LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE by Calvin Tomkins

LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Tomkins, best known for his graceful and astute New Yorker book commentaries on aspects of the art world, has every reason to write about Gerald and Sara Murphy since while they are best remembered as those friends of the Fitzgeralds, Gerald was also a painter -- of ten pictures. Eight tire reproduced here, along with some sixty photographs. He painted them during the close to ten years he lived in Paris and Antibes before he returned to take over the family business, Mark Cross. The Murphys were seen with almost everyone during this decade -- Picasso and Stravinsky, Cocteau and the Hemingways. Sara was naive, incorruptible, and casual, wearing her pearls down her back to the beach; Gerald, who had moments of sham and unreality, was used by Fitzgerald as the model for Dick Diver in the first half of Tender Is the Night. Together the Murphys with their three children, two of whom died young, were ""masters in the art of living."" Everyone will remember them from the literature and, by the way, there's a sharp repudiation of Andrew Turnbull at one point. In Mr. Tomkins' short reprise their special charm emerges clearly through the mistral.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1971
Publisher: Viking