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Germs

by Richard Wollheim

Biography / Autobiography

LoveReading View on Germs

A must-read memoir of childhood like no other.  Where to begin?  First, it was sadly published posthumously, he died in 2003, so we will tragically never get the next slice.  Second, it’s the journey from childhood into youth of a renowned professor of philosophy and as such exquisitely written.  Third, it’s a fascinating period, 1923 on.  Fourth, he is the product of a German born impresario and a brainless, obsessive English showgirl whom he despised as he grows up in suburban Surrey during the 20s and 30s.  Fifth, divided into three sections, with the middle one a family history, it is unique.  With amazing reactions to the world around him, a tremendous gift for observing the minutiae of life and a most pleasant pedantic style, this unusual memoir is not to be missed.  Germs: origin or beginning (Chambers Dictionary).

Sarah Broadhurst

Germs Synopsis

The son of affluent parents – a distant, dandified impresario father he revered; a beautiful, mindless ‘Gaiety Girl’ mother he came to regret loathing – Richard Wollheim grew up in the English suburbia of the 1920s and 1930s. Germs is his account of those years. It is a book like no other; a remarkable exploration of childhood by one of the English-speaking world’s most distinguished postwar thinkers.

Germs Press Reviews

'A frighteningly good memoir'
Andrew O'Hagan London Review of Books
 
'Germs is not only elegantly written; it is a human document of considerable power and importance'
John Armstrong Independent


‘A masterpiece – an unclassifiable work of startling originality in which the acutely sensual and confusedly cerebral experience of infancy, boyhood and adolescence is brilliantly recreated’
Spectator


'Wollheim's powers of description astound...Because of the intensity with which a remarkable man has offered us a view of his inner self, I doubt whether anyone who has read it will forget it'
Diana Athill Literary Review


'Pungently truthful, complex and original'
Alan Hollinghurst Guardian

 

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780552773140
Publication date: 04/07/2005
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780552773140
Publication date: 4th July 2005
Author: Richard Wollheim
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Genres: Biography / Autobiography,
Categories:

About Richard Wollheim

Richard Wollheim was born in London in 1923 and educated at Westminster School and Balliol College, Oxford. He served in the army during the Second World War, seeing action in France and Germany. From 1949, Wollheim taught philosophy at University College London, becoming, in 1963, Grote Professor of Mind and Logic. He retired from UCL in 1982, and from then until 1985 was Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. Between 1985 and 2003 he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and, from 1989 until 1996, he was also Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of California, Davis. Wollheim was married twice – to Anne ...

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