Henry Giardina at The New York Times:
In 1956, Christopher Isherwood wrote from Cheshire, England, to his partner, the artist Don Bachardy. It is the first entry in a 14-year correspondence: a brief, eccentric document that mentions, in a short space, Alexander Korda’s memorial service, incest between two cats and Courbet’s “Diligence in the Snow.”
“I think about you all the time,” he writes in closing, “and about times I might have been kinder and more understanding, and I make many resolutions for the future — some of which I hope I’ll keep.”
Their relationship began on Valentine’s Day of 1953 and was in an important sense defined by its many periods of separation. The world of the letters lived inside the broader, coded world of midcentury homosexuality. Within it, Isherwood and Bachardy were able to express themselves through a more personal kind of code, in what would become the prolonged metaphor of the Animals.