In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007 - Literary Collections - 410 pages
14 Reviews
Joseph Epstein has been called America’s “liveliest, most erudite and engaging essayist” (James Atlas), and In a Cardboard Belt! provides ample proof for the claim. Taking his title from the wounded cry of the once great Max Bialystock in The Producers -- “Look at me now! Look at me now! I’m wearing a cardboard belt!” -- Epstein gives us his largest and most comprehensive collection to date.

Writing as a memoirist, polemicist, literary critic, and amused observer of contemporary culture, he uses to deft and devastating effect his signature gifts: wide-ranging erudition, sparkling humor, and a penetrating intelligence. In personally revealing essays about his father and about his years as a teacher, in deeply considered examinations of writers from Paul Valery to Truman Capote, and in incisive take-downs of such cultural pooh-bahs as Harold Bloom and George Steiner, this remarkable collection presents us with the best work of our country’s most singular talent, engaged with the richness and variety of life, witty in his response to the world, and always entertaining.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

Bailing out of this one pretty early on. I don't like the smarmy, supercilious tone, nor am I particularly interested in the topics. I was seduced by a great cover with strong blurbs. Story of my life. Read full review

Review: In a Cardboard Belt!: Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage

User Review  - Mike - Goodreads

Lots of insights, and ideas (and motivation) for future reading. notes: title from max bialystock quote 26 pullups at 70! auden...let all your thinks be thanks --my decay proceeds roughly on schedule ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Oh Dad Dear Dad
3
Talking to Oneself
15
Goodbye Mr Chipstein
32
On the Road Again Alas
45
Memoirs of a Cheap and Finicky Glutton
59
Speaking of the Dead
72
Why I Am Not a Lawyer
82
Books Wont Furnish a Room
96
The Medical Keats
218
The Great Bookie
243
Curious George Steiner
254
Bloomin Genius
263
Thank You No
273
Forgetting Edmund Wilson
281
Intellectuals Public and Otherwise
295
Cmon Reiny Lets Do the Twist
308

The Intimate Abstraction of Paul Valery
111
Monsieur Prousts Masterwork
127
Vin Audenaire
145
The Godhaunted Fiction of IB Singer
164
Truman Capote and the Cost of Charm
177
The Max Beerbohm Cult
186
Pink Pigeons and Blue Mayonnaise
195
The Return of Karl Shapiro?
208
The Torture of Writers Block
321
Is Reading Really at Risk?
331
The Perpetual Adolescent
343
The Culture of Celebrity
356
Why Are Academics So Unhappy?
373
What Happened to the Movies?
383
Im History
394
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

JOSEPH EPSTEIN is the author of the best-selling Snobbery and of Friendship, among other books, and was formerly editor of the American Scholar. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Bibliographic information