Zanies: The World's Greatest Eccentrics
M. Evans, 13 févr. 1982 - 486 pages
Here is a catalog of eccentrics--the men and women who broke the mold and give us a glimpse of inspired flakiness, a peek at the outrageous. Their unswerving dedication to outlandish desires, their flamboyant disdain of the acceptable, these people chose to shock and horrify—or delight—you and me.
Read about Salvador Dalí 's abnormal childhood and astonishing courtship of his wife. Then there's Jeremy Bentham who insisted that everything and everybody should serve a useful purpose, including the dead. He suggested embalming the bodies of family members and erecting these mummies in the driveway instead of trees, so that children would have the benefit of viewing their relatives every day.
Be glad you never met the well-born Aleister Crowley, who filed his front teeth to razor points and bit young ladies' hands as he ceremoniously introduced himself. He also wrote hymns for the Anglican Church. And of course, there's W.C. Fields who tried to have the local golf course declared a health hazard because he never won a game there; Sarah Bernhardt's creepy fascination with watching the butchering of animals in stockyards; Clara Bow's sexual stamina; the poor little rich girls Barbara Hutton and Doris Duke; the bewildering Howard Hughes and many more.
Jay Robert Nash has stirred a witches' brew of the shocking, scandalous, and sinister. Written in anecdotal style and arranged alphabetically, the stories reveal the most provocative highlights of these larger-than-life legends.