The Man Who Saw a Ghost: The Life and Work of Henry Fonda by Devin McKinney

By Devin McKinney

The 1st major biography of the enduring actor Henry Fonda, a narrative of stardom, manhood, and the yankee character.

Henry Fonda's performances--in The Grapes of Wrath, Young Mr. Lincoln, The girl Eve, 12 indignant Men, On Golden Pond--helped outline "American" within the 20th century.  He labored with motion picture masters from Ford and Sturges to Hitchcock and Leone. He was once a Broadway legend. He fought in international struggle II and used to be enjoyed internationally.

Yet a lot of his life used to be rage and struggle.  Why did Fonda marry 5 times--tempestuously to actress Margaret Sullavan, tragically to heiress Frances Brokaw, mom of Jane and Peter? used to be he a guy of integrity, important of the heroes he performed, or the cruel father his youngsters describe, the iceman who went onstage hours after his spouse killed herself? Why did suicide shadow his existence and artwork? What stories afflicted him so?

McKinney's Fonda is darkish, advanced, attention-grabbing, and a product of glamour and acclaim, early losses and Midwestern demons--a man haunted through what he'd noticeable, and via who he was once.

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So there we were, twelve people, thirteen counting myself, two ballads, a diving suit and three hamsters. You have to start somewhere. With, as it were, objects on a table. Commenting on the interpretation of dreams, Wittgenstein, in a conversation with some Cambridge students w h o took notes, is supposed to have said, *'Freud remarks on how, after the analysis of it, the dream appears so very logical. And of course it does. You could start with any of the objects on this table—which certainly are n o t p u t there through your dream activity— and you could find that they all could be connected in a pattern like t h a t ; and the patter n would be logical in the same w a y .

In Hollywood, in the 'fifties, I was automatically Sid, when n o t Sidley. But how, I wondered through most of my childhood, had I become a Sidney? Stan Brakhagc, in a 1973 lecture, remarks, " y o u could almost see him | m e ) as the little boy called 'Sidney'... 55 cursed as are all named S i d n e y . " I have no d o u b t of the truth of this statemen t although the precise n a t u r e of the curse escapes me. So h o w did I become a Sidney? I was named after my father, whose name was Siegfried before he changed it to Albert Sidney.

18-20) I suppose my view is that viewing awry can be an intellectual process as well as a visual surprise. I tend to take oblique views. Confronting confusion, I automatically eye it awry, and not always for the purpose of distinguishing form. There is a certain wry pleasure in adding to confusion. Anamorphosis works both ways. XV, Lyonses and Pharyaunce had the aduant garde. 1582-8 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 40 The gentillmen of the surname of Hamiltoun were on the Queenes avantguard. 1630 HAYWARD K .

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