September 19, 2007



While I won't argue that my report was more subjective than Mr. Marcus's, your use of the adjective "impressionistic" implies that I was making the whole thing up.


No, not at all, my friend. I was using the more literal definition of "impressionistic" which I have as "showing the effects of light and atmospheric conditions of an artist’s work that spontaneously captures a moment in time." And you did, indeed, capture the moment in time.


I didn't take it that way either, more that it was Ed's "impressions" of the night.


Ah, okay, I got it. Sorry for the semantic quibbling, it's been a strange day. But good to see you, Mark, and to finally meet, however briefly, the legendary MOTEV!

Justine Musk

Um, "eloquent summation of the eternal high/low conflict in American culture" forthcoming in a bit more detail anytime soon, or perhaps is already elsewhere on the web, or are you just teasing...?

Welcome back.


No worries, Ed. A well-intended quibble all around. And MOTEV was equally pleased to have met you.

Justine, I will drop a line to Elisabeth and ask her if she can recreate. I wasn't in a position to take notes.

James Marcus

What Elizabeth Sifton said was: "I always thought that America was a fatuous, thin, trivialized culture, and at the same time, I thought that America was just seething with talent, passion, and curiosity. I held both of those views at the same time, and I still hold both of them." That's 93% of it, anyway. My note-taking hand was getting awfully tired.


Damn, James, you're good.

Jack Pendarvis

See? I think it was the cigarette holder that got her! Glad to help.


Although, the second most memorable moment of the night... "Hi, My name's Josh, Class of 2003... I'm interviewing Barack Obama next week..."


All this and a podcast? Terrific, guys.


Bravo! Irving Howe! I'd never recover from that. Bravo! Very nicely done.

I'm sorry to have missed it. I was up in the Bronx, talking about Kim with my students. That was fun, too, but still... xxx


In all fairness, I should point out that the Howe remark was NOT an intellectual comparison. Rather, it had to do with independence. I was asked whether I was going to put ads here at TEV and said I wasn't interested. I wanted no obligations, not to be beholden, and to have the freedom not to post if I chose. That's when she invoked Howe.

Jack Pendarvis

Hey Mark! I sent you a long rambly email about "art," so you have that to look forward to! I feel sort of forward calling you "Mark," but I read your blog every day, which of course makes for a false sense of intimacy that I willingly exacerbate here in the privacy of my attic. I said "exacerbate!"


Saw your email, Jack - still digging out but will reply by the weekend. And, please, Mark it is - I'm only Mr. Sarvas to bill collectors.

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