Thursday, 4 August 2011
Britain says "Goodbye" to an old 'northern' writer, once an 'angry young man', called Stan Barstow
Stan Barstow, who belonged to a generation of post Second World War 'working-class' writers and 'angry young men' in the late 1950's and early 1960's has died at the age of 83.
Things that you possbly didn't know about Alan, that he :
* Barstow was born in West Yorkshire where his father was a coalminer and said that 'there were no writers in the family,there were, in fact, few real readers.' said.
* left school in 1944, worked in a engineering firm , got married in 1951, settled into family life and remained in his job until his success with 'A Kind of Loving'in 1960 gave him the financial security he needed to become a full-time writer.
* saw his book adapted for the cinema in 1962, starring Alan Bates and June Ritchie with the late John Shlesinger directing his first film :
* unlike the writers Sillitoe and Storey, the 'Beatles' and other 'northern' successes of the 1960's, did not move south, though in the sequel to 'A Kind of Loving', 'The Watchers On the Shore' in 1966, Vic, the protagonist, left his wife for London bohemia.
* said, of his loyalty to the regionalism of the North, that "to hoe one's own row diligently, thus seeking out the universal in the particular, brings more worthwhile satisfaction than the frantic pursuit of a largely phony jet-age internationalism".
Obituary in the 'Washington Post' :
Little girl with Yorkshire accent familiar to Stan :
Yorkshire landscapes, food and language familiar to Stan :
As a 'Southerner' I met my first Yorkshireman, my old friend K.M., 46 years ago, when we were students living on the South Coast of England in Brighton. I remember, inside his old leather suitcase, he had a slab of 'parkin cake' and some bottled Tetley's Beer brought from home.
Here he is wearing his parka jacket, silk scarf and Buddy Holly glasses clowning around with an 'antique vase' with Eli and Malcolm outside the Glenside Hotel, where we stayed in Brighton and on the Univesity campus with Merfyn Jones and another student. Merfyn went on to become, some years later, the Vice Chancellor of Bangor University.
My post about Merfyn :