Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Eve Babitz

photo Julian Wasser
I confess I had never heard of Eve Babitz until just recently. But I had seen this picture before, "Nude Considering Her Next Move", by Julian Wasser, Eve Babitz is the woman playing chess with Marcel Duchamp. She bowled over just about every man she met in Hollywood in the 1960s. Including Jim Morrison. Harrison Ford. Oh and of course Warren Beatty. Parents a Jewish violinist and an artist from Texas, Eve grew up in Hollywood, and has never really left it. Igor Stravinsky was her godfather. She graduated from Hollywood High and became, in her words, an adventuress. What distinguishes her from, eg, Edie Sedgwick, is that she wasn't daft enough to OD at 27. Nobody's fool, talented, witty, never pretentious or self-pitying, the woman can write. I am at present gloriously wallowing in "Eve's Hollywood", a book of very short autobiographical essays first published in 1972 and 1974. What a terrific broad she is. She doesn't write any more - she is in her 70s now - since a freak accident in 1997, in which the cigar she was smoking set fire to her skirt and burned two-thirds of her body. But she has written a lot, and she gets it like most never did. Here:

"The best capsule description of F. Scott Fitzgerald I ever read was a brief biography which began 'Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and died 44 years later in Hollywood.'"

Read Eve. I'm your fan, Eve.

No comments: