LATELY — 18 February 2000


(Oh) “In this country more than in any other that I know of, the relationship between writers and alcohol is a curiously close one. I have often asked literary scholars for an explanation of the fact that while in the nineteenth century few of our writers except Poe were heavy drinkers, in the twentieth century almost every writer worthy of the name has been one. Among the dead, we have only to think of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Lardner, Marquand, Sinclair Lewis, O’Hara, Crane, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Wallace Stevens, O’Neill, Barry, Millay, Dorothy Parker, Hammett, Roethke, Benchley, and Berryman. Among the living, the list is equally long, if not equally distinguished.”–Brendan Gill, Here at the New Yorker, pp. 259-60.

(Ponder) Is anyone else bothered by the “women and children” disaster-victim category? (As in “x people were killed, including y women and children”.) If there’s going to be a breakdown of the victims, surely women can have their own category, instead of having to share one with children? Equating women to children is not a terribly 21st-Century thing to do. (In other situations–in stories dealing with refugees, say, where women are treated differently to men–the phrase makes more sense.)

(Yow) You can get links to open in another, already open window by dragging them there. This is so convenient! (Does everybody but me know about this?)