Monday, April 30, 2012

Soho in the Fifties by Daniel Farson

In many ways this can be the companion book to Boris Vian's version of Paris,  Manual of Saint-Germain des Prés.  Writer, photographer and media TV host Daniel Farson takes us on a tour of Soho London circ. 1950's where a great deal of time was spent at local caffs (the British diner), bars, and restaurants.  it was pretty much the world of its most famous citizens the painter Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.  But the real star of the scene was photographer John Deakin, an outlandish personality at the time, who struck disgust, annoyance and in a funny way friendship among the local citizens of Soho.

Farson has a talent in capturing the boozy bohemia of those times, and sees Soho as the ultimate destination against boredom and restrictions.  More eccentric characters per block then perhaps anywhere else in the world, Soho is rich in music culture as well as literature.  I have already started a good size collection of books on Soho - and the reason I like it is because of the conservative nature of the world at the time, and the tension that these loons bring to their culture.  The edition I have was published in 1987, and its fully illustrated with photos by Farson, who had the talent or charm to capture these vibrant personalities doing what they do best - socializing and drinking.   Essential!

the only book devoted to John Deakin's work.  Essential find.

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