Saturday, March 6, 2010

Would it have been worth it, after all

From “The Deflationist,” Larissa MacFarquhar’s profile of Paul Krugman (New Yorker, March 1, 2010). Krugman’s wife Robin Wells is speaking:

“As a spouse, you have your little list of things that you jokingly won’t forgive your spouse for. Right after he started writing for the Times and attacking George Bush, we got an invitation to have dinner with Paul Newman and his wife, but he wouldn’t go. And now he’s dead.”

“It was inconvenient,” Krugman says. “I just don’t get any joy out of thinking, Oh, here I am with the movers and shakers. It would have required really discombobulating my schedule just to be able to say I’d had dinner with Paul Newman, and it’s not worth it.”
I think Krugman has it wrong. The point of having dinner with Paul Newman and “his wife” — who too has a name, Joanne Woodward — is not to be able to say that you had dinner with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The point of having dinner with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward is to have dinner with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Re: that list: maybe you do.

[Post title with apologies to T.S. Eliot and J. Alfred Prufrock.]

comments: 6

Geo-B said...

When I was in graduate school, a couple of times Borges would come by, and he would often have a meeting with English speakers and a meeting with Spanish speakers, and then in the evening he would give a formal program where he would read poetry. I would go to all three; even though I understood little Spanish then, I would go to that meeting also because it was BORGES. How many times in one's life does one get the chance?

Geo-B said...

When I was in graduate school, a couple of times Borges would come by, and he would often have a meeting with English speakers and a meeting with Spanish speakers, and then in the evening he would give a formal program where he would read poetry. I would go to all three; even though I understood little Spanish then, I would go to that meeting also because it was BORGES. How many times in one's life does get that chance?

Michael Leddy said...

“How many times in one’s life does one get the chance?” In my case, exactly once. I missed Borges at Columbia in 1980 due to the NYC transit strike. Getting to Columbia, I thought, would be impossible.

In 1985 (I think), I skipped the chance to hear Raymond Carver read at Northeastern. It was Friday, the reading was in the late afternoon, I was beat. There’d always be another chance, right? (Wrong.)

[Just so you know, George, I typed your comment and put it in with your regular URL. Blogger is being difficult with comments: I could not get yours to appear.]

Michael Leddy said...

Oh well. Your comment is now here twice, with my slight mistyping.

mari said...

Michael, I thought exactly the same thing as you did when I read this article. If I had been "Krugman's wife", I would have gone without him.

Michael Leddy said...

: )