THE PHOENIX NEST by Martin- Ed. Levin


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The Phoenix Nest was originally William Rose Benet's column, described by Martin Levin as ""an eyrie pitched in the family tree of FPA's Conning Tower, Don Marquis's Lantern and George S. Kaufman's Mail Chute"". It was revived two years ago in the Saturday Review by Martin Levin and represents what he calls ""a miscellany of humorists writing mainly for their own delight in forms that are personal, casual and brief"". Probably the most common characteristic of all these selections in their brevity but they strike a wide variety of humorous poses, from the limerick to the parody to the personal reminiscence, and they include a vast number of contributors -- George S. Kaufman, Howard Lindsay, Ben Hecht, Peter De Vries, Ogden Nash, Edmund Wilson, Harry Golden, Marc Connelly, James Thurber, Peter Viereck -- to mention only the more recognizable names. There are, unquestionably, some obviously amusing selections here, for example, A Remembrance of Things Proust, by Evelyn Dorr; parodies on Faulkner, the Readers' Digest, science-fiction; a Hollywood treatment of Ulysses; and an improbable taxi ride in Manhattan. But for the most part, many of these bits and pieces (often occasioned by items in the newspapers, advertisements, fads), though they may be of timely interest in a magazine, seem of dubious appeal and value in book form.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday