Sunday, 7 September 2008

Time, Katherine Hepburn and Walter Winchell

Sheila O'Malley's blog is quite becoming my favourite. But I wonder how she does it? So many posts, and so many books read and then reviewed - a new one every day it seems. How does she find the time? And she reviews them so intelligently and eloquently. I may never have to read an actual book again. Sheila's reviews are enough.
How I wish I had Ms O'Malley's puissance. When I read her piece on Katharine Hepburn today, not to mention yesterday's article, I figured she and Kate must have plenty in common. Relentless drive and energy.

(My door knocks. Brian-next-door has brought me some Day Lilies he's dug from his garden. The sun's actually shining today, so I'll get them into my border after breakfast. Yesterday, Joan-across-the-road, let me have a pile of 78s for my new gramophone only . I only mentioned I was a little down after my break up and it's been nothing but cake and plants ever since. Bless them.)

Now, I've been reading Neal Gabler's book on Walter Winchell for almost a year now. Little snatches here and there, and enjoying it immensely. But could I write a coherent review? Gabler does such a fabulous job of describing a difficult man without judging him. Winchell was clearly a monster, and yet like most of the cruellest bullies he was driven, not by a dark and evil heart, but by fear. Winchell had peered into the abyss early in his life, and like all who have, never forgot it was there, waiting to suck him in if he should ever slow down, or stumble or stop running from it for a minute. His bullying, his cruelty, his obsession with success and money and power was simply his way of trying to feel safe. And the irony is that I don't think he ever did feel safe. Not for an instant. He ruined lives and loves, and for what? He is a lesson in why we should love our children and make them feel safe. They will hunger less when they are adults and the world will be a softer place.

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