Lucifer's Valet

Posted in My Back Pages by lucifersvalet on 2 December 2009

Stephen J. Greenblatt on Charlie Rose. At first I don’t recognize him. Another memento of the lost life? All memory is about what’s lost. Speaking of which, Charlie Rose is a crappy substitution for Dick Cavett. At least Cavett had sparkle. Rose goes instead for gravitas. Cavett’s shtick was a kid from Nebraska who could work his way up to being a cultural elitist. Yes, surely middlebrow, but at least it had a DIY quality. Rose is a professional. He speaks to professionals. There is no need for charm or charisma: what’s required is a license. It’s a job, not an art. Cavett was a pale copy of Oscar Wilde (pale as the cathode ray illumination on the wall, seen of course from someone on the sidewalk looking in windows). If you’re going to be fake, why not something fun like Wilde? Rose may be a real thing, but it’s a clerk. What did Marlon Brando say in that movie? The world is run by clerks.


Warren Zevon had a joke about that movie: Marlowe travels up river, through battle and jungle and nightmare, through the heart of darkness, only to find at the end of his quest Truman Capote.

A world that falls off from Dick Cavett wasn’t falling from a great height.



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