16 February 2011

Squeak, Memory

My friend the composer, whom I shall call Daniel (as it is his name – what else would I want to call him?), tipped me off to a wonderful addition to the King of Cocktails. Daniel puts orange zest into his Manhattans. I just tried it this evening. My, my...it is like a little dash of sunshine in the middle of this midwestern winter.

I got to looking through a biographical list of Lost Generation authors just two nights ago, and then I came across a reference to Vladimir Nabokov just today (it was actually just my mind recycling the lyrics to “Don't Stand So Close to Me,” by the Police, if you must know), and I realized that chronologically Nabokov would have fit in neatly with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Papa Hemingway and the other Losts, had he not been a royal pain in the ass and perhaps taken himself a bit less seriously. His 1972 assessment,

As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early 'forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.”

Ridiculous. Anyhow, I think a true test of artistry would show either Fitzgerald or Hemingway as the hands-down winner: who can mix the meanest round of cocktails and pen the notes to his next novel while at the same time being hit on by a room full of Spanish nurses and/or dancing the Charleston? Nabokov would be face down in his samovar. 23-skiddoo, fella.

Hand me my cocktail shaker and pen...and crank up that craa-azy Victrola.

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