One of my guilty pleasures is reading the “Modern Love” feature in the New York Times Sunday Style section. The pleasure shouldn’t be that guilty; they have very good writers writing very good and interesting takes on varieties of love in the modern age (or at least the contemporary age). Over and over I see articles by writers that I know are good but I am surprised to see in the Times and more surprised to see in the Style section.
Take today’s for instance. Novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz writes of the surprise of watching her husband at age 53 decided to take up rock guitar, to join up with an financial manager, a Renaissance poetry professor and a lawyer to form a band called Rackett, and to end up with a song co-written by Warren Zevon and produced by Bruce Springstein. The unsurprising part is that her husband is the immensely literarily gifted poet Paul Muldoon. The surprising part is that her husband is the rather wrinkled and distracted 50ish Irish intellectual Paul Muldoon. Hanff Korelitz does a wonderful and loving and modern take on mid-life crisis and the odd success of Muldoon’s passion and her sharing of that passion.
Small personal note: I was a reader/reviewer for some of Paul Muldoon’s earlier works when they were being published by Wake Forest University Press and the wonderful Dillon Johnston (who looks much more like an older rock star than Muldoon). I particularly remember the joy of reading his complex Quoof in manuscript. I still believe that Quoof is the most significant book in the Muldoon canon.