Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One of my heroes

Nearly everything to do with George Plimpton is good reading, including Graydon Carter's review of George Being George: George Plimpton’s Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, Rivals—and a Few Unappreciative Observers. A few bon mots:

I remember getting a call some years ago from a television casting agent looking for a patrician type to play an editor who liked to go shooting rats in Central Park. I asked the agent if she had approached anyone else. As it happened, she had. Lewis Lapham said it was beneath him. George Plimpton agreed to do it, but he had a scheduling conflict. So she ended up with me. And the show went off the air within the year.

A wise man once said that 9/11 marked the end of the age of irony. Well, George would have none of it; he was an ironist to the end. He was not only in on the joke of being George Plimpton, he created the joke.

I am reliably informed that little magazines comprise four elements: shabby, cramped quarters; meager wages; attractive interns of independent means; and boundless enthusiasm. They are also excellent excuses for throwing parties.

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