In the rash of trend articles in the wake of Sept. 11, a New Man is being envisaged. Of course, a New Man is always being envisaged–ditto a New Woman–by editors and writers desperate to fill pages and help their readers to “make sense of it all,” if not actually polish up their luster in Read More
How fast should you eat your food? Like Henry James, my grandfather believed in “fletcherizing” his meals, chewing every mouthful 30 times. (A house guest of James once described the ghastly experience of coming down to breakfast one Sunday with a hangover and having to watch the great man fletcherize a bowl of cereal topped Read More
James Ivory’s The
Golden Bowl , from a screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, based on the novel
by Henry James, and produced by Ismail Merchant, reunites the Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala
team on a cinematic adaptation of a Henry James classic-reportedly for the last
time, though this will probably not deter the pseudo-brutalists from their
sneering condescension toward Read More
My Misspent Youth , by Meghan Daum. Open City Press, 177 pages, $14.
If you’re still, like, jaded and withdrawn, saving your enthusiasm for a good nonfat latte or a parking spot near the Virgin megastore, then you won’t get the point of Meghan Daum. This 30-year-old’s writing is all about owning up to Read More
The New Gilded Age: ‘The New Yorker’ Looks at the Culture of Affluence. Edited by David Remnick. Random House, 432 pages, $26.95.
When did we lose the 1990′s? I’m not niggling about the change of millennium and all that. I’m talking about the decade-that- almost-was, that quaint and earnest America of, say, the first winter Read More
Alfred A. Schmidt Delivered , by Louis Begley. Knopf, 292 pages, $25.
In his masterly 1996 novel About Schmidt , Louis Begley traced a narrative whose outline could have come straight from Austen or Trollope. The book began with an old family house in danger of being sold, a distressing luncheon invitation and the threat Read More
It is one of the curiosities of art history that John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was once thought to be an Impressionist. He was characterized as such by Henry James in an essay published in Harper’s Magazine in 1887, and it was not meant to be a compliment. (James later modified his judgment of Impressionism, but Read More
Her Infinite Variety , by Louis Auchincloss. Houghton Mifflin, 224 pages, $25.
Louis Auchincloss has always made his readers vaguely uncomfortable. Americans, raised on great national myths like egalitarianism and the meritocracy, prefer not to believe that vast concentrations of power reside in the hands of Eastern bankers and corporate chieftains, who conduct the business Read More
Theater 1: Pair of Paltrows
Gwyneth Paltrow is a game and gorgeous commodity who has thus far peddled little more than her icy beauty in bland roles on the crowded market floor. Her Dow Jones may change with Sliding Doors , a fresh, offbeat love story that lands her in blue-chip stocks. At today’s Read More
Needless to say, I pounced on the Pale Fire s first. Not one, but several editions inscribed with the cryptic annotations of the Master himself. There was, in fact, a veritable treasure of other never-before-seen-in-public, personally inscribed Nabokov editions piled up before me in the East 76th Street premises of Glenn Horowitz Bookseller. But as Read More