I did a "Think Again" column about the Supreme Court decision oncampaign spending called "Cour Disposes, Media Yawn" and that’s
And here’s my Nation column on Game Change.
Death is not taking any holidays…
A story from the olden days of publishing:
Then he said, "Bill Shawn has recommended you, and I’d like you topublish my novel." I said, "What novel?" He said, "Oh, it isn’tfinished. It’s about a kid in New York during the Christmas holidays." I said, "Listen, you’ve made a contract, let’s shake hands." So we
So in the past week, we’ve lost J.D. Salinger, Howard Zinn, Louis Auchincloss, Robert Parker and Kate McGarrigle, all of whom meant a great deal to me at one point or another in my now quite long life. A few days before that, Eric Rohmer, who, after Woody Allen and perhaps Truffaut, was my favorite director ever. I’d have to admit that my most intense relationship was with Salinger, coming as it did in adolescence. In my current life, it was Parker, who dependably, published one fine novel a year to be read on audio by the great Joe Montenega and people say he was on his way downhill but I never noticed. I wish I had gotten a chance to meet him and thank him. I’m glad I never met Salinger. I did spend an evening one night talking about him with Joyce Maynard and he sounded kind of scary. Now that he is gone, I eagerly look forward to finding out what he’s been doing for the past half century. I sure hope it was writing. Thanks to Rick Hertzberg, I got to have dinner with Kate and her sister Anna a few years back after he interviewed the two of them for The New Yorker festival. She told very funny stories about Bob Dylan. What more could you ask of a dinner companion? And those early albums hold up wonderfully well, as does their terrific Christmas cd and video. I also loved Mr. Auchincloss, in part because he was also a deeply dependable writer and in part because I have this weird fascination with rich WASPs, and most of what I know about them comes from him. His novelistic take on the life of Walter Lippmann is also invaluable to me, though it’s a long way from his best book. (I’d say Rector of Justin or Honorable Men.) And of course I admired the grit and generosity of spirit Howard Zinn tremendously, even though I obviously had my differences with him on historical matters.