Monday, May 11, 2009

John Edwards as Ethan Frome?

From the New York Times:

Politics Italian-style looked particularly comical and benign this past week as Americans relived John Edwards’s marital betrayal on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in all its sad, sordid detail. Elizabeth Edwards, who has written a book, “Resilience,” about her personal trials, told all to Ms. Winfrey while her penitent husband slunk to another part of their North Carolina mansion, waiting his turn to answer to Ms. Winfrey — an Ethan Frome of his former self.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dramatic adaptation of A Son at the Front

From Broadway World

A Son at the Front, an original play by Allen Frantzen, will have its world premiere performances June 5, 6, and 7 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. Based on Edith Wharton's poignant novel about World War I, A Son at the Front explores the effects of war on the family and friends of a young man who is eager to do his duty. Frantzen has enlarged on Wharton's themes, crafting a story of an American home front torn by divisions over the nation's role in the raging European conflict, and a family torn by disagreement about a son's destiny.

Set in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1916 and 1917, the action plays out against the many strains that roiled public life: conflicts between rich and poor, capitalists and socialists, war resisters and a growing tide of anti-German feeling, Native Americans and neighbors with roots in Europe. A Son at the Front tells of the fate of a young man who signs up to be an ambulance driver in France even before America's formal entry into the war, and who subsequently enters the fighting. Meanwhile, his family and friends struggle to piece together their partial and differing understandings of his actions, his whereabouts, and his motivations, viewing events through conflicting perceptions of the young man himself and their own aspirations for him.
Additional information is available at

Friday, May 01, 2009

Louis Auchincloss, Mrs. Astor, and Edith Wharton

From the New York Times:

In his testimony, Mr. Auchincloss also described a lunch some 60 years later that he said had troubled him because she did not recognize him.

The lunch, at the Knickerbocker Club, took place in 2001, he said. “It was a great shock to me because she didn’t know me,” Mr. Auchincloss testified. “She knew she ought to know me.”

He said it was not the first time he had wondered about her. He said that in 1998, Mrs. Astor took part in a discussion about Edith Wharton at the Union Club and said she had known Wharton.

“This was astonishing to me,” Mr. Auchincloss said. “I’d written a biography of Edith Wharton. She had told me, which I knew to be true, that she’d never met Edith Wharton. She could have, but I happened to know she hadn’t.”