Anybody up for a holiday blogging/academic success story, complete with New York and East Coast settings and movie stars and Richard Yates and his family and his masterpiece, a heart-warming tale with a plucky heroine?
KCJ, or “kateonyates,” formerly “viewfrommywindow,” is a teacher in England somewhere who is writing a dissertation on the work of Richard Yates. She stumbled on zhiv and has made many kind comments on the substantial nothings about Yates and his work that are to be found here. The old maxim, “if you can’t teach, coach gym” might be updated in this case to “if you can’t be an academic, blog and push genuine academics to be aggressive in ways that you would never be.” I pushed KCJ to blog about her notes and thoughts, and after a false start, prompted her to get her expertise out from under the bushel where she was keeping it hidden. So her dusty Yates archive Boston trip was transformed into a series of amusing adventures, including an Emerson College seminar and night out in Boston with Yates’s Ploughshares publisher, interviewer, and friend DeWitt Henry; a gossipy seaside session with Yates’s biographer, Blake Bailey; and finally a nervous night out at a screening in the Big City, with boots, botox, Kate on Kate, a few quick comments on the film, and telling the director that he fucked up the last shot of his movie.
All very enjoyable, especially for those who are Yates readers and literary folk first, and a little less than comfortable hanging out with the Hollywood crowd. She does need to tell us, however, who will play her in the short film of this episode–we have a few ideas, but wouldn’t presume to guess.