John Cheever

Recent

Trick Shot

Sometimes successful films — ones that aren’t expected to be, by many excellent people — spawn copycats, a fact as well-known as well-attested. The followers aren’t as awesome as the originals but they’re not always so awful, and the makers, if they care a little, will throw some new stuff in, or at least get people

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No Prizes for Subtlety

It was the sort of place you wouldn’t be found dead in; the guy on the floor didn’t agree. Didn’t seem to like the floor — but it was in better shape than his face. Then someone had gone duck hunting on his chest. And either another guy was standing in front of me, or

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Can We Tawk?

Comedienne Joan Rivers’ catchphrase was, ‘Can we talk?’ with all that that entails — its rhetorical nature, the Jewish thing, an implication that at least one of the parties will be better off for having done so … Like God. T’other day a priest spoke of ontological remembrance, the immediate and ongoing memory of past-present-future

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Hide and See

Something lost, Dallas Willard said once, might yet be very valuable. One’s car keys for instance. He was speaking somewhat in the context of salvation, if I recall … the general point was calling something lost doesn’t mean it’s not wanted — quite the opposite. Yet it remains … until finding its way out or being found

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Random

Un Success Full

Thomas Merton was asked once to contribute to a book on success — specifically a statement of how he’d achieved it in his own life. I replied indignantly that I was not able to consider myself a success in any terms that had meaning to me. If it happened that I had once written a

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The Fat Guy and Buffets

The word is buffet, and it is 300 years old, from the Old French, of “obscure origin” as the kids say, if the kids wrote etymological dictionaries. Obscure origin, but the word is more than making up for it three centuries later. They are everywhere. Everywhere the Fat Guy lives, and everywhere he has been. I

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Whee

Each animal has its glory. The dog his ears, the rabbit her tail, the dolphin their leaps. Elephant trunk Moose antlers Giraffe … duh Walrus tusks Whale tails Wolf howl Bear claw Bird caw + [We’d first say flight of course but see, think, feel they all fly and largely the same — tho the

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I See That Hand

We imagine Thomas even doubted himself. When the other disciples said Christ had risen, this earnest empiricist first said, “unless I see” … then he realized it wasn’t enough. So he demanded to “thrust my hands into His side.” For Thomas, seeing wasn’t believing. But touch … that he had hopes for. * Seeing isn’t

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