Thomas Wiseman

Biografie şi Bibliografie

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Thomas Wiseman (Vienna, 1931) is British author, playwright and screenwriter.

Life

Thomas Wiseman (original name Alphons Weissmann) was born in Vienna in 1931, of Jewish parentage, and escaped to England with his mother in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of war. His father, an officer in the First World War, had arranged their escape with his contacts in high places, but he remained behind, believing he could rely on these "contacts" to protect him. In this he was ultimately to be proved mistaken, and he died in Buchenwald concentration camp. Elements of this story have feature in three of Wiseman's most highly regarded novels, The Quick and the Dead, Journey of A Man, The Time Before the War, and in his play The Dealer. After the end of the war Wiseman began his career in journalism, aged 16, on a London local newspaper, the West London Observer, where he did all the usual reporting and in addition wrote trenchant film, theatre and book reviews which got him banned from Press showings for the critics, but also brought him to the attention of Lord Beaverbrook. As a result he was hired by the London Evening Standard to write their showbiz column. Reviewing Wiseman's first novel, Czar, in the Sunday Times Frederic Raphael wrote: "Thomas Wiseman used to be the columnist the film companies wouldn't have on the set, so savage (and so right?) were his judgements. It was said that he was a dagger pointed at the industry." This novel drew heavily on Wiseman's knowledge of Hollywood and the film business and its commercial success enabled him to quit journalism and take up authorship full-time. His second novel, Journey of A Man, and his third novel, The Quick and the Dead, departed from showbusiness and focused on his family history, especially his father's activities in Vienna under the Nazis seeking to ransom Jews able to pay for their lives. The Quick and the Dead earned him his best reviews and a Jewish Chronicle Book Award. The TLS wrote of it: "...a harshly funny and effective study of Nazi self-delusion and atrocity...brilliantly achieved." For his next novel, The Romantic Englishwoman, Wiseman departed from the subject of war and Nazism and wrote a story of a novelist who describes in fictional form his wife's sexual encounter with a sponging self-styled poet in Baden-Baden, and the novelist's vivid imagination "begets the event". This novel was made into a film by Joe Losey, with screenplay by Wiseman and Tom Stoppard, starring Glenda Jackson as the wife, Michael Caine as the novelist and Helmut Berger as the poet. In his later works Wiseman returned again to WWII, achieving commercial successes with The Day Before Sunrise and Savage Day. With his most recent novel, Genius Jack, he reverted to again to the film business, and some critics have seen in his portrait of "genius Jack Strawley" certain aspects of Joe Losey.

In addition to his novels, Wiseman has written non-fiction works such as Cinema (a history) and The Money Motive, the psychoanalytical study of an obsession. He has also written two produced plays, The Private Prosecutor, put on at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957, and The Dealer.

His journalism included three years writing a weekly column on the arts for The Guardian.

He is married to Malou Pantera, a former actress, and has one son who is a senior lecturer in French studies at Durham University and is an authority on Claude Lévi-Strauss.

Works

Books

    Czar, 1965.
    Journey of A Man, 1967.
    The Quick and the Dead, 1969.
    The Romantic Englishwoman, 1971.
    The Day Before Sunrise, 1976.
    A Game of Secrets, 1979.
    Savage Day, 1981.
    Children of the Ruins, 1986.
    Labyrinth, 1991.
    The Time Before the War, 1993.
    Genius Jack, 1999.

Non-fiction:

    The Seven Deadly Sins of Hollywood, 1957.
    Cinema, 1964.
    The Money Motive, 1974.

Films

    The Romantic Englishwoman

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