art-sniffing at the hirshhorn

It is a wonderful book to have around in case of emergency. No one should ever set out in pursuit of unholy excitement without a special vest pocket edition dangling from a string around the neck.

For this book tells exactly, and with compelling lucidity, just what to do when cast off by a grandfather or when sitting around a station platform at 4 a.m., or when spilling champagne in a fashionable restaurant, or when told that one is too old for the movies. Any of these things might come into one's life at any minute.


I think the heroine is most amusing. I have an intense distaste for the melancholy aroused in the masculine mind by such characters as Jennie Gerhardt, √Āntonia and Tess (of the D'Urbervilles). Their tragedies, redolent of the soil, leave me unmoved. If they were capable of dramatizing themselves they would no longer be symbolic, and if they weren't—and they aren't—they would be dull, stupid, and boring, as they inevitably are in life.

(zelda fitzgerald, from "friend husband's latest," her review of the beautiful and damned for the new york tribune, april 2, 1922)

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