Greater Feast of Sebastian Horsley
It's only yesterday that I was reading a witty and engaging new article by Sebastian Horsley in the latest issue of The Chap magazine. And today, I read that he has celebrated his Greater Feast at just 47 years of age.
Toby Young has written an excellent piece about Sebastian for the Daily Telegraph:
Sebastian Horsley has died
By Toby Young
I’ve just heard the news that my friend Sebastian Horsley has died. I didn’t believe it at first because the news comes just two days after the debut of Dandy in the Underworld, a one-man show based on his life at the Soho Theatre. Sebastian once tried to crucify himself in the name of art and faking his own death in order to publicise the play would be entirely in character. But I’ve just spoken to Tim Fountain, the author of the play, who confirmed that it’s true. Tim told me the police are in the process of removing Sebastian’s body from his Soho flat where he was discovered earlier today.
I’m still reeling from the shock. I’ve met a few Soho characters in my day and most of them were drunken bores. Not Sebastian. He styled himself an artist, but his true genius was for conversation. Aphorisms and one-liners came pouring out of his mouth like gusts of fresh air, blowing away received wisdom and herd opinion like so many cobwebs. He was steeped in the works of Oscar Wilde, but could just as easily quote Balzac or Flaubert. I never spent an evening with him without having to write down something he’d said immediately afterwards.
I have no doubt his death was an accident. As Tim said, if it had been suicide Sebastian would not have passed up the opportunity to write a note. He was only 47 and it’s a tragic loss of life, but he was lucky in two respects.
First, the play, which he saw on the last night of his life, is a triumph. The script is a distillation of Sebastian’s wit and the actor playing him, Milo Twomey, manages to strike just the right balance between charm and vulnerability.
But more importantly, Sebastian left a lasting memorial to himself in the form of Dandy in the Underworld, a ferociously entertaining, beautifully written book. Whenever I miss him, which I surely will, I will only have to dip into his book to remind myself what a brilliant, original person he was.
Owner and Editor
Flicking through my mother in law's copy of the Daily Mail this morning, after the normal headlines about "Terrorist and womaniser" [or Nelson Mandela, to you and me] I spotted a remarkably positive piece on Sebastian's death. Maybe there's hope for the mail yet?
Thanks for the pointer. The article (and very good it is, too) is here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1287413/Sebastian-Horsley-dead-suspected-overdose.html
Owner and Editor