Sunday, October 14, 2007


Daphne Merkin's response to a trip to Southampton:

I began to feel very Jewish and very vulnerable. (Although the Hamptons abound in affluent Jews, the only Hebrew I knew who lived on Gin Lane was an ex-felon whose Israeli-born wife eschews all tribal indices.) I looked at my daughter’s T-shirt, which read “Just Do It: Israel.” In an instant, Gin Lane had turned me into a self-conscious “Hawaiian” — a term the young heiress in “Fierce People,” the recent film about the rich and savage, says is “code for people of the Jewish persuasion.”

My response to the same.


Anonymous said...

Merkin's pieces always follow the same arc, stopping briefly to comment on her irrelevant Jewish background before a confession of bad behavior (splurging on sweaters) only to conclude defensively that others are worse than she is. In this case--and not for the first time--she implicates her own daughter, whose avarice extends way past cashmere sweaters into the realm of fancy real estate. What's the point? That Merkin feels entitled? Then again, compared to the Syrian piece, her prose is a pleasure to read.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

I guess Roth isn't the only one at home with a generator.