I discovered hollywood babylon as a teenager rummaging through my father's bookshelves looking for books to steal. After a quick perusal of the books, the pictures alone led me to scoop both volumes up for my own. They have piqued my interest over and over again throughout the years, and I still have my father's old copies in my possession to this day (I don't think he ever noticed they were missing?). They've led me to seek out and read several full biographies on some of his subjects - Jean Harlow, Tallulah Bankhead, Marilyn Monroe, Mabel Normand, Mae West, Joan Crawford..
What I find so enchanting about the hollywood babylon books is that they are truly works from the heart. Alongside the sensationalist, sordid bent (which I also love), Anger has a deep respect and honest love for the glamour and magic of hollywood's golden era. The book is not a mere work of research, but the showcase of a personal collection. Anger gathered his tales throughout his youth, clipping stories and scandals from the local papers, oftentimes as they occurred, and carefully preserving them, a beloved scrapbook.
|sensationalist bio paperbacks (my own)|
|a very choice layout from hollybab 2|
Check out this youtube about Hollywood Babylon ! Most of it is garbage ( the parts that depict stories from the books), but the interview snippets w/Kenneth Anger are just delightful!