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American Prince: A Memoir by Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock

By Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock

"All my lifestyles I had one dream and that used to be to be within the movies."

He was once the Golden Boy of the Golden Age. A prince of the silver reveal. rushing and debonair, Tony Curtis arrived at the scene in a blaze of shiny lighting fixtures and celluloid. His beauty, tender attraction, and traditional expertise earned him repute, girls, and adulation--Elvis copied his glance and the Beatles placed him on their Sgt. Pepper album hide. however the Hollywood lifetime of his desires introduced either invincible highs and debilitating lows. Now, in his beautiful, no-holds-barred autobiography, Tony Curtis stocks the pain and ecstasy of a personal lifestyles within the public eye.

No easy tell-all, American Prince chronicles Hollywood in the course of its heyday. Curtis revisits his enormous physique of work--including the unforgettable classics Houdini, Spartacus, and a few love it Hot--and regales readers with tales of his institutions with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, director Billy Wilder, and picture heavyweight Lew Wasserman, in addition to paramours Natalie wooden and Marilyn Monroe, between others.

As forthright as he's mesmerizing, Tony Curtis bargains intimate glimpses into his succession of failed marriages (and the person who has endured), his damaging drug dependancy, and his ardour as a painter. Written with humor and style, American Prince is a testomony to the facility of residing the lifetime of one's desires.

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Miller echoes Martins appeal to "biographical contingency" w hen she remarks, "[not reading] the fiction with the autobiography is to rem ain prisoner of a canon that bars wom en from their own texts" (60). Others note that "the duplicitous and complicitous relationship of 'life' and 'a rt' in autobiographical modes [by women] is precisely the point" (Brodzki and Schenk 12). The fact that this new genre encourages new reading practices is obvious. However, the critical anxiety among feminists as to how to read for biographical contingency w ithout "essentializing" is palpable and real.

Ich konnte nur ueber den fruehen Brecht schreiben, und bevor ich an meine Geschichte ging, habe ich mich sehr genau in den fruehen Stuecken 53 Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. umgesehen, um den damaligen Brecht in seinen Gegensaetzlichkeiten zu packen. (GW HI 314) While her w ork from the 1920s was neither w ritten as autobiography, nor received as such by critics, an iterative, rum inative process resuscitates them autobiographically.

Sie hat naemlich im Steinickesaal heim Kuenstlerfasching Lion Feuchtwanger kennengelernt. Er for der t sie auf, ihm zu bringen, was sie geschrieben hat. Er nennt es E xpressionisum us und Krampf. ]. " Incidentally, this final incarnation of the memory evokes the emotional vulnerability of the 1929 story, and the topos is identical: at the well- known author's behest, the young w om an brings him her stories, and then bum s everything she had written. Viewing three versions of one incident m ay seem redundant or superficial, but Fleisser's writing practice is recursive to the point of self-erasure.

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