Search - List of Books by Arthur Crew Inman
Arthur Crew Inman (1895—1963) was a reclusive and unsuccessful American poet whose 17-million word diary, extending from 1919 to 1963, is one of the longest English language diaries on record. The Inman Diary, edited by Daniel Aaron, was published in 1985 by Harvard University Press. A paperback version was published by the Press in 1996.
Total Books: 5
Inman grew up in Atlanta and may have had a mental breakdown at 21. He moved to Boston, where he became increasingly obsessed with his health. He lived for much of his life in dark, soundproofed apartments. Having inherited wealth, he was able to cater to his hypochondria and other eccentric ways, as well as afford servants and people hired specially to come and talk to him. His wife, Evelyn, appears to have accepted that he would have sex with some of these so-called 'talkers'. He attempted suicide on several occasions, and finally succeeded with a revolver in 1963 after the amplified noise from the construction of the Prudential Tower near his apartment became unbearable. Anthony Peake, in his book, The Daemon: A Guide to Your Extraordinary Secret Self suggests that Inman may have suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy and that Inman may have been experiencing aspects of reality that the normal brain filters out.
Inman was obsessive about his diaries, which he hoped would bring him immortality. Following his death, the 155 volumes of the diary remained mostly unpublished. In 1985, Harvard professor of English and American literature Daniel Aaron painstakingly put together and published a two-volume abridged edition.
Inman's diary is not only considered unique by some but has been called 'the most remarkable diary ever published by an American'. Through its many volumes, Inman provides a panoramic record of people, events, and observations from more than four decades of the twentieth century.
Camera Obscura, a play by Lorenzo DeStefano based on the diary, was produced at Seattle Repertory Theatre (2001) and at London's Almeida Theatre (2002), both productions helmed by English director Jonathan Miller.
The Inman Diaries, an opera by Thomas Oboe Lee, based on the diary and on DeStefano's play, was commissioned and produced by Intermezzo - The New England Chamber Opera Series. Its world premiere took place in Boston in September, 2007.
Lorenzo DeStefano's film version, Hypergraphia, starring John Hurt, is in active development.