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Friday, January 29, 2010
Louis Auchincloss- A Tribute
I'd been too self absorbed the past several days, wrapped up on my couch with blankey, TV remote and puppy to observe, until an attentive reader brought to my attention, the passing of Louis Auchincloss.
I often felt I was born too late to really understand Mr. A's novels of the life and mores of upper crust New York, but whenever I need a good escapist read I turn to him first. Somewhat in the same manner as some guys pine for those heady New York days of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" or the early Playboy fantasy life, I naturally turned towards the gilded Patrician age of post war America.
Frankly, I wonder if Mr. Auchincloss's writing wasn't mostly misunderstood. I'm not certain he was praising the rich, for the sake of being rich. It more felt like he was an anthropologist, discovering a new tribe of beings. He always seemed to me to be questioning the why's or how's rather than the novelist natural inclination towards justification. He seemed more the Puritan.
Few of his novels are great literature, but all are enjoyable reads.
Two of my favorite LA quotes:
“The tragedy of American civilization is that it has swept away WASP morality and put nothing in its place,”
"How can you live in the times we live in and not feel, 'Doesn't there have to be some evening up?'
To his family and friends, My condolences. He will be greatly missed.