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Simon Gray (1) (1936–2008)

Autor(a) de The Smoking Diaries

Para outros autores com o nome Simon Gray, veja a página de desambiguação.

65+ Works 1,113 Membros 29 Reviews

About the Author

Playwright Simon Gray was born in Hayling Island, Hampshire, England on October 21, 1936. He received degrees from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and from Cambridge University. He has edited a literary review (like the characters in The Common Pursuit) and taught drama, mostrar mais poetry, and English literature in universities, both major and provincial. He has written 40 plays, television plays, and screenplays and five novels, and adapted Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot for the National Theatre. Some of his works include Butley, Otherwise Engaged, Quartermaine's Terms, The Smoking Diaries, The Year of the Jouncer, and The Last Cigarette. He died on August 6, 2008. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos


Obras de Simon Gray

The Smoking Diaries (2004) 199 cópias
Butley: A Play (1971) 129 cópias
Quartermaine's Terms (1981) 77 cópias
The Year of the Jouncer (2006) 66 cópias
The Last Cigarette (2008) 57 cópias
Fat Chance (1995) 57 cópias
The Common Pursuit. (1984) 45 cópias
Coda (2008) 45 cópias
Otherwise Engaged (1975) 43 cópias
A Month in the Country [1987 film] (1987) — Screenwriter — 27 cópias
Enter a Fox (2001) 26 cópias
Stage Struck (1979) 26 cópias
Hidden Laughter (1990) 17 cópias
The Complete Smoking Diaries (2013) 16 cópias
Plays, one (1986) 11 cópias
Life Support (1997) 9 cópias
Melon (Methuen Modern Play) (1987) 8 cópias
Little Portia (1967) 7 cópias
Definitive Simon Gray (1992) 7 cópias
Wise child (1968) 6 cópias
Close of Play (1979) 6 cópias
Molly (1979) 6 cópias
Breaking Hearts (1997) 6 cópias
Dog Days (Young Drama) (1976) 6 cópias
Simply Disconnected (1996) 5 cópias
Simon Gray: Plays (2010) 5 cópias
Spoiled (1971) 4 cópias
Cell Mates (1995) 4 cópias
Late Middle Classes, The (1999) 4 cópias
After Pilkington (1987) 3 cópias
The Early Diaries (2010) 3 cópias
The idiot (1971) 3 cópias
Simple people (1968) 2 cópias
Holy Terror (1993) 2 cópias
Pig in a Poke 2 cópias
Two Sundays 2 cópias
Simon Gray Plays 3 (2010) 1 exemplar(es)
Simon Gray Plays 2 (2010) 1 exemplar(es)
The definitive Simon Gray. 3 (1993) 1 exemplar(es)
Simon Gray : 2008 1 exemplar(es)
Simon Gray: Four Plays 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

The Pleasure of Reading (1992) — Contribuinte — 189 cópias
Granta 82: Life's Like That (2003) — Contribuinte — 146 cópias
Granta 93: God's Own Countries (2006) — Contribuinte — 135 cópias
Granta 91: Wish You Were Here (2005) — Contribuinte — 135 cópias
Granta 103: The Rise of the British Jihad (2008) — Contribuinte — 107 cópias
Best Plays of the Seventies (1980) — Contribuinte — 12 cópias
Butley [1974 film] (2013) — Autor — 9 cópias
Screen Two: They Never Slept (TV Episode, 1991) — Screenwriter — 2 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



The Smoking Diaries are memoirs in journal form rather than conventional diaries. And although for much of his life Simon Gray was a sixty-five a day man, they’re not really about smoking. His smoking is just constantly there, like the weather. Gray avoids the linear chronology of the diary, and most autobiography, and roams freely through time and place, words pouring out of him in endlessly digressive streams of consciousness. Events in the here and now trigger memories and past and present merge into one, each becoming aspects of the other. For Gray, as for all of us, the past is never over and never static, but constantly being relived and reshaped by the imagination.

He was the author of many excellent plays, in not a few of which there was a sardonic, impossibly sophisticated, irascible and self-destructive central character who, one suspected, was the author in disguise. The author hiding in plain sight is actually more like it: in Otherwise Engaged the main character is even called Simon. These four volumes might be viewed as dramatic monologues in which the authorial hero of the plays is liberated from the constraints of plot and allowed to wander at random through his own consciousness and history. Or perhaps they’re internal monologues of the kind one has during the insomniac night. Gray did in fact often write them in the small hours, simultaneously chain-smoking, or gorging himself with chocolate, and drinking a seemingly endless supply of Diet Coke (in earlier years, before these diaries begin, it was three bottles of champagne a day).

He writes about his addictions, infidelities, ageing, schooldays, declining health, family, departed friends and ailing friends, his theatrical successes and failures, and the modern world which he finds largely not to his taste. He is irritable, gloomy, vituperative, self-loathing, unsentimental, playful, regretful, defiant, and human all too human. He spares no one, least of all himself. At the start of the first book he describes himself, on his sixty-fifth birthday, as ‘belching, farting, dribbling, wheezing’, and that’s just Gray warming up.

He makes the actual process of writing part of the finished work, rewriting as he goes along, contradicting himself and commenting, usually disparagingly, on what he has written. Gradually though one begins to notice that all this randomness and spontaneity isn’t quite as random or spontaneous as it appears, and the streams of consciousness artfully arranged. Characters come into focus and narratives unfold in which vital information is strategically withheld in the classic West End or Broadway manner. For all their apparently freewheeling nature these diaries are unmistakably the work of a master theatrical craftsman of the old school.

I can’t believe I’ve got this far without mentioning how funny these books are: they are very funny indeed. There are many passages which are as funny as anything I have ever read. Despite his often sombre subject matter (never more so than in the final volume which deals with his terminal cancer and was published posthumously) reading Simon Gray is an exhilarating experience. The exhilarating comedy stemming in large measure from his vitality of language and the gleefully candid way in which he parades his faults and failings, indiscretions and misdemeanours. I’m resisting the temptation to quote as short extracts don’t do justice to this breathless and breathtaking avalanche of language in which single sentences often unwind over an entire page or more. There’s really no alternative to plunging in and allowing Gray to rattle around your brain in all his intemperate, anarchic, and ultimately life-affirming glory for the full 846 pages.
… (mais)
gpower61 | May 4, 2024 |
Faithful and honorable adaptation; delightful to watch those two golden boys Firth and Branagh finding their excellence.
JulieStielstra | Nov 11, 2023 |
Otherwise Engaged, Two Sundays, Plaintiffs and Defendants
DC_Theatre | 1 outra resenha | Oct 21, 2021 |
Arrgghhhhhhhhhhh!! Finally our hero has sex for the first time and...

It's a complete fucking cockup.

Or rather, even worse, it isn't. Quite the opposite if the truth be told. Truth? 'It's a novel' I say to Manny this morning. 'Ha. That's what they all say.'

I am truly shocked by the fact that not one review of this exists, not even a precis of the book or a picture of the cover on goodreads.

But grist to my mill, of course. The utterly pathetic you-all-should-be hanging-your-heads-in-shame-that-you-only-read-the-fashionable and that the period of 20-40 years before the present is always despised for NO GOOD REASON. Not even a bad reason.

More to come when I finish.

Finally updated here:
… (mais)
bringbackbooks | outras 2 resenhas | Jun 16, 2020 |



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