Thursday, January 28, 2010

Louis Auchincloss 1917-2010

I've read many of Auchincloss's novels, but not all. During his long writing career he turned out over sixty books, including novels, literary criticism, and collections of short stories. Yes, he wrote about the upper class, that's what he knew. No, his work is not snobby. Yes, he was an acute observer of human behaviour, and he had a lovely dry sense of humor.

from the NYT article:

"“Class prejudice” was Mr. Auchincloss’s response to his critics. “That business of objecting to the subject material or the people that an author writes about is purely class prejudice,” he said in an interview in 1997, “and you will note that it always disappears with an author’s death. Nobody holds it against Henry James or Edith Wharton or Thackeray or Marcel Proust.”"

In fact, his work most resembles Edith Wharton, another member of privilege who spared them not in her work.

And, of course, RIP J.D. Salinger. But which one would I prefer to sit next to at a dinner party? Easy peasy, Louis of course.



At 5:29 PM, Blogger Meriwether Falk said...

I was just having this conversation with a girl from my writing class because Marc Acito said, "I am fascinated with refugees," and I was about to say, "Me too!" when he added "Rich refugees." I realized I don't like reading about rich people, at least not contemporary rich people. I'll check him out if you like him.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Linera Lucas said...

Auchincloss is not interested in shopping or in flaunting. He's just writing about the social group he knows, in much the same way Edith Wharton wrote about her social group, not praising, but with a keen interest in what makes them tick.


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