AND DID YOU ONCE SEE SIDNEY PLAIN? by Max Wilk

AND DID YOU ONCE SEE SIDNEY PLAIN?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anecdotage on the great pasquinader, perorator, and neologist by a fellow humorist. The slim tome--illustrated by a dozen or so Hirschfield drawings featuring SJL's steely-rimmed gaze--is so brief (56 pages altogether) that it feels more like preprandial conversation than portraiture. Beginning with a small appreciation of the artist, and a prÉcis of his career in New York, Hollywood, and elsewhere, the rest of the book covers the period after the author meets Perelman in 1969. The longest tale follows the strange path of a woven plastic screen from Bombay that began as an impulse purchase and became a mild obsession for the preeminent wordsmith. The aging humorist is shown facing writer's block and wanderlust intermittently, but brevity obscures the soul of the wit. Though not intimate, this is a witty biographical monograph, light, dry, unostentatious, like a good white wine; it is too bad there's a mere half-glass of it.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1986
Publisher: Norton