it is like a nesting doll, all of it. my life with jackie, my writing about jackie. so that when i read the pages i have written about jackie, the whole book i have written on her life, it unpacks a whole series of memories of my own.
where i was when i wrote that sentence.
who i was sitting next to at the british library when i found that quote. (invariably, always, obviously, nanette.)
what i didn’t know was about to happen when i was in that archive.
the feeling of the wind in my hair and the blue blue sky above as i walked home after wandering round the yacht.
i’ve been writing this essay about kim kardashian for so long that it feels like i have never not been writing this essay about kim kardashian.
and that’s saying a lot coming from someone who’s been writing a book about jackie onassis for the last 20 years.
i’ve such a vivid memory of being at the HOTCUS conference in june 2015 and talking to someone about how amazingly wild it would be to write biographically about kim kardashian. in large part, because i couldn’t imagine how it might be done.
i couldn’t imagine how you could bring in the game and the bacardi adverts and the show and all of the paratexts and all of the transmedia.
today, class, a close reading of the DM’s article of 16 february 2018, entitled: “Sisters who competed to snare the world’s richest men: Schooled by their mother to seek out power, a new book reveals the jealousy between Jackie O and sister Lee and how they both bedded JFK.”
i mean, i had you at hello, right? you are like, holy moses, this woman is ambitious. for seriously, is there a more prodigious sex life of a dead person than that of JFK? haven’t we all of us, by this point, slept with JFK?
ok. so that’s taking it a step too far. but seriously. and i say this as a biographer. it is likely that JFK slept with a whole load of people. i’m not contesting that.
there seems to be a lot of compelling evidence that his sex life was extensive.
having written extensively about his wife, there seems to be compelling evidence that she knew his sex life was extensive.
what i would do is suggest that we not take every single claim about his extensive sex life as absolute truth.
mostly because the hubbub over this english lord nonsense was so nonsensical that it was exhausting, so i just did a big eye-roll and lived my life. a sloooooow big eye-roll mind you because the story of these letters has been like a dripping faucet, where you know it’s dripping and there’s nothing you can do about it but people keep coming into the room to say, OMG, IT’S DRIPPING!!! as though this is a revelation.
while the existence of letters is exciting and the existence of actual words is indeed a legit news story, the enthusiasm with which these particular letters and these actual words have been met- in particular, the GUSH of ink- seems a bit out of proportion with the letters and words themselves.
but then mayhaps you are like, OLINE, WHAT IS THIS OF WHICH YOU SPEAK??! let’s take this double-quick… Continue reading →
and let us begin by noting that, thanks to the oddities of the daily mail‘s online layout, no, this is not liz taylor at 16. it is a marks & spencer’s conspiracy to get us to buy cashmere. Continue reading →