Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jimmy Breslin’s Perpetual Deadline

By Alan Feuer
New York Times

Jimmy Breslin, in his bare feet and a bricklayers’ union sweatshirt, sat at home some months ago glumly taking phone calls on the death of Norman Mailer. There were a lot of calls, perhaps there were too many calls; his morning writing had been interrupted. The Times of London had called, as had NPR, The New York Observer and New York magazine, many of them wishing to be told about a distant night, some 40 years ago, at a jazz club in the Village, where Mailer, drunk and stoned on marijuana, had climbed on top of a senator’s wife. Mr. Breslin, who had been there too that night but wasn’t drunk — at least not yet — hung his head and sighed a bit each time the night came up. Surely there were better things to talk about than Mailer’s ancient antics. He growled, quoted Auden, then sent the poor reporters on their way.

“I was doing fine till Norman died,” he growled again, hanging up. Mr. Breslin’s growl is actually more of a squawk and not unlike how a pintail duck might sound if it smoked a pack a day through a kazoo. He couldn’t really blame the press for calling, even if these interruptions had him on the edge of a troubling realization. “Who’s around for them to go to anymore? That’s the thing: I’m the last guy left.” [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

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