Today's NY Times has a lengthy and adulatory review of Nora Ephron's new book, and the NY Times Magazine has an interview with Nora Ephron, and there are photos of Nora Ephron looking sleek and stylish, and you can get enough of a glimpse of her apartment to see that she has very charming and comfy digs on the Upper West Side, and I bet anything she has never needed gum surgery, either.
So I am clearly a humliating minority of one for not having liked her new book. Today's review does point out that it contains a great deal of recycled material, but the reviewer is forgiving of that (as I am not) because she recycles in amusing ways. (Now there's a phrase! Where I live, in Maine, recycing consists of taking your trash to the dump; and now I am trying to think of a way to do that which would be sophisticated and witty. I'll have to get back to you on that.)
I m not going to dwell on this. I didn't like the book, but my grandmother used to say "That's why there is vanilla, and also chocolate." I will read something else. I am already reading something else. Specifically I am reading Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken and liking it very much.
Day after tomorrow I head to NYC where that night I will vsiit with old friends, and on Wednesday will spend the day at The Riverdale School in the Bronx. I very rarely...well, close to never...visit schools. But for complicated reasons I agreed to do this one. Coincidentally, back when I was a photographer of children, i did portraits of a number of kids who attended that school. Of course they're all grown up now, as is the young girl on the cover of Number the Stars whom I photographed at about that same time, in the 1970's.
Looking at these, at me (age 30-something) with that old M-4 Leica, I am nostalgic. In those days I studied photography in graduate school; I used (this is of no interest to anyone except other photographers, I know...) a rangefinder camera (albeit a very fine one) and a hand-held meter; then I developed and printed the photos myself. I sometimes made photos sepia by bathing them in potassium ferrocyanide...lethal stuff!... I spent hours and hours and HOURS in the darkroom (loving every minute).
Now, with the advent of digital photography and Photoshop...it is all so easy. Anybody can do good photos. Anybody can buy a DSLR and become a photographer. I guess that's a good thing, that people no longer spend long days in lightless rooms, breathing in chemical fumes. But there seems a downside to me, in everything becoming so easy. I think I liked it better when you had to work at stuff, and earn it.
I guess that's actually related to my previous semi-rant about spending time learning the craft and art of writing, instead of looking for the immediate gratification of publication.
Oh, I am getting old and crochety. Probably Nora Ephron has never grumbled about anything in her life. (And did I mention her very slim hips?)