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The Andy Warhol Diaries Edited by Pat Hackett (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 4 Nov 2010
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Cruel, sexy, and sometimes heartbreaking ... Warhol is no neutral observer, but a character in his own right (Newsweek)
A guilty pleasure, famed for their celebrity anecdotes, their triviality, their lack of engagement...The 90s bestseller that no one admitted having read...In his diaries, as in much else, Warhol was way ahead of the game. (Nicola Barr The Observer)
Diaries are his last great work of art, and no less valuable for having been created with even less visible conscious intent than anything else he produced....There's something about them that makes you strongly suspect that editor Pat Hackett has done a very thorough and sympathetic job...There is much to surprise, though...Warhol was a more amusing person, and a more human one, than the mask and blond fright-wig might have let on. The deadpan are by no means immune to human feeling, after all. (Nicholas Lezard The Guardian)
About the Author
Andy Warhol, a painter and graphic artist, also produced a significant body of film work, including the famous Chelsea Girls. Equally well known in the late sixties and early seventies as resident in his studio, the Factory, Warhol died in New York in 1987.
Pat Hackett worked closely with Andy Warhol for twenty years, co-authoring two books and a screenplay as well as serving as his diarist.
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In his life featured the Who's Who of the famous and the infamous; he knew them all - gays, lesbians, drag queens fags and fairies.
Honest and churchgoing - "So we're at the dinner and they introduced me to the cardinal and he said, `I hear you have a nephew who's a priest,' and I said, `Oh, yes, but he just ran away with a Mexican nun.' And when I said that, Fred yanked me away and was screaming at me, how could I do that to the cardinal when he was half-gone (he had a stroke) and there were only twenty cardinals in the world, and why couldn't I have just said, `fine' and let it go ...' When the Cardinal left he rolled down the window of the car and said, Andy Warhol is such an honest person, he could have lied to me and said his nephew was fine, but instead he told me the truth and I love his art and I know he goes to church every Sunday.'
Funny - `I watched Tarzan on cable and Bo Derek is the worst actress in the world. She was eating a banana, and she couldn't even eat a banana. It was like she had no teeth.'
Used funny words like stinkeroo and smasheroo.
Preoccupied with young beautiful people and his own looks - `But tell me why it is that everybody is so good-looking now. In the fifties, there were the really good-looking people and then all the rest who weren't. Today, everybody is at least attractive. How did it happen? Is it because there's no wars to kill the beauties?'
`Oh, and I look so bad I need a facelift. Makeup doesn't do it, you still see the sunken cheeks and the neck - you can't hide the neck even with a turtleneck.'
Kind-hearted - he loved animals - apart from his own two dogs Amos and Archie who he deeply cared about he loved to take old bread and feed it to the doves. `It's freezing and the heat's not coming up, and I'm still having waterbug problems. I corner this one bug every night and then I can't bring myself to kill it. He's been eating my food for the past three years.'
`And I killed a roach and it was trauma. A very big trauma. I felt really terrible.'
Realistic - `I'm sick of the way I live, of all this junk, and always dragging more home. Just white walls and a clean floor, that's all I want. The only chic thing is to have nothing. I mean why do people own anything? It's really so stupid."
Generous - `Grace Jones pulled out a big wad of hundreds and was going to pay and then I said that I would (dinner $280).'
Philosopher - `I'm still looking for ideas. This fall it'll be a whole new look, new people. Because five years into the decade is when it really becomes a decade. The eighties - they'll be looking over all the people and picking the ones from the last five years that'll survive as the eighties people. It's when the people from the first five years will either become part of the future or part of the past.' (he said this one year before his own death - and he certainly became part of the future).
Insecure and scared - he needed a bodyguard or someone reliable to walk him home - `No no, I don't love my name so much. I always wanted to change it. When I was little I was going to take `Morningstar,' Andy Morningstar. I thought it was so beautiful. And I came so close to actually using it for my career. This was before the book, Marjorie Morningstar. I just liked the name, it was my favourite.'
On life and death - `Health is wealth. I broke something and realized I should break something once a week to remind me how fragile life is.'
`Really what is life about? You get sick and die. That's it. So you've just got to keep busy.'
Conclusion of the reader - I'm not gay, lesbian, a fairy or whatever, I'm strait - but oh Andy, I would have loved to be that special friend you could have relied on 24/7 that you have craved for all your life - rest in peace Andy `Morningstar' - you were a good soul.
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