Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Read Them NOW

Did some errands on Broadway in the morning and was privately pleased to see everything looking about the same as when I first knew the neighborhood in the 1980s.

Took a break for lunch (between one museum and the next) in Central Park near a large pond with a fancy-shaped rim. I pictured it as the place they sail model boats (or talk about memories of sailing model boats) in The Catcher in the Rye.

After a walk I went to revisit old friends at the Frick Collection, particularly the pair of Holbeins on either sided of the parlor fireplace: Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, both depicted as ministers of Henry VIII.

Holbein's portrait of Thomas More

Holbein's portrait of Thomas Cromwell

The painting of this pair of portraits is described to great effect by Hilary Mantel in her new book, Wolf Hall. That novel is already short-listed for the Booker Prize this year, and is my bet to win, even with Coetzee and Byatt also in the running.

By the time I extricated myself from the Frick, the light was growing quiet.