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April 09, 2012


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I think I want to read this book.

Evelyn Roak

You really should.

"No one, now, minds a con man. But no one likes a con man who doesn't know what we think we want."

Glenn Kenny

Yeah, Bill, you'll dig it.

It took me some time with it to appreciate that the things about it I was finding infuriating...the deliberately hermetic, gnomic perspective delivered with such confidence in its essential correctness...was part of what made it noteworthy as LITERATURE as such. And then of course there's the fact that he predicts Dan Kois. Oy.

It's kind of poignant, too the way he takes it all so damn personally. Definitely an odd duck of letters.

David Ehrenstein

Trow was quite an interesting character. He was into black guys -- the more louche the better.

His script for James Ivory's Savages, co-written with Michael O'Donahue, is a thing of beauty.

He was wrong about Ruskin, however, as Proust has demonstrated.




"I began to read Ruskin’s Unto This Last, and this … enraged my father, who was a disciple of John Stuart Mill’s. One night a quarrel over Ruskin came to such a height that in putting me out of the room he broke the glass in a picture with the back of my head. Another night when we had been in argument over Ruskin or mysticism, I cannot now remember what theme, he followed me upstairs to the room I shared with my brother. He squared up at me, and wanted to box, and when I said I could not fight my own father replied, 'I don’t see why you should not.'”

-- William Butler Yeats

James Keepnews

O SAVAGES, o mores! Really amazed no one discusses that tripped-out basal haymaker of a class war satire more. It does sorta stand out, distinct-like, from the rest of Ivory's work, kinda like SLAVES OF NEW YORK that way, only with more loincloths and painting licking. Plus Joe Raposo's standard tinkly faux-ragtime score which, if you grew up hearing its like in the background of seemingly every episode of SESAME STREET as I did, gives SAVAGES an even more disjunctive effect. I've always wanted to see Sam Waterson introduce the film and maybe inform an audience precisely how many metric tons of LSD was required to unleash the freakery that threatens to overwhelm the proceedings by the end like a production of MARAT/SADE that starts to take its themes a mite too seriously. Of course, Trow and O'Donoghue first met in the golden era of National Lampoon, which was easily for those first five years and fitfully for almost another decade the greatest achievement in satire this nation has ever seen. Then they up and made a Chevy Chase vehicle from a terrible John Hughes NatLamp story, whereupon not even Mission of Burma nor Last Exit could prevent the 80's from sucking....

David Ehrenstein

Here's the skinny on Trow


Mark Asch

The piece David E. just linked to could in some ways almost be about Whit Stillman: "Trow recognizes in Ertegun (or projects onto him) something that was also fundamental to his own human project: that he 'was made restless by the thought he had *missed it*, that authority had drained from the figures he most admired and from the aesthetics he most wanted to master.'"

David Ehrenstein

I beg to differ. Whit Stillman is straight and as far as I know not inclined to destructive relationships or suicide attempts.

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