if we’re having a reckoning, hey, let’s look at biography. this is edward klein: we need to talk about him.
WHERE TO BEGIN? because, after driving away 79% of the people who might have read this, that title really raised the stakes for whoever’s left. props to ya’ll who’re sticking it out! ❤ ❤ ❤
it’s a very personal thing, biography. take the question “why jackie?” i don’t know how to answer that without referring to the badly xeroxed women’s history handout from mrs. pavlick’s 6th grade english class. “why tabloids?” leads to a similarly intimate anecdote of my family’s mid-90s mania for antiquing. when everyone around you has a […]
i started writing about jackie because i deplored the way she was written about. shoddy writing, shoddy scholarship, shoddy story-telling. when you read 97 books about someone, certain trends begin to emerge.
John Kennedy’s victory in the 1960 presidential election raised interest in his wife to a fevered pitch. But, Jackie was adamant that she would do things on her own terms. She detested the prying and made a preemptive move to thwart conjecture about her private life. At her mother’s suggestion, Mrs. Kennedy appointed Mary Van Rensselaer Thayer— […]
(24 may 2011) biographers don’t eat. at their conferences the food is placed strategically just beyond the bar, which is surrounded by such a crush of people that one can never break through. in my many futile attempts to reach the mountains of canapés i could see on the other side of the room, i spent a significant […]
dear people, yesterday, mister thomas stearns eliot spoke to us from the beyond and revealed himself to be the petty jackass we always thought he was. this may seem a digression but then that just means you never knew me in my alternate life as someone who twice attended and twice taught at the t.s. […]
for the last few weeks, i’ve been working on a thing that lacks form– it may be an article or it may be a book. it is, undoubtedly, a story in progress. i’ve pursued it through haphazard writing and numerous conversations over expensive dinners i can’t really afford. still, i do not know what it […]
even though there is not a lot to say beyond the same old thing that it seems i always say, which is: OMG, why are we not better at this???!?! it is 2019. it is twenty years later. it’s been all that time and we still suck.
it is like a nesting doll, my life with jackie. a series of anniversaries, each now saturated in its own memories. because when you write about someone else, you are ultimately writing about yourself. when you write about someone for twenty-five years, writing about that person is actually you living your life.