One shaft of sunlight that has illuminated a rather gloomy year for most Americans has been the year-long celebration in honor of George Gershwin. When Gershwin died suddenly at age 38 in 1937, the novelist John O'Hara wrote in his typically hard-boiled-sentimental style: "They tell me George Gershwin is dead, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to." Corny or not, O'Hara's sentiments seemed to have been shared by many this year, as the many television specials, new recordings and stagings of Gershwin's work attest. In fact, the 50th anniversary appears to be closing with a rush this December as one Gershwin gala crowds another throughout the country.
Books about books were of special interest to George W. Hunt, S.J., and so, in his honor, we reprint this Of Many Things column from Feb. 20, 1993.
Allow me to presume that you are one of those mildly perverse people who finds delight in stories that run counter to your usual fuddy-duddy moral judgments offered in public If so then we know that there are several sure-fire kinds of narrative that never lose the naughty appeal of slumming with
The cover for this delightful collection of interconnected essays is the famous photo taken in 1932 of 11 ironworkers enjoying a relaxed lunch break as they sit side by side perched on an I-beam a thousand feet up in open space overlooking mid-Manhattan their legs nonchalantly dangling from the sk