Friday, May 8, 2009

Louise Brooks via a new Chaplin biography

There is a new book on Charlie Chaplin called Chaplin: A Life (Arcade). The book is by Stephen Weissman, M.D. What sets it apart from the many other Chaplin books is that this new work is a psychoanalytical study of the Little Tramp. And as with all new books on silent film subjects, the first thing I check is whether or not Louise Brooks is included. I think of it as a "Lulu-litmus test."



Chaplin: A Life passed the test. Some two or three paragraphs are given over to the Summer long affair Chaplin and Brooks had in 1925. And of course, Weissman recounts the iodine penis painting incident, something also detailed in the Barry Paris biography. [ The incident, and mention of Louise Brooks, are also referenced on an archived radio interview with Weissman on the Diane Rehm show, which can be heard atwamu.org/programs/dr/09/01/12.php#24475. That show originally aired on January 12, 2009. ]

Well, anyways, its a book worth checking out. I wrote a piece about it and the author's upcoming appearance in San Francisco for examiner.com. My article can be found at www.examiner.com/x-7605-SF-Silent-Film-Examiner~y2009m5d8-Chaplin-biographer-to-speak-in-San-Francisco  Please give it a read as well. 

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