BJ. William Plomer


40. Alexander, Peter F. William Plomer: A Biography. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989.

By far the most detailed study of Plomer’s life and work. Chapter 7, ‘Japan, 1926-1929’, is based largely on Plomer’s accounts in Double Lives (10) and Van der Post’s in Yet Being Someone Other (38), but draws frequently as well on Plomer’s letters (see 27) and other unpublished materials, and interviews conducted in Tokyo with several of Plomer’s former students and a ninety-five-year-old but still vigorous Mori Katsue (see 7 and 10a). Includes details of Plomer’s relation with Blunden, Fukuzawa Morito (see 10c), Kirkup (see CA14c), Vines (Ap), and Waley (D26), and a detailed account of the development of Curlew River (18) based on the Plomer/Britten correspondence as the work was planned and developed (pp. 300-06). Notes a 1949 Foreign Office letter to Plomer inviting him to succeed Blunden as United Kingdom Cultural Attachè in Tokyo (p. 265; see also 27a3), and includes photographs of Mori in 1926 and Plomer with his students at Tokyo kôtôgakkô in 1928. Incorporates ‘A Study of the Origins of Britten’s Curlew River’ (Music and Letters 69/2 [1988]: 229-43).





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