Every time I see Alfred Knopf, which I did the other day at a monthly meeting of a luncheon club called The Book Table that he founded many years ago and now attends only rarely as a guest of honor, I get convinced all over again that nothing is anywhere near as good today as virtually everything was forty to fifty years back.
On the matter of A Matter of Fantasy Gay Talese’s writing style is as entrancing as ever. I, too, remember that picture of Diane Webber on your August cover. I recall that it was striking but not erotic because of a certain plumpness about her.
Ever since In Cold Blood (1966) the world has been waiting, not to see what Truman Capote would do next, for the world knew nothing better: Truman Capote would, he said, in the fullness of time produce a novel called Answered Prayers. What the world waited to see was when he would do it.
While strolling in Georgetown one evening, I had the honor of encountering Warren Earl Burger, the Chief Justice of the United States. Admirers of the Chief Justice will recall that when two Washington Post reporters paid a nocturnal visit to his home at the height of the Pentagon Papers turmoil, Burger met them at the door with a pistol in his hand.
I made all kinds of pictures because I thought it would be a good rescue shot over the ladder ... never dreamed it would be anything else.... I kept having to move around because of the light set. The sky was bright and they were in deep shadow. I wouldn’t have had any detail.
Standing on queue in Aleksandr Park along the north wall of the Kremlin, my goal eventually to enter Lenin’s tomb, I know that as a movie writer I have visited many bizarre and exotic locations but none so incongruous as this. Perhaps the only American, and surely the only movie writer, I may also be the lone non-Marxist-Leninist among thousands of Soviet citizens on a queue which stretches from the mausoleum in the center of Red Square out into the park, snaking endlessly up and down broad walks.
Until 1970, Susan Brownmiller believed that “rape was a sex crime, a product of a diseased, deranged mind,” and that the women’s movement, having much larger fish to fry, need not bother with it. However, after some illuminating “speak-outs,” she realized that rape is the root of all evil and must be eradicated if “all women [are not to be] in a constant state of intimidation, forever conscious of the knowledge that the biological tool must be held in awe for it may turn to weapon with sudden swiftness born of harmful intent.”
If There's Something About Brazil ... starting on page 124 gets you all fired up on the idea of combining a visit to Rio with a savoring of the wild joys of the Brazilian boondocks, you’ll be pleased to learn that the whole experience can be wrapped up in a convenient travel package.
<p>From Don King’s penthouse suite, above the Rainbow Grill in Rockefeller Center, you look from horizon to horizon and see low hills sprawling in Westchester County and fat tankers nosing through The Narrows into New York harbor and all the troubled city in between.</p>
The sign reads, NO SIGHTSEERS BEYOND THIS POINT: COAST GUARD STATION, but carloads of the curious still loiter, Polaroids in hand, staring at the overgrown, unkempt lawn beyond the fence. I talk to a Secret Service agent within on an intercom telephone.
At a dinner party not so long ago, toward the end of the evening, a young woman asked a young man, “Will I see you tomorrow?” The young man replied, “Does a chicken have lips?” That was the sum total of their exchange. She seemed to understand exactly what he meant.
The time has now come for the ultimate gustatory treat: steak tartare. I know you’ve been meaning to try it for years, but you never got around to ordering it in restaurants or making it at home. Why? Perhaps you found the idea of eating raw meat in public a little too showy, a bit too much like the smart aleck faking a passion for Chinese sea slugs or the jerk neophyte sucking on a fish head from his bouillabaisse.
<p>Nothing, they say, is impossible. Of course, they also say there’s a little bit of good in everyone and love makes the world go round. But they’re probably right on this one. With the right person showing you how—and Alan King, Donna McKechnie, and Rich Little are about the best—the deepest mysteries can be reduced to basics.</p>
Remember this word: radiant. When you do the time step, you've got to look so damned pleased that it frightens people. You've got to make ’em feel that you've been so carefree for so long that it has actually left you demented. There's a bit more to it than that, of course; your toes must twinkle and your arms must fly.
Most impersonations are built around one or two of the subject’s most characteristic mannerisms. For Cagney, it’s the constant hitching up of the pants. For John Wayne, it’s the stilf-legged amble. For Walter Brennan, the hop limp. But Bogart is different.
Obsession is the sacrifice artists make to keep the rest of the world sane. For ten years, photographer David Hamilton has spent untold hours and innumerable yards of film shooting pictures of the same subject over and over again: young girls.
Up at Camp Carroll in the DMZ I couldn't get a match going in the wind and a grunt shagged over to give me a light from his Zippo. There was a Marine Corps emblem engraved on it. "Belonged to a buddy," he said. "What happened to him?" "Got killed in a fire fight."
FOR WHAT WE HAVE RECEIVED, WE CAN NEVER BE TRULY GRATEFUL
<p>It was supposed to be a war memorial, but some Vietnamese believed it was human while others said it was a gentle ghost who could not rest. The memorial was a thirteen-foot concrete statue of a Vietnamese infantryman, resting, a rifle across his knees.</p>
WHERE THE PLAT DU JOUR IS SEATED SOMEWHERE IN SIGHT
<p>Overheard in a cowboy bar in Roswell, New Mexico.... FIRST COWBOY: Hey, Jed. How are you? How you feeling? SECOND COWBOY: Good! Real good. I feel so good I didn’t have to jack off this morning to get my heart started. </p>
ALL THE MANY THINGS UP THE MANY SLEEVES OF RICHARD GOODWIN
On a chilly evening in January, 1975, a small group gathered for dinner at the Georgetown home of Richard N. Goodwin and Doris Kearns. Goodwin, a former aide to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, fixed drinks and chatted with their guest, Erwin A. Glikes, the president and publisher of Basic Books, who had come to Washington on business.
Pack your smartest clothes and your best jewelry when you're headed for Rio; you're going to the world's most sophisticated city-resort. But take your deadest jeans and your tiredest T-shirts, too, because with a bit of careful planning you can explore one of the most primitive areas left on earth.
Now that the first frost is on the Bermuda grass, the handicap you spent all summer whittling down can soar right back up again during the coming winter hiatus from the golf course. Since we'd hate to see that happen to a fellow duffer, here is Esquire's winter plan to keep your game up to snuff right on your own living room links: the newest, the best in home practice golf devices.
"MARRIAGE IS THE BEST WAY YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE MISSING" —BETTY KALLINGER
<p>I am in a courtroom in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, watching the accused. He is reading a Bible, has it open to the Song of Songs. His lips move silently as he reads. A benevolent smile adorns his face—a pithecanthropic face with small eyes, blunt nose, wide mouth with a lower lip that droops like a weeping willow—framed by tight, badly cut black hair.</p>
Three generations of the Hemingway family have lived in Sun Valley, Idaho, hunting its fields and fishing its streams. Here, Jack Hemingway, who is chairman of the Idaho State Fish and Game Commission, proves that Esquire's fall clothes for the outdoorsman are every bit as practical as they are good-looking.
As a special birthday gift to America, Esquire is proud to publish next month the literary event of the Bicentennial: GREAT AMERICAN WRITERS ON GREAT AMERICAN THINGS! ★ Grace Paley on Mom ★ Russell Baker on The Flag ★ M.F.K. Fisher on Apple Pie