Tag: Lionel Trilling

The Other Night at Philadelphia

Back in the 1950s or 60s, can’t remember when it was, Diana Trilling had an essay called “The Other Night at Columbia.” It was meant to be a mordant, ironic musing on a poetry reading at Columbia University by Allan Ginsberg, who had been a student of Trilling’s husband, the Columbia professor and literary critic Lionel Trilling. I’m sure I’m misremembering the details, perhaps even the overall mood and ethos of the piece; it’s been a long time. What I vaguely remember is this: Despite Trilling’s attempts to make the essay into a larger comment about littler manners and morals, what you come away with, more than anything else, is her total emotional investment in…Columbia. Even when she’s trying to be critical, […]

A Very Bourgeois Post on Buying a House

Last weekend, I was at my parents’ house and I saw a copy of Lawrence Durrell’s Bitter Lemons on the shelf. I’ve stared at the book since I was a kid, but I never bothered to pick it up, much less read it. In the last several years, though, my friend Adina has been singing the praises of Durrell as one of our great writers of place. So I decided to spirit the book away with me back to Brooklyn. (Sorry, Mom! I also have your copy of Rebecca.) I’m glad I did. It’s a terrific read. I’ve just finished the chapter on Durrell buying a house in Cyprus. I haven’t laughed out loud, that loudly, in some time. The elaborate […]