“I think Shakespeare got drunk after he finished King Lear. That he had a ball writing it.” Louis Auchincloss

You really should read the entire piece…

Louis Auchincloss, The Art of Fiction No. 138

Interviewed by George Plimpton

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Have you seen the movie The Age of Innocence


I reviewed it. I loved it. It’s a great movie. It reflects the book absolutely and entirely; it recognizes fully the vital effect of the decoration, the houses, on the characters. Scorsese has directed it so as to make you feel all the ugly pictures and the great lavish interiors; they’re almost characters themselves, the way they are in the book. Edmund Wilson described Edith Wharton as the “pioneer and poet of interior decoration.” Scorsese sees that. It’s the best translation of a book into a film I’ve ever seen, except Gone with the Wind, which I think was a very great movie, but a less great book. 

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And when you’re done with that read:

…It was November on Park Avenue, two in the afternoon, a little brisk, a little damp, the sky the color of gray stone. A car drew up at a building on the east side of the street to collect Louis Auchincloss for an appointment. Auchincloss—novelist, essayist, retired trusts-and-estates lawyer, nonagenarian—ventured carefully onto the sidewalk, his overcoat buttoned, cane in hand, hat in place. His agent, Mitchell Waters, who was to accompany him, opened the back door of the car, and Auchincloss, prudently grasping the top of the door, gradually installed himself. He was off to record an interview for Barnes & Noble about his oeuvre—at least, the fiction part of it, the stories of striving and money and families and idealism and decline, set in the milieu in which he was reared, the Upper East Side and Wall Street (with summertime forays to Newport and Bar Harbor). Auchincloss doesn’t usually bother with promotion these days; he published a book last year, but, since he has published sixty-four since 1947, this was not as interesting an event for him as it might be for the next man. One loves all one’s children, but there are limits. He sat up very straight in the back seat, gripping his cane, unblinking, magnificent Auchincloss nose aloft…

Yale Yearbook, 1939
Yale Yearbook, 1939

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  1. Ana Roland
    January 19, 2016

    I don’t know why the film left me cold. I was so excited to see the film when it came out as I love the book so much. I will have to see the film again and see if my impressions of it has changed.

    • January 21, 2016

      I love the book too, although the first time I read it I think I was too young to really understand the nuances of Old New York society…now that I’m older it really resonates. Let me know what you think if you see the film again.

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