It is one of the great surprises of my adult life that I am not particularly good at doing the Double-Crostic. When I was growing up, I thought that being able to do the Double-Crostic was an adult attribute, not unlike buying hard-cover books, and that eventually I would grow into it.
My money with the Rupert story (For Rupert—With No Promises, February) goes on Philip Roth. I will not bore you with the overwhelming arguments for the idea that it was not written by Salinger, but consider this: Roth’s My Life as a Man structurally and thematically deals with just the issues of fiction vs. reality and the nature of art that Rupert addresses.
Somewhere in Britain, James Bond will sip a perfect martini—stirred, not shaken—and remember adventures past. On the Continent, Hercule Poirot will agitate his little grey cells and hoist a goblet of claret in tribute. And all around the world, would-be spinners of spy stories and tales of fogbound Balkan corners will begin searching for a new setting for their narratives.
Sometime in the primitive stages of the last Presidential campaign, my father was pondering the slim chances of his fellow Georgian. “It will snow in Miami before Jimmy Carter gets to be President,” he said, and I thought that pretty well finished Carter off.
<p>Las Vegas hotels all smell alike. The Sands smells like the Flamingo and the Flamingo smells like the Riviera and the Riviera smells like the Dunes and the Dunes smells like the Stardust and also like the Thunderbird, the Frontier, the Desert Inn, Caesars, the Hilton and the MGM Grand.</p>
You hear it all the time these days. You’re at a party and somebody mentions that old so-and-so is his dear best friend. How recently, you ask, did the speaker and old so-and-so break bread together? Not that long ago, the answer comes. Maybe six, seven months back.
“. . . What Is Life For, Unless to Do at Least Some Things Right?”
There do indeed exist two cultures in our society, but they do not face each other, as C.P. Snow argued, across a demarcation line called the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The issue is not, I think, whether a person’s knowledge pertains to the sciences or to the humanities, but whether a person has language or not.
If you get caught, pummeled by security police and hauled before Commissioner Kuhn like a common Finley, don’t say I told you this was legal. All I’m saying is that if you’re very discreet and act like you know what you’re doing, you can probably get away with it.
Remaindering: It’s a Dirty Job But Somebody Has to Do It
D. Keith Mano
I know what’ll happen when I die. They won’t bury me. Or cremate me. I’ll get remaindered, is what. There’s a killing ground out in Moonachie, New Jersey. Marboro Books: fifty thousand square, remaindered feet. A spruce and modern plant, done in tasteful dark brown brick: Forest Lawn for books.
At night the sand wears a corsage of flesh. She can smell it. The boy is hard, strange, a summer storm moving in to plague her with the things he’s done. Over the heights the wind brings fog. Wind and fog derange her new life. Under them, the phosphors flash and she cries because the season’s almost over.
We were talking about rubbers, the doctor and I. You remember rubbers? Little round things rolled up in a circle, the kind you bought in a filling-station rest room and kept in your wallet until it caused a permanent ring in the leather and you never ended up using it.
Sailing isn’t an escape from reality—it is reality
Their case was typical. After four years of hard labor their ocean-size trimaran was launched in Minneapolis at the head of Mississippi navigation. Six and one half months later they had brought it down the river and across the gulf to Florida to finish up final details.
"Recessions are a cyclical act of nature; recovery is the work of economists," he says, ironically
John Kenneth Galbraith
<p>It was some years ago, in 1934 in fact, that I sat, on a sunny early-summer morning, in the Greek Theatre in Berkeley and proudly watched myself receive a Ph.D. By avoiding the liturgy, I saved the cost of a cap and gown. Ever since, I’ve called myself an economist and have enjoyed all the pecuniary emoluments and a decent share of the public acclaim that accrues properly to members of the profession.</p>
And replaces it with . . . well, just turn the page
<p>When Woody Allen, a hunched, frail figure in an Army-green trench coat, walks the streets of New York, strangers don’t treat him in quite the same way they do other show-business celebrities. They don’t just gawk at him or shyly ask for his autograph.</p>
What you see is what you get— if you live long enough
“Hey, Luther’n minister’s daughter!” Barle turned from the stove as if the stove had burned her. “Did you speak to me, Tom?” She raised a hand to her cheek. “Who else around here is a Luther’n minister’s daughter?” “Why, nobody but me.” With the hand not covering her cheek, she was making a number of jerky, startled, purposeless motions, for this was the first time her husband, Tom McCorkle, of Triumph, Tennessee, had addressed her for a good while, possibly several weeks.
1. A friend understands that you are capable of letting your phone ring for days at a time and does not take it personally. 2. A true friend will refuse to spend more than a week commiserating with you over anything.
It came as no surprise when a number of celebrities invited to appear in our pages with their best and truest friends suddenly remembered they had a plane to catch. Famous people always seem to find it easier to have a million friends than one good one.
Friends? People write me letters: “Dear Friend . . .” I reply and sign off: “Your friend.” Do these words signify, describe a possession and a responsibility? Is friendship like ice statuary, melting as soon as it has been contrived, disfigured by the warmth of touch?
Is it really lonelier at the top? We decided to ask a few who have been there
Billie Jean King
It’s certainly possible to keep close friends after a big success as long as they are not writers. If one person is more successful, particularly more successful financially, than the other and they’re both writers, then all hell breaks loose.
How to Profit More From the Teachings of Clara Schacht Than From All the Wisdom of Aristotle, Montaigne, Emerson, Seneca, Cicero, et al.
The only good friend is a worthless friend
<p>Pleasure before business. Or: After giving joy, give a job. Having offered your friend an assignment, reduce him or her to shame if you happen to notice the beginnings of anguish. Let no friend, however otherwise obligated or burdened, refuse to work for you; insinuate that any refusal will be received as a personal betrayal.</p>
Because the bulk of my work as a music critic involves listening to records (often, rest assured, more profitably than pleasurably), I can’t be overly conscientious in keeping my twelve-hundred-disc collection spick-and-span. Hi-fi buffs recommend that records be cleaned before and after each listening.
A report, in pictures, from the fire side of the South Bronx
More fire fighters are injured in the line of duty than miners, construction workers, police officers. Even with modern technology, the only way to fight a fire is the oldest way: get as close as possible and put water on it. It’s simple enough.
Drinks for the workingman; no Black Russians, please
The bar I know and love best in this world is The Cardinal Inn in Prairie City, Iowa, a tiny farm village located in the smooth center of the state. The Cardinal is a gathering place for the farmers and cement-plant workers of Jasper County and is owned and run by Jim “J.B.” Billingsley, a man of infinite wisdom with a keen nose for commerce—and for phonies.
Television superheroines are boring. The Bionic Woman’s whole is clearly unequal to some of her parts. And what can one say of Charlie’s Angels other than that they are Farrah Fawcett? As for Wonder Woman, who needs the grief? Underneath her eagle halter and star-spangled pantie girdle we perceive a body stocking of anachronistic feminist ideology: Wonder Woman is a political tract with blue hair.
It costs less than you think to take tennis lessons from the best
"Muevase, niña!" Move yourself, little girl, the man was yelling at me. I moved. I was running after a tennis ball. Not just any tennis ball, but one hit to me by this squat man with a tanned face the color of teak and a nose like an arrowhead. His name was Pancho Segura and he is indisputably the most famous tennis teacher in the world at present.
If the burden of finding a place to play and a compatible tennis partner to play with makes tennis more pain than joy, you will be delighted to learn that a technological breakthrough now makes it possible to play all by yourself—almost. With the proper amount of cash and a modicum of mechanical ability, you can get an hour’s worth of tennis exercise in ten or fifteen minutes with a minimum of grief.
Gita was not a fashionable German. She had been too young during the war years for the Hitler Youth and had spent her childhood happily eating cabbage soup, unaware of the holocaust. Her father had not been in a camp, nor in the Resistance. He had not been dragged away from his home in the middle of the night.
Historical insight into a problem that won’t go away
<p>During my stint as a newspaper reporter in Syracuse, New York, in the Twenties, I gained a vague idea that the practice of frenching (the word “fellatio” we had neither heard of nor seen in print) was something degraded, indulged in by perverts and so out of the ordinary that prostitutes charged extra for it.</p>
I have been playing golf now for forty years, in everything from national championships to Sunday-afternoon drunksomes. I have been writing about the game for three fourths of that time. Eight books about the game I have poured my soul into and at least three dozen magazines, ranging from The Saturday Evening Post to the Saturday Review, from Playboy to Cosmopolitan.
There’s a rumor abroad in the land, spawned mostly by envious non-fishermen, I suspect, that by the time each new fishing season rolls around in the spring, most of us winter-pent fishermen have gone definitely nuts. A companion rumor is that we fishermen are quite sufficiently nutty to begin with, thank you, and that the approaching season merely pushes the jumpier types over the verge.