Lucky Jim

I fully expect all of you to attend  the FDL Book Salon this Sunday, 12/4 (2PM-ish, Pacific time) when I will be hosting Mr James Wolcott and discussing his book, Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York where we will talk about the four P’s (punk, Patti, porn, and Pauline) along with what life was like before there were intertubes and people used to get their cultural cues from laser-etched essays and reviews in these things called “magazines” and “newspapers” instead of checking the Tomatometer (“It only got a 64. It must suck“) or the off-the-cuff couldn’t-be-bothered anonymously-sourced friend’s dismissive default, “I heard it was only okay”.

Lucking Out is a picaresque tale of a young man “arriving in New York just as everything was about to go to hell” with only a song in his heart, a spring in his step, and an introductory letter from Norman Mailer in his pocket.  After that, things got a lot more interesting…

I was once seated with Pauline in the last row of a literary panel discussion downtown starring Cynthia Ozick and Joyce Carol Oates, who were trading honeydew compliments back and forth as if they expected Eudora Welty to show up with a wide-brimmed hat and a watering can. Ozick would compliment Oates on the dynamic fecundity of her bullet-train imagination and how it cowed her, confessing that she could only proceed to the next sentence in her own fiction after she had chipped and beveled the previous sentence to perfection, to which Oates would deftly respond, And that’s what I so admire and envy about your writing, Cynthia, the exquisite luminosity of each beautifully chosen, carefully arranged phrase and metaphor… Back and forth it fluttered, Ozick in her girlish voice (so incongruous with her tank-turret head) and Oates doing her shrinking-violet act, until Pauline side-whispered, “Can you believe this shit?”

I know. Totally awesome and potty-mouthed at the same time.

So join us as we discuss everything from Lester Bangs to Gelsey Kirkland, Ellen Willis to Al Goldstein, Clay Felker to Deep Throat (the movie, not the Nixon snitch), Gore Vidal to Tina Weymouth, and everyone and everything in between…

Previous post

Let's Pick, Again, Tonite

Next post

A step away from public financing campaigns; a step away from campaign finance reform?



Yeah. Like I would tell you....