AT a symposium held last fall at Columbia University under the joint sponsorship of the university and this magazine, Leslie Fiedler said that the first duty of a writer is to be destructive, that the minute a writer says yes he is already beginning to lie, and that he should, very properly, bite the hand that feeds him.
Escape and throwback: some of the glories are with us yet
THERE have been a good many films about true-life escapes during World War II, quite enough to suggest the wisdom of cutting free from escapes during World War II, and from true life as well, come to that. On my way to see Nine Lives I was shrouded in gloom, foresuffering all the old ritual of German soldiers shouting and blowing whistles and thundering up and down cobbled streets, the precarious hide-out in cellar or hayloft, even the close-up of a jack-booted foot treading by accident on the hand of the fugitive as he clings to the edge of the quay....
Excellent article by John Clellon Holmes, THE GOLDEN AGE/time present (January 1959), with one exception: he makes no mention of the man who is probably the greatest jazzpianist of our time, Erroll Garner. Surely Garner ranks with all the other greats in the article, as millions of us ordinary jazzbuffs know, and as a supposed expert like Holmes should know.
I belong to that stumbling army of miserable ones who cannot make decisions. Faced with the necessity of choosing between two objects, two roads, two plans, two anythings, I am stricken as with paralysis, and sit, stunned and silly-looking, totally helpless.
OF course everyone is interested in Russians,” said Jennie Tourel, her lip curled to display her scorn of anyone who happened not to be interested in Russians. “The Russians are exciting because that’s the kind of people they are. They come from the earth.
EVERY man looks for the particular girl for the particular day when he sweeps up all his scraps—job, family, friends, etc.—and quietly tucks them away for twenty-four hours. He leaves his office at two in the afternoon and strolls through Central Park, stabbing at leaves and old ice-cream wrappers with a thin, long umbrella (which, at times, is transformed into a sword) and, before stopping at the St. Moritz for a drink, he surveys the park, the bar at the Essex House, and the taxis jamming into the hotel entrances, all on the off-chance that a woman who understands, who asks no questions, will come into focus.
NOT SO long ago pâté de foie gras was strictly for millionaires, Greek shipowners and Hollywood tycoons. But last year, I’m told, over a million dollars’ worth of foie gras products were sold in the United States—in gourmet outlets and specialty food shops as well as in supermarkets, department, drug and grocery stores.
READING George Jean Nathan’s memoirs of H. L. Mencken (in the October, 1957, issue of Esquire) put me to work on a Mencken memoir of my own. I’m not certain all of the events herein narrated actually took place. As I grow older I have a tendency to dream elaborately, and my dreams seem to be more tightly plotted than in former times.
<p>FOR a long time now we have kept what we thought was strictly travel-writing shop talk out of these columns; now we suddenly discover that people are interested in travel writers, in how we toil and how we spin our yarns. This we learned when two of our colleagues engaged in a public typewriter-throwing contest in a literary magazine, then appeared in a rematch in the pages of The Travel Agent, an estimable trade publication.</p>
JAZZ CANTO” (WP-1244), a collection of poems read to jazz music, is the latest recording of this type to be submitted to a national market. It comes from California, of course, the source, we are reminded by the liner notes, of “Jazz West Coast,” “Poetry and Jazz,” “Poetry with Jazz”— and now, “Jazz Canto.”
<p>It used to be easy to hate Hollywood. For me it was no trouble at all. But that was years ago. I don’t think either of us have mellowed very much since then; but we are getting on a bit and our feelings for each other are scarcely as passionate as they were.</p>
"I've seen Hollywood drop dead—a half-dozen times"
<p>I started an elegy for Hollywood with the title, Good-by, O, Wonderland. Doubt halted me. I hied me to the cinema capital for another, definitive look at the Great Celluloid Corpse. I am still with doubt. Hollywood looks waxen and inert. The Great Halls of the Yes Men and the Throne Rooms of the Bosses where geniuses wriggled in and out on their bellies are kaput.</p>
Dore Schary's Lonelyhearts: the apotheosis of the adult soap opera
<p>As has perhaps been observed somewhere, Hollywood is a strange place. I visited it last fall for the first time, to talk to Dore Schary about his new film version of Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts. I was prepared for the vast horizontal scale—it cost me almost $5 to get from the railroad station to my hotel—for the interminable white boulevards, the theatres like mosques and the hamburger stands like castles, and the almost complete lack of pedestrians.</p>
<p>SUZY Parker, a rangy, talkative model who reached the pinnacle of her profession two years ago and then took a heavy cut in salary to become a movie star, is by her own admission a modern girl in search of her soul. This soul-searching has taken her to New York, Paris, and Hollywood, to the ski slopes of Switzerland and the old churches of Spain, and it may yet take her farther.</p>
The dynamic, restless line of John Groth spans Esquire's twenty-five years. He was our original art director in the Depression year 1933, and in these pages won his first public recognition as a superb draughtsman of the humanist tradition.
In 1907 Stanley's locomotive took wing at 197m.p.h
IN 1906 the citizens of Teddy Roosevelt’s U.S. had automobiles very much on their minds. In New York City, Elsie Janis starred in a musical comedy, The Vanderbilt Cup, suggested by the road races on Long Island and including a rip-roaring race right on the stage.
Never before has the phenomenon of loneliness been examined with such intransigence
MILES DAVIS, a small, deceptively fragile-looking man, resembles a choirboy who has been reading Vladimir Nabokov on the side and patronizing an expensive Italian tailor. Also not quite fitting the resplendent youthful candor of his features is a voice that was left much hoarser than Louis Armstrong’s after an operation a few years ago to remove nodes from his vocal chords.
A spring refresher in Scotch, complemented by vermouth and orange curaçao, is a replenisher of the spirit of the season. This fabulous drink is called Gaslight by its creator, Billy Condron of Billy’s, New York. We prefer to call it a gasser.
After the voice of doom, we now get hour-long commercials for the human race
THOMAS B. MORGAN
<p>EDWARD R. MURROW, who was once on television so often he was known as “the intellectuals’ Arthur Godfrey,” is hardly with us at all these days. True, he still conducts Person to Person and the rather complicated global-talk show, Small World, but the Murrow of See It Now, the Murrow who roasted Southern segregationists, who went to the mat with the late Senator McCarthy, is only a memory.</p>
A is for Accessories. See the bowler, narrow-brimmed, light ....Umbrellas are to handle: Austrian Alps betula (above), contoured; cased in grey; (left) Austrian bast handle is whangee-tipped; both at Wanamaker's, N. Y....On hand (top), cut-out crescents, plus back vent, let spring in; mocha calf, palmed in capeskin; at John David, N. Y.... one-size glove uses capeskin, crocheted cotton, stretch fabric, at Di Tieri, N. Y. ....Comfortable import: knit pull-over, batwing-sleeved (right), at Mr. Peacock, N.Y.
When Swiss restaurateur Roger Schuler took office at Las Trece Monedas in 1957, the eighteenth-century palace had been sleeping behind the plaster façade of Lima’s former bawdy district. Today, the great oak door, hallmark of The 13 Coins, is hinged on an outwardly formal and traditionally impenetrable Peruvian society.
To err is human, but being human was not Cardinal's sin
<p>THE analytic hour is only forty-five minutes long. Since his appointment was for 3:30, he had been seated in the waiting room since 3:22. At twenty dollars an hour, Dr. Cardinal charged him roughly fifty cents a minute. When he looked at the clock and saw that it was 3:31, he imagined himself tossing a half dollar up from his thumb and watching it disappear into thin air.</p>
THE great danger in laying out a Hawaiian side trip is that the reader will arrive in Honolulu by plane or ship, smell the flowered landscape, get kissed by a lovely island girl who drapes a lei around his neck and whispers “Aloha!” into his ear, and then the reader will throw this magazine off the pier or into the nearest ash can.
Bennington, it seems is not all it used to be, if it ever was....
BENNINGTON COLLEGE for women has always had the reputation of being an offbeat kind of school, and the Bennington girl has always been typed as an odd creature who wears bizarre clothes, dabbles in obscure arts, doesn’t wash her hair often enough, and goes barefoot to wild parties, carrying her own bongo drums.
Admiring someone you think is horrible is horrible
<p>HALLO," I said. “Who are you?” I said it to a child of about three who was pottering about on the half landing between the ground floor of the house, where some people called Davies lived, and the first floor, where I and my wife and children lived.</p>
Even a burglar's company, when you're cold and lonesome
JEAN ROSS JUSTICE
<p>MR. GEORGE CRAYTON, a widower who lived alone, was awakened one cold November night by a sound somewhere in his house. He was a light sleeper, and he came awake quickly. Lying still, listening, he thought the noise must have been the creaking of one of the timbers of the house—that happened often enough on a cold night.</p>
March is a lion of a month. Growling, blustering and blowing at first, but, like most “big winds,” peters ont at end and becomes easier to live with. Anyway, once we get through March we know that spring is just around the corner. . . . All items shown on these pages may be purchased by writing to sources indicated.