Cheever, Marquand, O'Hara, and other Trad Books

PJC in NoVa

Connoisseur
Whoops, I didn't reread the whole thread; my bad.

I did not know about the Wilson and TR bios. They are now on the "to read" list.

I wonder if anyone knows Van Wyck Brooks's 1944 study The World of Washington Irving?

If you dip into Cady and find that worthwhile, Brooks's work might be of interest as well.
 

raincoat

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Keeping this thread alive.

After seeing Greenberg I've been reading a lot about Noah Baumbach and found out that he is currently attached to two book adaptations that might interest people who have enjoyed this thread so far. I haven't read either of them (yet).

By Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children
From the New Yorker: " In this witty examination of New York's chattering classes. . ." was enough to entice me.

By Curtis Sittenfeld, Prep
May have already been mentioned. I've known about this one for a while but was always put off by the cover. Actually gave this one to my mother for Christmas. She enjoyed it. Might swallow my pride (the cover) and give it a read now that Baumbach may do an adaptation.

Highly recommend Greenberg by the way. Anything Baumbach's attached to actually. Come to think of it, I may have first heard about Kicking and Screaming on one of this forum's movie threads.
 

Oviatt

New Member
Scott Berg's biography of Max Perkins is a must read. I am surprised that nobody mentioned "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit"--or maybe someone did.... Also, the novels of Dawn Powell ("Angels on Toast" is a favorite) are very trad, as she was one of Perkins' authors.
 

ds23pallas

Senior Member
By Curtis Sittenfeld, Prep
May have already been mentioned. I've known about this one for a while but was always put off by the cover. Actually gave this one to my mother for Christmas. She enjoyed it. Might swallow my pride (the cover) and give it a read now that Baumbach may do an adaptation.

Raincoat,

I read Prep several years ago. I can't recall the specifics, but I do recall enjoying it at the time. I like Sittenfeld's writing style.

Currently I am reading "I Am Charlotte Simmons" and am for the most part enjoying it as well. I am alternating this with a re-read of "BCBG, Le guide de bon chic bon genre". It's a sort of French OPH.
 

M. Morgan

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
-Old School by Tobias Wolff was a fun read with a boarding school setting. -Cameos by Ayn Rand, Robert Frost (tres trad), and Ernest Hemingway.
-This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
-Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
-A lot of Faulkner when discussing the Sartorises and Compsons
 

raincoat

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I am alternating this with a re-read of "BCBG, Le guide de bon chic bon genre". It's a sort of French OPH.

I've heard of that. Need to try and find a copy. I'm guessing that since you're re-reading it you enjoyed it the first time around? Worth tracking a copy down?

I started a thread a little while ago on The Sloane Ranger Handbook which is kind of similar I guess. It'd be interesting to compare BCBG with the SRH.
 

ds23pallas

Senior Member
I've heard of that. Need to try and find a copy. I'm guessing that since you're re-reading it you enjoyed it the first time around? Worth tracking a copy down?

I started a thread a little while ago on The Sloane Ranger Handbook which is kind of similar I guess. It'd be interesting to compare BCBG with the SRH.

Well, I probably read BCBG in the 80's or early 90's first itme around so it's almost like reading it again for the first time. I also have the OPH and had a copy of The Sloane Ranger Handbook (I passed that along to a fellow forum member last year).

I think BCBG is a worthwhile read, if you know French that is. It would be useful to know something about Paris, and France in general to "get" some of their references. I do recall that both BCBG and the OPH referenced the Peugeot 505 as part of their respective automotive selections. I drove a 505 for many years and still remember it fondly.
 

raincoat

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I think with a dictionary on hand I'd be able to handle it. My French isn't terrible.

Speaking of the Sloane Ranger Handbook, have y'all heard of (or read) the Sloane Ranger Diary? As far as I can tell it was published simultaneously with the handbook but doesn't get mentioned nearly as often. I got a copy in the mail a few weeks ago and it's a pretty fun read. It's set up as a month by month description of what "sloanes" do during the year.
 

raincoat

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Don't know if people here watch Lost. Tuesday's episode featured a rabbit named Angstrom.

One more reason to love that show.
 

godan

Elite Member
Recommend Cady

After seeing PJC's post above mentioning Cady's The Gentleman in America, I asked the university library to retrieve a copy from deep storage, and I have just finished it. Drawing from both historical and literary sources, Cady conveys how we came to be where we were at the middle of the last century. Especially, he points out that in the United States, a man could "become" a gentleman through his own efforts and behavior. Those who are dismayed by current declines in character and manners (and, of course, dress) will find no comfort in Cady, because he makes a persuasive case for the value of qualities that seem now to be lost. That said, the book is worth reading by anyone with the time, inclination and habits of mind to enjoy academic scholarship as it was some sixty years ago.
 

jpeirpont

Senior Member
May I suggest Neal Holland Duncan's triology about New Orleans (Baby Soniat, Carnival of Souls and Naked in Rhodendrons) and Bachelor Society by Charles Poulnot which is about Charleston. Both are entertaining reads about the older families of both towns and how they adjust (or don't) to the changes in both towns. The undercurrents of all of these novels is that "progress" is destroying the unique sense of place which make up the traditions and culture of both societies. The wardrobe of the main characters would be familiar to most members of this board (for example, the protagonist of Duncan's novels is described as wearing weejuns, Brooks Brother button down and madras bermuda shorts). B&C

I am rather excited to read the books you have suggested. I am a big fan of both cities and their traditions.
 

Tilton

Elite Member
I doubt it's too trad, but my personal favorite novel is coincidentally often cited as the first novel in modern English. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, by Henry Fielding. It is a great book and will have you in stitches from start to finish. It is basically about a philandering young man in the English countryside trying to find himself, and then he becomes quite rich.
 

Congresspark

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Robert Lowell

The current issue of agni, a literary journal published through Boston University, has a terrific portfolio of photos of Robert Lowell, along with a selection of brief remembrances of him (how many American writers get a fond story from a member of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet?). The issue isn't viewable online, but here's a link to the cover with a partial view of one of the photos:

https://www.bu.edu/agni/toc/75/index.html
 
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