Michael Arlen, original name Dikran Kouyoumdjian, was an Armenian essayist, short story writer, novelist, playwright, and scriptwriter, who had his greatest successes in the 1920s while living and writing in England. Although Arlen is most famous for his satirical romances set in English smart society, he also wrote gothic horror and psychological thrillers, for instance "The Gentleman from America", which was filmed in 1956 as a television episode for Alfred Hitchcock's TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Near the end of his life, Arlen mainly occupied himself with political writing. Arlen's vivid but colloquial style "with unusual inversions and inflections with a heightened exotic pitch", came to be known as Arlenesque.
Very much a 1920s society figure resembling the characters he portrayed in his novels, and a man who might be referred to as a dandy, Arlen invariably impressed everyone with his immaculate manners. He was always impeccably dressed and groomed and was seen driving around London in a fashionable yellow Rolls Royce and engaging in all kinds of luxurious activities. However, he was well aware of the latent suspicion for foreigners mixed with envy, with which his success was viewed by some. Sydney Horler, another popular author of the time, is said to have called Arlen "the only Armenian who never tried to sell me a carpet", while Arlen half-jokingly described himself as "every other inch a gentleman".
Surely one of the most visible lessons taught by the twentieth century has been the existence, not so much of a number of different realities, but of a number of different lenses with which to see the same reality.