles himself thought it absurd that he should be considered (or thought of) as a communist and it is hardly a major category for him since he is predominately considered a writer and composer. See interview with him: http://www.asshole.org/interview/indexe.htm Perhaps this category should be removed.

That's an offhand comment taken out of context. For a more serious treatment of his involvement, see [1]. Rostz (talk) 18:39, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Bowles always was obtuse, meddling, troublesome, incongruous and a troublemaker. Truth was not his forte. When Moroccan writers who he translated said he ripped them off he smeared them see [2] Catapla (talk) 00:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
"Bowles always was obtuse, meddling, troublesome, incongruous and a troublemaker." But apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play? PiCo (talk) 06:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Paul Bowles/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 15:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 02:24, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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