When we started the competition in 1967 (for artssupport programs conducted primarily during 1966), it was a relatively simple matter to cull through the entries, many of them only marginally related to the arts, and reduce them to a manageable few.
Peter Bogdanovich’s Daisy Miller shows what happens to an eclectic director when he has no clear prototypes to emulate. Bogdanovich was at loose ends, looking for a subject that might suit his girl friend, Cybill Shepherd, when he hit on Daisy Miller.
As more than a Scrabble tyro, I immediately saw the error in the Passell and Ross article, Advice from the World’s Greatest Experts, June, on the best seven-letter word for Scrabble. Three words quickly came to mind: BEZIQUE (3+1+10+1+10+1+1)=27 SQUEEZE (1+10+1+1+1+10+1)=25 QUETZAL (10+1+1+1+10+1+1)=25 In matters as zogo as these it would be quoz to put our trust in these word-whyos without first checking the sesquipedalian vade mecum.
Joseph Heller’s new novel is called Something Happened. It’s his first big work since Catch-22, except for plays, and he’s been working on it for some thirteen years. As I recall, it was said he worked on Catch-22 nearly that long. This new one carries all the excess weight that seems to accrue to a book that has been worked on too long— Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano is an example, and so to my mind was Catch-22 itself, not that I’m anyone to talk about Catch-22.
A fun time in Fun City, the scene Jimmy’s restaurant on West Fifty-second Street for a Mort Sahl opening night. Owners of the club, Sid Davidoff and Richard Aurelio, former John Lindsay associates, have discarded a big-band-jazz policy in favor of such comic talents as David Frye, David Steinberg, Shelly Berman, and Mort Sahl, and are planning engagements with the Smothers Brothers, Bob Klein and Stiller and Meara.
As you’ll see in Look, Mao! I’m Touring! on page 72, the only I was able finally to wangle my way into the People’s Republic of China was to latch onto the round-the-world cruise of the S.S. Veendam. Off-trail overland excursions are a sometimes over-looked attraction of long cruises— overlooked, anyway, by people who have never been on a long cruise— but land trips have often been instrumental in opening up otherwise inaccessible areas.
A white head bent seriously over the score on the table next to the recording director’s desk in the control booth of the studio Columbia Records long ago made out of a church on New York’s East Thirtieth Street. In Spring, 1952, I spent a glorious week in that booth, watching Igor Stravinsky record The Rake’s Progress, and I was in and out of it perhaps a dozen times in the subsequent decade, but this was my first visit in at least ten years.
Whenever Esquire prints a writer it hasn’t had the good fortune to print before, somebody writes to ask who’s that. Such a writer is Jean Stafford (Somebody Out There Hates Me, page 108); but let the careful reader forbear.
I must confess that at first glance Time on the Cross, subtitled “The Economics of American Negro Slavery,” by Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman (Little, Brown, $8.95), produced in me a certain weariness of the spirit. The breast-beating of white American liberal penitents (WALPS as distinct from WASPS) has, as far as I am concerned, passed all bounds of endurance, and I felt I just could not face one more outpouring of contrition for past racialist wrongdoing.
Doug Buffone, a superb outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears, lay on his back in gym clothes. Above him rose a massive contraption of black metal that looked like a Torquemada fantasy. Buffone curled crab-like and placed his feet against a metal slab.
<p>I'm afraid what too few of us realize about tape is how dangerously addictive it can be. Even its more sparing users admit they experience some loss of syntax, increased anacolutha, other expressive lapses. While any real dependence, we should begin to understand, can rapidly lead to the most generalized indifference to privacy.</p>
Cheer and clothing in California and other points West
In case you missed it, Art had a birthday early this year, its 1,000,011th to be exact. For it was that long ago (how time flies!) that man created his first Work, simply by showing up on the planet, this according to certain West Coast aesthetes.
<p>On the first day of the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings, Connecticut Senator Lowell Palmer Weicker Jr. said, “The gut question for Committee and country alike is and was how much truth do we want? A few men gambled that Americans wanted the quiet of efficiency rather than the turbulence of truth.”</p>
<p>They were sitting on a flat grey boulder of granite, still warm from the noon sun, eating bread and cheese before making camp, when they saw the grizzly come out of the dark fir trees on the other side of the shallow river. She saw the grizzly first, perhaps thirty yards distant, and froze and touched his arm very gently.</p>
<p>Clearly, Dorothy Sarnoff is skeptical. “It probably won’t work,” she says. “It only works for people who are really motivated. I once did it for free for a friend of my husband’s and you know what happened?” “No, what?” “It didn’t work.” Sarnoff, former Broadway actress and singer, the nation’s foremost consultant on speech and dress, friend of chronic mumblers, speed talkers and nervous speech-makers, enemy of thin ties, Brooklyn accents and Bob Haldeman haircuts, is reacting to a suggestion that she create a more scenic and articulate me for the dubious distinction of having me write about the experience.</p>
<p>Charles Bronson is said to be the world’s most popular movie star. Not America’s. He will grant you Robert Redford in America. But in the world it is Charles Bronson. There is a sign in Japan, his publicist says, that displays Bronson’s name a block long (one does not ask how high).</p>
A report on the very first plain old trip to China
<p>When and if your visit to China finally does materialize, it probably will be first to Kwangchow, the southern Chinese commercial metropolis known better to the Western world as Canton. By no stretch of your imagination will you be able to compare the experience to any usual vacation trip.</p>
Holy, fair and wise is Clare Boothe Luce—and rich, too
<p>When I first knew her I didn’t like her. Few women do. I can think of no one who has so much venom in members of her own sex. Much of it is envy. But not all. Other more talented and successful women have disliked her intensely. Some years ago, when a magazine published an article about her entitled The Many Faces of Clare Boothe Luce, the most frequent comment by her peers was, “I thought she had only two.”</p>
SHLOP! Or, the true history of the pie in the face
First, a word about why Rocky Graziano consented to be photographed being hit with a pie on this page: (1) Nothing is more American than a pie in the face. (2) Nothing is more American than Rocky Graziano. Therefore: (3) Rocky Graziano being hit with a pie is twice as American as anything else. Now turn the page, will ya?
First, twenty bucks for your face on this card; the rest is easy
Thomas A. Williams
<p>In case you haven’t noticed, that bible of budget travelers, Arthur Frommer’s Europe on Five Dollars a Day, is not feeling well. It’s down with acute inflation. The first symptom was a discreet little chapter at the back of the last year’s printing about the very real possibility of spending just a little more than the basic five.</p>
At a Presidential news conference on February 25, Washington reporter Sarah McClendon scolded President Nixon for not knowing what was going on in the office of his administrator of Veterans Affairs, Donald E. Johnson. As a result of her outspokenness, The New York Times, even as it was daily dishing out calls for Nixon’s scalp, ran a prim editorial castigating reporters who fail to show a proper deference to the office of the Presidency.
Oh, the mirth and shapeliness of a home with a dog
There is Jane and there is Jackson and there is David. There is the dog. David is burying a bird. He has a carton in which cans of garbanzos were once packed. It is a large carton, much too large for the baby bird. David is digging a hole beneath the bedroom window.
We have five senses; now let's forget about the other four for a minute and concentrate on seeing, which is what you're doing, if you think about it, at this very minute. Easy, isn't it? But, like everything else in this world except sex, it could be better.
Wretched sediment! Hellish jewel of the nether region! Antagonist of the whole damn corpus! Agent of the ultimate agony! Vile interloper! Gentlemen, lend attention, please!
<p>Delicate durability describes the human body, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the urinary tract. If the liver is all bulk and thunder, the heart fist and thrust and piston, and the brain a foamy paste of insubstantial electricity, the parts of the urinary tract— namely the kidneys, ureters, and bladder—are a tracery of tubules and ducts of such a fineness as would lay mad a master plumber, more, a Venetian glassblower.</p>
“He can be like the flasher... who wants to see the lady indignant but has no interest in having her"
<p>Peter Cook is chalk to my cheese. We are opposites from the lengths of our bodies to the inclinations of our souls. At least, it would be convenient to think so. But my assumptions about the extreme polarity of our characters no longer seem entirely true.</p>
Now that young folks are hitting the hard stuff, some of their elders are easing up—sipping wine at cocktail parties and drinking aperitifs all through the evening. The object, of course, is to give the pipes a bit of a respite every now and again.
<p>Anybody who writes for a living gets a remarkable variety of mail: unsolicited manuscripts with no return postage; requests by juniors in high school to answer thirty-seven questions on how one came to write a certain story or article or novel; fond recollections from strangers of lunches shared in an Akron tearoom which was torn down in 1952 to make way for the Sears sales office; invitations from putative distant relatives to become pen pals; Congratulations! from lecture bureaus on one’s having been put up for membership in exchange for annual dues of $25.50.</p>
While you're been sunning, Europe's master designer have been turning out the fashion ideas you'll see come Labor Day. So you can start planning early, here is Esquire's sneak preview of the fall feeling in London, Paris and Rome. Be advised that these clothes are all prototypes.
Divide and conquer is TV's motto. It worked for Maude, and now there's Rhoda
<p>Valerie Harper looks around her living room, all shiny wood and Cisco Kid sarapes, and throws up her hands in an eloquent, Rhoda Morgenstern gesture of ultimate, transcendental yech. “Why is this room so ugly?” she demands. “I can’t believe it looks so bad.</p>
Picture Credits: Page 67: suit courtesy of Dimitri. Page 72: photograph courtesy of Oscar F. Kolb. Page 73: photograph courtesy of Holland America Cruises. Page 76: U.P.I. Page 77: Brown Brothers. Pages 79-81: U.P.I. Page 84: Mabel Normand and Slim Summerville by Culver Pictures Inc.