The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Monday, April 24, 2006

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John Osborne seems to have treated his daughter as badly as most male writers seem to treat their daughters. What distinguishes his vile treatment of her is the extreme Britishness of form:
After [John Osborne] cast Nolan out, they never met or spoke again: in effect, they disowned each other. But when she was 23 and working in London, they literally bumped into each other in the street. By then, she was married and working at a publishing house opposite the Garrick club. It was quite late, the end of the working day, and pouring with rain.
She told me, 'I ran out the door putting up my umbrella, and I knocked into this man and said, 'Oh excuse me.' He didn't move, and I looked up and it was him. Then he looked at me and he just walked off in a different direction.' She was certain he recognised her? 'I'm sure he knew it was me.'
She related the story without emotion. Did it upset her at the time, perhaps? 'No, it didn't upset me. I just thought, how bloody obstinate. Why didn't he just move out of the way?'"
The British express their anger most easily by focusing it on manners. Note how she apologized with an "Oh excuse me" while blaming him for the collision. Also, note how Osborne's strongest act of renunciation was to remove her from his entry in Who's Who.