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The Tightrope Walker / Hermine Demoriane

May 11, 2021



Seeker & Warburg Hardback  1989

This is a slight but beguiling book. Ostensibly about Hermione’s enthusiasm for walking on elevated ropes it actually provides a chronicle of London’s artistic set between April 1971 and March 1975. During this time Hermine was in an open marriage with the poet Hugo Williams and much of the book provides ample evidence of Hermine’s amours. Wandering predictably through the pages are Andrew Logan, Derek Jarman, Brian Eno, COUM, Allen Jones, The Moodies and a whole bunch of other luvvies. Less predictable is Hermine’s enthusiasm for Brinsley Schwarz, Dr Feelgood and Nick Kent  – indeed it is her professional and personal relationship with Nick that drew me to the book. Interspersed  with Hermine’s musings are a selection of writings and pictures on the history and cultural significance of tightrope walking. Educational but not as interesting as Nick Lowe having to playing two games of patience before he can face the day. If you were around during this period you are probably in the book and you’ll love it  – for the rest of us it is a period piece, a snapshot of when being a tightrope walker was enough to get you in The Times (even if you fell off a lot).


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