Remember when the Sunday Times Book Review, frankly middlebrow and proud of it, used to run author's queries ("for a biography of Maxwell Anderson I would be grateful . . .") and legitimate questions from college grads who wanted to track down a favorite quotation (was it Scott Fitzgerald who said "live fast, die young, and have a handsome corpse?") In that spirit I offer you this cocktail party line that would have beguiled Flo Bear.
"If the Kennedy White House was decadent; the Clinton White House was sordid." Who said it? I have asked a lot of smart people, to no avail, and would be grateful for any leads. Meanwhile, my friend Burt Hooton proposes this multiple choice list of possible candidates:
1) Jane Fonda
2) Arthur Schlesinger
3) Diana Trilling
4) Pat Lawford
5) Jacques Barzun
6) Lawrence P. Berra
I'm not convinced by any of Burt's suggestions, though the terms of the distinction do sound as though they could have come from #3 or #5, and I appreciate the convention observed in #6.
You get extra points (which you will need this Sunday) if you can say what Ava Gardner is doing in this post or if you can make a convincing case in favor of Oliver Stone's theory of JFK's assassination. -- DL