As the fellow says in the story by Thomas Bontly on page 135, one hates to utter banalities, but sometimes one has the feeling that it’s all been done—that there’s just nothing left to write about. Such a one should turn, immediately, to The French Correction, beginning on page 128, to get his eyebrows lifted, if indeed nothing more drastic than that happens to his God-given shape after reading it.
Press against the bars of my cage, and I will pass My sleek warm head, my long belly and back over you. I will wrap my webbed forefeet around your fingers. Ten memories of wildness, Each a cold stream.
In the course of preparing his Esquire series, The Confessions of Lieutenant Calley, John Sack accumulated more than seventy-five hours of taped conversations, some 1500 transcript pages of a colloquy which began in May of 1970 and continued through Calley’s trial at Fort Benning in April of 1971.
Two Chagall murals, bright webcomers to the Metropolitan Opera House, grace the westward view from Earl Monroe’s apartment in Manhattan. He lives twenty-three stories above Broadway litter, up where a man can take the measure of opera crowds or dusty sunsets or great liners, the Victoria and Raffaello, riding the Hudson River out to sea.
You let her in the door. She goes to the ceiling. You coax her down. She hides behind furniture. You offer her brandy. She begins drinking the air. You play records for her. She spins away, darkly silent. You give her a gift. She wants only the wrapping.
Rule one: never underestimate the common sense of a trout
Leonard M. Wright Jr.
Fishing for trout with the floating fly, as it is practiced and preached in America today, has become as highly ritualized a performance as bullfighting. Both pursuits are strait-jacketed by rigid rules, hobbled by out-of-date choreography and bear little relevance to the final downfall of the quarry.
<p>Poets are guardians Of a shadowy island With granges and forests Warmed by the Moon. Come back, child, come back! You have been far away, Housed among phantoms, Reserving silence. Whoever loves a poet Continues wholehearted, Her other loves or loyalties Distinct and clear.</p>
Outsiders might not have guessed that this has been one of the most brilliantly successful periods of British political and diplomatic history. To learn this, they would need to have read the British newspapers. Three major triumphs have been chalked up by Mr. Heath’s administration, unnoticed by the rest of the world.
Fifty trivial questions to kick around a little bit
1. The President’s favorite soft drink is a. Pepsi-Cola b. Sprite C. Squirt 2. The President’s favorite alcoholic drink is a. Bloody Mary b. Martini c. Tom Collins 3. The President’s first car was a a. Ford b. Chevrolet c. Packard The President’s father was not
Re Books, January: Is Malcolm Muggeridge one of those sad souls who, when one mentions the death toll in Southeast Asia, adduces the annual traffic death figures and assumes that this clever comparison solves all problems of right and morality and closes the discussion?
A. Alvarez’s study of suicide (The Savage God, Random House, $7.95, to be published in April) has made a certain amount of stir over here largely because of its prologue, about Sylvia Plath and her self-inflicted death, and its epilogue, which recounts the author’s own abortive attempts to take his own life.
According to the wise, heroes may be divided into Tragic and Promethean; heroes of the former category (Oedipus, Jimmy Dean, John Birch) achieve great things and confer benefits, mostly symbolic, upon the human race by the manner of their deaths, whereas the latter (Aeneas, George Washington, Timothy Leary) achieve great things and confer benefits, sometimes quite real, upon the human race by the conduct of their lives.
Ah Istanbul! Ah Izmir! on page 108 highlights a few of Turkey’s outstanding visitor attractions, but there’s a lot more to the story. Kemal Atatürk banned the veil, together with the fez, almost a half century ago, but women in the countryside still pull their scarves up to their eyes whenever they see a foreigner—and a foreigner is anyone not of their own village.
As the lights went on after one screening a couple years ago, I stood witness to a horrific incident. A writer who covers the cinema beat for one of the mass-circulation weeklies was easing into the aisle. On his way out, he was spotted by a rather terrifying actress.
Eh, what’s up, Doc?” “Eh-b-thee, ee-b-thee, eh, that’s all folks!” “Beep, Beep,” “I taut I taw a puddy tat,” “Thufferin’ Thuccatath...." These famous catchphrases came from a series of Warner Brothers cartoons made over three decades (from the early Thirties into the early Sixties) by a group of imaginative and brilliantly inventive men, chief among them Mr. Chuck Jones, Mr. Friz Freleng, and, briefly, Mr. Tex Avery.
Some years back, this tourist was granted audience with the man who for a whole generation really ran the symphony business in this country, and well into his eighties was still the person whose advice was most likely to be solicited when a city needed a new permanent conductor for its orchestra.
Notes on a style which, thanks to God, the Vietnam war and even Richard Nixon, is finally changing
John Kenneth Galbraith
The last ten years, the last five in particular, have been ones of unparalleled introspection on American foreign policy. And from much of this thought has come the conclusion that the policy is wrong. The day is coming when we will have to begin to decide what is right.
We have known them since they were boys in the high school. Good-natured boys, not usually among the troublemakers, going out for each sport as its season came along, though not usually among the stars. Indeed, they are hard to tell apart, without a close look.
... Run these up the flagpole and see if the villains shudder
What a piece of clay is modern man! how crippled in reason! how infinite in frailties! in action how like a pansy! in apprehension how like a clod! the paranoid of animals! — That is how one famous writer might have described the inhabitants of our present unheroic age.
<p>In an age of specialization, lives there a man among us more specialized than forty-one-year-old Ron Galella who has thrown over the last five years of his life to leaping from behind hedges and vaulting out of Chinese restaurant coat racks to take almost four thousand unauthorized pictures of Jackie Onassis in “frightened deer”-type poses? </p>
Edward Logelin, an affable vice-president of United States Steel (Public Relations, Midwest District), was not feeling affable that day. He had been interrupted during an important luncheon by a hysterical phone call from his secretary who reported that a madman had just invaded the executive suite.
<p>To me the most remarkable aspect of my father’s career as a fiction writer is that he apparently never considered becoming one before he wrote his first short story at the age of twenty-eight. His motive for getting into what became his lifework was not any compelling urge to create, but the added expenses involved in the imminent birth of his second son, my brother Jim.</p>
What do four published novels mean when a man can offer the world X-Pandotite?
D. Keith Mano
Nine-forty: X-Pando Corporation. Offices and Laboratory. I climb the rickety, steep staircase. The murkiness is Victorian: Dombey and Son; captains of industry; child labor laws. An acrid sinusreaming odor is pervasive. I am crotchety after the hour and twenty minutes’ bus ride from Upstate.
Some will tell you that a martini is the perfect anodyne for the midday pressures of American business. The theory goes that icy blasts of gin or vodka ease tension but reinforce the chutzpah required for wheeling and dealing. Right. But there are days when you want to say to hell with all that, days when Christopher Morley’s Three Hours for Lunch Club seems exactly the right idea, when the food is great, the company relaxed, the wine flowing and the ensuing pleasant torpor distinctly at odds with Phase Two.
Ah Turkey, the only place left where the dollar can still do its thing
Experienced observers of the travel scene who have watched St. Tropez, Tangier, the Costa del Sol, Majorca, the Greek islands and Sardinia in turn parade into popularity are predicting Turkey will be next. Jacqueline Onassis hasn’t yet had her picture taken in a harem veil, seated on a diamond-studded throne in the Topkapi Palace, holding the famed emerald dagger, but other than that all the signs are there.
Thoughts, in extremis, on the black man in America
George Lester Jackson, twenty-nine, known inside San Quentin as inmate No. A-63837 and beyond those walls as the author of Soledad Brother, was shot to death by a guard during what was described as an escape attempt last August 21. Officials said that a visitor passed Jackson a .38 revolver which he smuggled into his cell block in the “adjustment center” under a wig.
A recurrent nightmare: I am condemned to spend Eternity in the space-time continuum of New York City between the present and July of 1972, shuttling from one cocktail party to another. Each one is louder, smokier, more desperately hysterical than the last.
<p>On a mild Monday in March of 1969, James Earl Ray, a small-time crook celebrating his forty-first birthday, was led into the ironclad security of a Memphis, Tennessee, courtroom to stand trial for one of the most outrageous crimes in American history.</p>
A consumer's report on dog food: does your dog ever feel just plain lousy?
For Christmas I moved in with a German shepherd named Rosa Luxemburg. Every day during the holidays it rained. Rosa Luxemburg was pregnant; as near as anyone could determine, the father was Rosa Luxemburg’s own brother, Ernesto Ché Guevara, who had destroyed himself a month earlier, plunging nine stories to his death after downing a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and hazelnut dressing.
In the final analysis, getting on top of dog food requires (to some extent) eating it. The following survey of palatability is based on the predilections of assorted dogs from coast to coast, and the spontaneous outcries of three intrepid human volunteer tasters who were locked in a semi-dark room on empty stomachs.
The final proof, the clincher, as they say, that my family was going the way of all the gentry, that is, down, was the newfound boldness of the peasants. As my people knew, and lucky they did, there is nothing that will keep the Irish in their place like a well-appointed mansion.
Every fashion illustrator knows that the distance from the feet to the belly button should be two and a half times the distance from the belly button to the head. Long and leggy people are more stylish than shrimps. Take Radiah, the woman looking down on all the Beautiful People on the previous page.
We sat in the bar at a seaside hotel, looking out at the emerald cove, the white rage of surf, the jagged black rocks like the hulls of stranded ships. The fog lay out to sea, a high wall in two quite distinct layers— the lower dark blue, the upper frosting white.
But the question before the T.V.A. is, must cheap electric power corrupt absolutely?
Osborn Segerberg Jr.
In September, 1935, two years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill creating the Tennessee Valley Authority, Senator George Norris went for a boat ride on Norris Lake behind the dam also named for himself. As T.V.A. Chairman David Lilienthal wrote in his Journals, Norris “looked at the dam and as the sun’s rays were cutting across it toward sunset, he said, ‘Gosh, it does take a long time and a lot of work to get ready.’
In the first place, Macomber went on safari armed to the teeth—Hemingway wouldn't have had it any other way. But the men you see below and on the next seven pages preferred the updated, more humane safari. They went into the bush to take pictures.
Ripped loose from a murky home he loved, a deep place beneath a stump, he swims hard now against vaster currents than he has ever known. Grim, navigating mud-blind, he endures this cluttered tide, but in his own fish brain, it’s God he sees insane, himself a sensible fish, a point of sanity fixed and stubborn as his old great-grandfather bass who held steady on a day when boys peppered the water with stones and sent every smaller fish skittering.