It is the merry month of May and (as reflected in this issue of Manhattan) the 60th anniversary of the greatest literary magazine, The Paris Review. Also, this month’s release of Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, the documentary about one of its founding editors, George Plimpton, inclined us to ask his son, Taylor, to review it. Further, I asked Paris Review founder and author Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse) to expound on the virtues of George, which he does on our opening page, The City. He regaled me with tales of George’s determination, carrying the Review through less financially remunerative times, and reminded me of George’s wit and wisdom.
I remember when I first met the ubiquitous and famous raconteur George as an all too young but not naïve editor of the now-shuttered magazine, Manhattan File. He called me “the prettiest editor in New York,” which of course I used as an opportunity to ask him to write for my magazine. After working with him for years on humor pieces, reviews of his favorite restaurants, even a night out with his otherwise reclusive pal Hunter S. Thompson, who was in town for the premiere of the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, George had become my favorite writer. His ability to find humor in everything—and always in an elegant, rhythmic way—turned my interests as an editor toward his greatest skill as a participatory journalist. This is why, in every issue of Manhattan, you will find a bit of an homage to George—intrepid reporter Harry Hurt III embarking on some adventure of another sort. In this issue, he tees off at the city’s most luxurious indoor private club, Golf & Body.
Of course, George also unwittingly inspired a future of fiction-driven magazines. Wherever I edit, I strive for literary content as the crux—like the ice-cream in a sundae. The outcome is always the same—everyone loves a good scoop.
Also in this issue, Glee’s Jane Lynch gives us a good laugh in our Satire column. What a coup she is, and what a relief and a reminder that laughter is sometimes the best remedy when fear rears its ugly “face of evil,” causing the woefully commonplace tragedies that have befallen our society.
As in the fashion of good ol’ George, recognition of great effort on this magazine’s behalf goes to my beautiful executive editor, Camille Hunt, who’s getting married this month, and whose consistently good ideas and hard work make Manhattan a very merry read, indeed.
Happy Mother’s Day to the “queen bee,” my mother Regina, who has fed cups of her sweet Brazilian magic and rhythm to me, well, forever.
Submissions to Fictionist can be made to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.