Moss Hart had talent, an inhuman tolerance for work, and a pair of brass balls, but what set him apart from the thousands of other guys hanging around theater lobbies in the mid-1920s trying to catch a break was that the man was fucking relentless.
E.L. Doctorow has been doing that hard work for more than half a century, producing novels and stories that have illuminated the American soul by bringing American history to life. It’s why he deserves his Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. It’s what makes him a national treasure.
Repressed homosexual yearnings certainly would account for some of the more striking of Kafka’s darker preoccupations, including the disgust toward women that he so frequently displays, his fascination with torture and evisceration, and most of all, perhaps, his lifelong obsession with his father, or better say, with the Father—the eternal masculine.
When Dara Horn was 14, she won a trip to Poland and Israel by acing a buzzer-beating College Bowl-type competition about Israeli history. When she returned, she wrote an essay for Hadassah magazine about visiting the sites of Nazi concentration camps. Her story was nominated for a prestigious National Magazine Award.
At the prize luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria in 1993, she recalls, ‘I was the only one there with braces.’ She didn’t win, but two judges took her aside and confided, ‘You know, you beat Norman Mailer,’ whose essay apparently did not make the finals.
In Ireland writers tend to worry about getting published, but being translated is almost as big a problem, as Irish-language writers will endorse, and bigger still for non-English language writers. And it’s not until you travel abroad that you fully realise it.
"The chef’s name, an alias, is Kenji Fujimoto, and for eleven years he was Kim Jong-il’s personal chef, court jester, and sidekick. He had seen the palaces, ridden the white stallions, smoked the Cuban cigars, and watched as, one by one, the people around him disappeared. It was part of Fujimoto’s job to fly North Korean jets around the world to procure dinner-party ingredients—to Iran for caviar, Tokyo for fish, or Denmark for beer. It was Fujimoto who flew to France to supply the Dear Leader’s yearly $700,000 cognac habit. And when the Dear Leader craved McDonald’s, it was Fujimoto who was dispatched to Beijing for an order of Big Macs to go.”
Loving and falling in love have a very good reputation. That may be justified sometimes, but sometimes it is the opposite. I have seen very generous, kind and noble people behave very badly because they are in love.