Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Jews Reading About WASPs

Novelist Louis Auchincloss died at 92

Print Email

Louis Auchincloss, who wrote several delightful novels about delightful and not-so-delightful rich Manhattan WASPs, passed away Tuesday evening. He was—as Adam Sandler sang of O.J. Simpson—not a Jew. But in a 2008 essay in Tablet Magazine, Mark Oppenheimer expounded on experiencing Auchincloss as a Jew:

many decades later, reading Auchincloss is something of an education, skewed but wildly entertaining. Like watching Mad Men to learn about Kennedy-era businessmen, or HBO’s Rome to learn about ancient Rome, the more stereotyped the characters, the better; the payoff is not psychological intricacy but rather a kind of romanticized encounter with the past as other. Only it’s the WASP, not the Jew, who is the Other.

And Oppenheimer’s fine closing observation has decided what my weekend reading is going to be:

Now that Jews have been admitted to the club, we discover that it’s a rip-off, with bad food and overpriced drinks. There’s a poignant sense that maybe, in another time, it really was glamorous, that once we were being excluded from something worth having. The morality was bad, but the aesthetic was grand. Auchincloss continues to give us the pleasure of the latter without the worries of the former.

Louis Auchincloss, Chronicler of New York’s Upper Crust, Dies at 92 [NYT]

Related: Tales from School [Tablet Magazine]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Jews Reading About WASPs

Novelist Louis Auchincloss died at 92

More on Tablet:

Kerry Links Rise of ISIS With Failed Peace Talks

By Lee Smith — Secretary of State: ‘I see a lot of heads nodding’