The Breakfast Table

Opera Shake-Ups, Dr. Lewinsky, and the Narcotic Pleasure of Buying Books

Dear Dwight,

I suppose that when something unexpected happens at the opera—one of the few places on Earth that still feels like it must have in the Age of Innocence days—it really shakes people up. I am not sure why they had to fire the poor man, though he will probably make more money as a waiter at Babbo.

I think Dr. Lewinsky would have a lot of trouble convincing her patients that their fantasies about her were really about them, and not her.

Otherwise, I am becoming one of those lurking regulars at the bookstore around the corner. I slink in with the guilty aura of a person who should be home working. I buy paperbacks with the desperate furtiveness of an addict. The novel I loved most was W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, which I am still recovering from. I also loved: V.S Naipaul’s The Mimic Men, Areyah Lev Stollman’s The Far Euphrates, Elizabeth Bowen’s Death of the Heart, and Sybille Bedford’s Jigsaw.

The narcotic pleasure may rival the fruit leaves and water pipes, which we should definitely try. …