Gotham Diary: Week in Progress September 2017 (I)

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5, 6, 7 and 8 September Tuesday 5th Just now, I’ve been reading the opening paragraphs of Now, Voyager, the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty that was adapted for the classic Bette Davis film. Prouty wrote Stella Dallas, too, and Stanley Cavell

2017-09-06 21:36:06  

Gotham Diary: Asylum August 2017 (V)

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29 and 31 August Tuesday 29th Forty years ago this month, I left Houston forever. There were occasional visits, but they came to an end when my daughter graduated from high school in 1991. I have not been back since. I shall probably never see it

2017-08-29 18:05:56  

Gotham Diary: More Conversations August 2017 (IV)

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22, 23 and 24 August Tuesday 22nd It was good to survive yesterday’s eclipse. I must have been hoping for a more crepuscular dimming of the afternoon light, because at a certain point it struck me that nothing had happened and that nothing

2017-08-22 18:28:30  

Gotham Diary: Everything August 2017 (IV)

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15, 16 and 17 August Tuesday 15th One of the books that churned to the surface during the evacuation of our storage unit was philosopher Stanley Cavell’s Cities of Words. From the movie buff’s standpoint, this is the big book about sc

2017-08-15 23:13:42  

Gotham Diary: The Clowns of Bohemia August 2017 (II)

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8, 9 and 10 August Tuesday 8th Ross Douthat said something interesting in his Sunday Times piece. (He’s almost always interesting, but you know what I mean.) The second problem is that mainstream liberalism has gone a little bit insane on i

2017-08-08 21:04:49  

Gotham Diary: Bubbles August 2017 (I)

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1, 2 and 3 August Tuesday 1st Yesterday, the new record-player arrived. I could call it a phonograph, but that would be untrue to the experience of playing records, which is what I did for an hour or two in the afternoon. Playing records was some

2017-08-01 18:06:04  

Gotham Diary: Dissolu Typique July 2017 (IV)

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24, 26 and 28 July Monday 24th Every now and then, I have to remind myself that I discovered Nancy Mitford in a perfectly respectable manner, one that she would have approved. I read her books. Not the novels, but the full-length historical portr

2017-07-24 18:47:22  

Gotham Diary: Madeleine Montpellier July 2017 (III)

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17, 18 and 21 July Monday 17th On Thursday afternoon, I finally got round to the ironing. It had piled up for a few weeks. I could make the usual excuses, but they’re never usual, they’re always unique, except that they all mask the b

2017-07-17 21:09:50  

Gotham Diary: Economy and Justice July 2017 (II)

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10, 12 and 13 July Monday 10th Over the weekend, I read something that was so congruent with my own thinking that it was better than being published myself, and rather more like exciting, desperately looked-for proof of intelligent life in a dist

2017-07-11 00:51:17  

Gotham Diary: Startled July 2017 (I)

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5 and 7 July Wednesday 5th In the paper today, I see that Edward Albee’s will calls for the destruction of work left unfinished at his death. This provision comes as no surprise, given the late playwright’s peppery disposition, but it

2017-07-05 18:29:45  

Gotham Diary: Muddles June 2017 (IV)

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28 and 29 June Wednesday 28th In a screed published at n+1, Nikil Saval’s fury boils down a very intriguing equation. What Plouffe and the ride-sharing companies understand is that, under capitalism, when markets are pitted against the stat

2017-06-28 16:19:09  

Gotham Diary: The Two Revolutions of circa 1800 June 2017 (III)

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20 and 23 June Tuesday 20th Although outwardly quiet, my weekend was convulsed by two intellectual earthquakes. But why do I put it like that? Earthquakes are destructive, at least in the short term, and nothing was destroyed in my mind except fo

2017-06-20 19:05:42  

Gotham Diary: Common Tongue June 2017 (II)

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12, 13 and 15 June Monday 12th One thing you can’t argue about: Britain has a far more interesting political structure than we do. While we mumble “2020″ over and over, nobody knows when the next general election will be held ac

2017-06-13 00:59:46  

Gotham Diary: Wishful Thinking June 2017 (I)

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6, 7 and 9 June Tuesday 6th Taking off this week as well was a very tempting prospect. My daughter and I had so many rich conversations during her visit last week that my mind feels too turbid for plain speaking. Work on the writing project seems

2017-06-06 17:36:59  

Gotham Diary: Means of Production May 2017 (IV)

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22, 23, 25 and 26 May Monday 22nd When I was an undergraduate, someone told me that Cardinal Newman used to read Mansfield Park every summer. I was very impressed by this nugget of complex information, every part of which illuminated every other

2017-05-22 23:14:10  

Gotham Diary: Alumnus May 2017 (III)

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15, 16, 18 and 19 May Monday 15th How often have I sat here on recent Mondays, with no idea of where to begin or how to proceed! The writing project is a legitimate distraction, but it doesn’t explain the knot in my tongue. To my great reli

2017-05-16 16:25:28  

Gotham Diary: Miracles May 2017 (II)

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8, 9 and 11 May Monday 8th As often happens, I forgot the best part. On Friday, writing about The Lake House, I ought to have added the following at the end. But The Lake House is masterful at obliterating “technicalities.” The emotio

2017-05-08 23:13:45  

Gotham Diary: Either/Or May 2017

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2, 4 and 5 May Tuesday 2nd The news stories about Jean Stein’s jump from her apartment in 10 Gracie Square can’t help reminding us that Carter Cooper, the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, jumped from a penthouse balcony in the same building

2017-05-03 00:46:11  

Gotham Diary: Alternatives 28 April 2017

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Friday 28th Amazon has just notified me of a new book, Duff McDonald’s Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite. I feel as if I’ve already read it. What I have just rea

2017-04-28 20:53:59  

Gotham Diary: Music and Pleasure April 2017

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26 & 27 April Wednesday 26th Via The Browser, I’ve just read a lament by one Lary Wallace, at Aeon, about his age-related loss of interest in new pop music. It’s a well-written example of a familiar type of piece, but I had to ask

2017-04-26 22:56:01  

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