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Showing posts from October, 2013

Head On Back to Tennessee (Williams)

Lately, people have been talking about their binges of watching Breaking Bad. I’ve never seen a minute of it. Instead, here’s my binge-lite story.

I recently saw Blue Jasmine and liked Woody Allen’s reworking of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Having seen the play at least twice, I could pick up on the references. Last night I went back to the cultural output of Williams himself with The Night of the Iguana, directed by John Huston, with Ava Gardner and teen hottie Sue Lyon melting the DVD with fine support from Richard Burton.

This marked yet another checkmark on my list of Tennessee Williams’ plays and movies I’ve seen. Over the last six months, I’ve done my own slow-mo binge watching of his films and found them all riveting. I didn’t set out to do this; the works just crept up on me like a sinuous southern vine wrapping itself around my Netflix list and, with a drawl and flirtatious glance, beckoning me to abandon myself.

The addiction must have begun in my early year…

The Jong Show, Lust Made Flesh

Author Erica Jong is now marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of Fear of Flying. She has sold 27 million copies of it. She can probably be published anywhere she wants, on any topic. She's been a media celebrity since the Nixon era and she's working on a new book called, daringly enough, Fear of Dying (it's not a sequel). She's written 22 books, is 71 years old and looks and sounds great and she likes to write and talk about sex.

When I learned she would be speaking at the Westport Public Library last week, I knew I had to drop everything to get there to hear her. After all these decades of quietly, politely lusting after her, our moment of spiritual communion had arrived.

Actually, I didn't pine for her so much as for the concept of her. Erica the lusty (those early pictures of her!), Erica the educated, Erica the Jewish -- she fit into the image of women that fascinate me. I wasn't a groupie, wasn't a big reader of her non-Fear of Flying works,…