The Living Proof
Cyril Entwistle, Yorkshireman, womaniser, egoist, world-class liar, of late controversial BBC talking head on almost any topic, has long been the Grand Old Man of British Art. And now he has chosen Stan Kops to write his biography. Kops, born in Brooklyn, an academic who once tried his hand at pornography, has earned an international reputation as the biographer of long-dead British artists, the likes of Hogarth, Millais and Turner. Our narrator is Robin Sinclair, whose mother was once Entwistle's mistress and model during the artist's most prolific period Sinclair, moreover, has known Kops for more than forty years. All three of them have been bewitched by the beautiful and sensuous Saskia Tarnopol. In Sinclair's telling and via his sometimes unreliable testimony, we follow the intersection of these lives back and forth over decades. In The Living Proof Alan Isler achieves once more his unique blend of comedy and tragedy as he explores questions having to do with the dependability of so-called facts and truths as they are recorded in memory, history and biography. And in doing so, he has produced a rich trans-Atlantic social satire.