Thursday, October 22, 2020

Gloria Vizinczey Obituary


Gloria Vizinczey was the most brilliant and loveliest woman I have ever known.  Unlike many women who make sure that you know how smart they are, meeting her you would have no idea from her manner how intelligent and how well educated she was.  We have been together since 1962, for fifty-eight happy years. She was my editor, critic and researcher.  If you have read my reviews and essays and were stunned by the depth of knowledge and erudition, the credit should go to Gloria. When I reviewed for The Times and The Telegraph in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I read the book I was writing about and Gloria’s resumés of 15 – 20 books connected to the authors and their subjects were reprinted in major newspapers around the world. These reviews were printed in book form, Truth and Lies in Literature.  Collections of essays and reviews are notoriously poor sellers, but Truth and Lies in Literature sold a million copies around the world and used copies are still selling.

Gloria was a graduate of The University of Toronto, majoring in literature and foreign languages.  Quite apart from everything else, she was a linguistic genius.  She corrected even the French, German, Italian and Spanish translations of my books.  She could love without being blind to my faults.  One time when I said something very stupid, her daughter, Mary Harron, exasperated, asked me, “Stephen, how old are you?”  Gloria shot back, “He’s two and a half.”  Just the same, she helped me to believe in myself and my work.

Once I lectured a friend about women. He listened for an hour and then burst out, “You, you!  It’s easy for you to talk. You’ve got Gloria!”

If you comment on her death, forgive me if I don’t reply.  I’m cut up by her absence.

Gloria Vizinczey (1927, February 21st - 2020, October, 19th.)


T Barnard said...

So sorry to see this news. Gloria is was one of my favorites. Cheery and loving. Super-de-duper brilliant. She edited my novel, which helped it, whatever flaws it might have. It is horrible and frightening that all of that knowledge and love can suddenly disappear.

Eddy Roma said...

Dear Stephen:

In behalf of José Luis Perdomo Orellana, my brother Ronny and me, we want to express our condolences about the loss of your wife and companion, Gloria. José Luis remembers her as a person so full of shine, wit and understanding, and we hope you can carry on in spite of her absence. We send you our prayers and our closeness in this time of grief.

Unknown said...

Dear Stephen, I feel very sad for your loss of your wife and friend. Psrticularly since I just wrote you a comment today, on March 2017, on her birthday's post. Somehow I didn't see that you had posted other later things. Please forgive my mistake. And please believe that I share your sorrow, which I can perfectly imagine. There are no suitable words for this, Stephen, as no wishes are of any help. You live now in a new place in this radically different manner which is also part of life. May you find something there that perhaps you didn't imagine. It is said that our human heart is one and the same, I don't know if that's entirely true. But there just might be something -call it human or not- in which there's peace. You have loved and been loved andthat alone is extraordinary. It's important for you to be and remain there where you are now, in spite of everything, that is, the loneliness and the pain. May you find kindness in yor heart for yourself, which means for your life. In moments like these we get small, but curiously enough, we suddenly grow and are able to see things from above, almost unpersonally. But I guess that's enough, too many words.
May you find in your loneliness companionship.
Sincerely (of course),