Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood - Fete de Fiertes, and New York Review of Books Part II
Thursday, 30 June 2011 20:22

Back out to the Boulevard, more parade, and after 2 hours, I am sated and return to the apartment to plan my strategy of getting down to Shakespeare and company to meet Brian, a screenwriter who I met at Paris Soirees. He had read and loved the memoir. We would listen to the speaker, Robert Silvers, the Managing Editor of The New York Review of Books started by Barbara Epstein and her husband. Silvers talked about the first interviews, Susan Sontag and Oliver Sachs, as well as Tom Judt. His prior experience had been with the Paris Review and he remembered Paris in the 1950s. He told us that he was "very much living here” meaning Paris. The room was packed, as was the outside where there was a sound system and many chairs. Heat poured in from the day with the slight relief of an electric oscillating fan. Robert Silvers told about Paris in the 50s as being "broken up and poor after the war." He and Peter Duchin, who also became famous, lived for a year on a barge on the Seine. He had come to Paris on the G.I. bill, as well as for a small job for the new Paris Review. He first got the idea of essays as opposed to writing, which had, according to him, become boring and static as reflected in an article by a woman writer whose name I didn't catch. His first assignment was to talk with Edmund Wilson, who interviewed himself.

Silvers talked about Tom Judt who was "a marvelous guy and great fun." He was asked about friendships among writers. He said that in order to be a friend of a writer, there has to be admiration, a curiosity that drives the editor to review a work.

Outside while waiting for Brian, I meet two poets who had read together in a group reading at the bookstore a short while back. I intend to Google both of them: Paula Bohince, who had been in Paris since the previous September on an Amy Lowell fellowship, and Margo Berdeshevsky. They both asked for a postcard about the memoir. We will check out each other's work.

Brian and I talked about the form of a screenplay or stage play for ‘Saving Myself’. We will keep in touch.

I take the 38 Bus back home, thinking about how rich and full my day had been. The estimate of the Parade was 500,000. Everyone I spoke with there heard about New York passing Marriage Equality. Everyone was joyous. Everyone wanted equality for human rights. There was a common bond. Even people there with what I called heavy equipment, cameras that is, told me they were not gay but came each year to photograph this exciting parade.

Robert Silvers made the world of writing come into focus, and I told two women they could buy my memoir at Shakespeare and Company. This was a wonderful experience and a memorable day.

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