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HBT Weekend Wrapup

Jan 31, 2011, 5:20 AM EDT

Office at Night

I threw my back out this weekend. No idea how I did it. When I sat down on Saturday morning I felt fine. When I stood up to get out of the chair none of my lower back muscles worked. These are the sorts of things that happen to you when you’re slothful and are pushing 40. Silver lining: given that standing up was quite painful and doing any actual housework or active parenting was out of the question, I sat in a comfy leather chair for two days and read two books. Well, finished a long one I had been reading and read another.

Something I already knew but which was underscored in a major, major way: Edward Hopper and James Ellroy would be the worst wingmen in history.  If you asked Hopper to talk to the friend of the girl you’re scoping out, he’d say nothing for five minutes, then say something witheringly cutting and then paint a picture of her as a figure of stark loneliness.  Ellroy would go motormouth on her about how she looked a lot like his dead mother. You know, the one whose murder he caused by invoking a curse back in 1958?  Either way, you’re not going home with the girl you were scoping out.

Anyway, this is what you may have missed if, like me, you spent the weekend reading about two fantastic artists with serious psycho-sexual issues:

Oh, and if you care: “Rooms by the Sea” and “American Tabloid” are probably my favorites, though those change quite frequently depending on mood.

  1. Jonny 5 - Jan 31, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    Right after thinking about how well “built” that painting was for being done in a more conservative era. I can’t help but to think if the man was able to wiggle out of that one? Or if he even tried to? The window shade is afterall, right there.

  2. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Jan 31, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Next time you want to read a book about an person with psycho-sexual issues I recommend “The Professor and the Madman”. A really great read.

    • spudchukar - Jan 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      Just finishing “The Man Who Loved China”, spectacular read about Joseph Needham. This Winchester work rates right up there with ‘The Madman’, and ‘the Map’ and ‘Krakatoa’. How do so many fascinating historical events go unnoticed until Simon writes about them?
      Hopper’s “Sun in an Empty Room”, still my fav.

  3. apbaguy - Jan 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Nicki Minaj was modeling for Hopper. Who knew?

    Out here we always called him Duke, short for Duke of Hurl. “The” Duke was reserved for John Wayne, about whom HBT has already spent too much discussion time. Otherwise “Duke-sher” works for the full pronunciation.

    Anyway, how do the Bal’mer folks figure Duke will do this year?

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