Sad news. Simon Gray, the playwright and memoirist, has died. Just last month I read the latest, and, I suppose, final installment of The Smoking Diaries, a wonderful, funny, poignant set of memoirs that I recommend without the slightest reservation. More importantly, sad because he was one of my father's oldest friends from Cambridge days way back when. Not many of them left. Booze and tobacco and all that.
Understandably Gray rather disapproved of the notion that his memoirs may outlive his plays, but that's the nature of the respective genres. But I can't think of a better thing to read in what remains of this dismal summer than Simon Gray's diaries. For once the old saw that "you'll laugh, you'll cry..." is apposite.