24 July, 2021

The Seduction Of Saeed

Thespian Saeed Jaffrey's autobiography is a sexual diary that reveals too much

The Seduction Of Saeed

THERE'S a difference between autobiography and extended diary, hard to define but one that you know when you see it. An autobiography is perhaps individual without being idiosyncratic; it speaks of experiences that have some meaning for the reader beyond their mere happening to the writer. Perhaps self-exploratory rather than self-celebratory, it's the telling of a life that goes beyond the narration of lived events.

This autobiography of Saeed Jaffrey will, of course, interest anyone thirsting to hear of all that happened to Saeed Jaffrey because it happened to him. But a reader not particularly interested in reading his personal diary stretched over 300 pages is likely to be disappointed. This book, sadly, is heavy on occurrences, but quite devoid of any meaning in them; a flat report, not a resonant story.

But here you have the man behind the act. Follow him if you like from one production to the next, and for a long while through the book, from one woman to the next. "Another Anglo-Indian girl blew into my life around...

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