Eve's Hollywood (New York Review Books Classics)
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I appreciate the author's sense of restraint. There seems to be as much in what he doesn't say, as what he does. I love the way he develops his characters. He doesn't overplay them, but lets me find each character in my own way. I like how he respects each character, thereby respecting the efforts of the reader as well. Like the movie stars who had fascinated her since childhood, she was a master of entrances. Her first major public appearance came in 1963, aged 20, in one of the art world’s most famous photographs: Babitz, in the nude, plays chess with the fully clothed Marcel Duchamp.
And to Mr. Major, I'm sorry I turned out this way. And to the land, the beach, the trees, the hills, the sky, the Bradbury Building, the Broadway Hollywood and all the flowers in spring.
And to Anne Marshall, the beautiful friend to us all. And to Michelle Guilliane for calling first before bringing Kim Fawley into my house. From that point on, Eve always took my calls, and I made them, several times a week, for years and years. The rapport that eluded us in person, where every encounter was abrupt, stilted, awkward, was, over the phone, effortless. And to Annie Leibovitz and her trusty companion, Citizen Wenner, gathering moss to the North. And to Grover Lewis who dispels gloom with blue eyes in a blue town with blue rugs, Texanly. And Sara and Charlie and the girl with the coke.
Babitz lived for a year in New York and for a few months in Rome, but Los Angeles was her home and inspiration, a playground for self-invention, a “gigantic, sprawling ongoing studio”. In her essay Daughters of the Wasteland, she remembered her disbelief that others could find Los Angeles empty and unlivable. Company,” her essay collection from 1977—also recently reissued—Babitz stops by the Chateau Marmont for a drink. Mid-conversation, she starts
Toward the end of Rules Of Civility, Eve boards a train from New York to Chicago, but never arrives. Six months later, she is seen in a photograph in a gossip magazine leaving the Tropicana Club in Los Angeles with Olivia de Havilland. A frozen moment. And then the moment passed when Laurie collapsed theatrically in the seat beside me. “The drive here was craaaazy,” she said. And a minute after that, Mirandi was at the table too, and an energetic discussion ensued about the best route to take from the Eastside to Hollywood at midday.