Outsider by Brian Sewell
Almost Always, Never Quite

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Awful as he no doubt is, his memoirs are tremendously enjoyable. He has never written with more haughty, scabrous bathos as here, and never writes better than in telling some much-honed anecdote of bad sexual behaviour.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Outsider is the life of a child, boy, adolescent, student and young man in London between the Great Depression of the 30s and the sudden prosperity and social changes of the 60s, affected by the moral attitudes of the day, by the Blitz, post-war austerity and the new freedoms of the later 50s that were resisted with such obstinacy by the old regime. It is about education in the almost forgotten sense of the pursuit of learning for its own sake. It is about the imposed experiences of school and National Service and the chosen experience of being a student at the Courtauld Institute under Johannes Wilde and Anthony Blunt. It is about sex, pre-pubertal, in adolescence and in early adulthood, and the price to be paid for it. It is about art and the art market in the turbulent years of its change from the pursuit of well-connected gentleman to the professional occupation of experts.
 

About Brian Sewell

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Brian Sewell was born in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England on July 15, 1931. He received a degree in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He worked at the auctioneers Christie's before becoming a freelance art adviser in 1966. He wrote columns for the Tatler then became the art critic for the Evening Standard. He also worked as a broadcaster for Any Questions and Question Time. He also appeared in the six-part series The Naked Pilgrim: The Road to Santiago, Brian Sewell's Grand Tour of Italy, and Dirty Dalí: A Private View. He wrote several books during his lifetime including The Reviews That Caused the Rumpus, Outsider, Outsider II, Sleeping with Dogs, and The White Umbrella. He died on September 19, 2015 at the age of 84.
 
Published September 16, 2012 by Quartet Books. 367 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment.
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Philip Hensher on Oct 31 2012

Awful as he no doubt is, his memoirs are tremendously enjoyable. He has never written with more haughty, scabrous bathos as here, and never writes better than in telling some much-honed anecdote of bad sexual behaviour.

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