To point out that The 50 Year Argument is not the documentary that the Review deserves is neither to overpraise the paper nor to dismiss Scorsese’s effort: Most literary publications, running smoothly, are about as well suited to cinematic narrative as a long-term janitorial project. Scorsese has attempted to pep things up by casting the Reviewas a front-lines political journal with a rock-star stable of writers. The result is forced, befuddled, and frequently weird. Still, it’s a fine introduction to the long arc of the paper’s history.
I have made one bad real estate decision after another my entire life. Knowing this, I made a lot of effort to consult people who I believe to be intelligent in real estate. It made no difference. I made the worst decision of my life. Even if you’re moving to an apartment that turns out being OK, like last time, which was only four years ago, if you have 10,000 books, it’s a difficult undertaking. The more that you mention this to people, even if people know about it, the more you are criticized for having 10,000 books. I finally said to somebody the other day, “You know what? They are books. It’s not like I am running an opium den for children. There’s nothing wrong with that — you may not want to have that, you may think that’s crazy, but you cannot have a moral objection to this.” Even real estate agents would say to me, “If you got rid of the books, you wouldn’t need such a big apartment.” And I would say, “Yes that’s true, but what if I had four children? Would you say, ‘Why don’t you put them in storage, because you can’t really afford an apartment for them?’” Basically my whole life, I’ve paid for these books. Buying them is nothing, but housing them is hard because they need a giant apartment. People say, “Why do you need such a big apartment — do you throw a lot of parties?” No. It’s for the books. I believe books to be the perfect companion. They’re very good-looking, they’re there when you need them, but it’s not just the books. It’s where they live, which is in bookcases with glass doors. I only put them in cases with glass doors because dust is very bad for books.
Home and love are hard things for writers to have. Maybe that’s why so many writers pretend we don’t want them. I work alone. I live my work. I should have always lived alone. When I cohabited with G., I carved out “my space,” repeatedly, against the bleeding chunk of us. I travelled to empty myself. By exteriors, I was homey with him; by interiors, I was ravishingly single and alone, but still it wasn’t enough, because at night, after the worst fights, he curled himself around me until he was inside. Slowly, torturingly, I resented him. I wrote the best from furthest away.
We’ve been talking for a while when a boat rows up carrying three teenagers – two girls and a guy. “Oh, my God!” says one of the girls. “Today is my birthday! Can I please take a picture with you?” Swift laughs. “You can, but I don’t know how you’re going to. You’re on a boat, buddy!”
"I’ll get off!" the girl says. "I’ll find a way." Swift and her bodyguard reach out and help her into the pavilion. "You’re going to make me cry!" she says.
"Is it really your birthday?" Swift asks.
"How old are you?"
"Seventeen," the girl says.
"Oh, that’s a good year."
"I know. I’m excited."
The girl says she lives on Long Island. She and her friends took the train in for the day. “That’s cute,” Swift says. “Are you going to dinner somewhere?”
The girl scrunches up her face. “We were going to … Chipotle?”
Swift smiles. She goes to her purse and pulls out a wad of cash – $90, to be exact. “Here,” she says. “Go somewhere nice.”
"Oh, my God," the girl says. "Thank you!" She climbs back in the boat, and she and her friends paddle off.