THE JOHN O'HARA SOCIETY celebrates the life and works of John O'Hara, Pennsylvania's pre-eminent contemporary author and America's greatest short-story writer. The JOHS studies, publishes, and diffuses works by and about the author. Membership is free. For details, contact the JOHS's Corresponding Secretary, Richard Carreño, via Philabooks@yahoo.com. © MMXXI John O'Hara Society.
Request from John Murphy
Carol Ritter Wright
BOOKS FOR SALE
Frank Van Eck
Dear Sir, or Madam,
We possess a collection of 1st edition John O’Hara books.
Would you be interested in purchasing them?
We could send you a listing with bibliographical details.
Looking forward to the pleasure of hearing from you,
Frank P. van Eck
VAN ECK VERLAG
00423-392 30 00
O'HARA WALKING TOUR
The Schuylkill County Historical Society will present a John O’Hara walking tour on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Participants will meet at the O’Hara statue on Centre Street between Howard Avenue and Mahantongo Street. Fees are $10 for Society members and $15 for the general public.
UVA Professor's Students Disagree with
O'HARA, FRAZIER, AND THE SLOW DEATH OF 'DUENDE'
THANKS FOR CONTENT FORWARDED BY MARK PLOTCZYK
George Frazier, left, and John O'Hara
Garcia Lorca Conceived it, John O'Hara Wore it, George Frazier Popularized it, Brooks Brothers Once Embodied it
By Samuel Goldman
George Frazier had a story about the first time he met John O’Hara. The journalist and clotheshorse Frazier was introduced to the novelist O’Hara while hanging out at a Greenwich Village jazz club. The famously cranky O’Hara looked Frazier up and down before inviting him to have a drink. “You’re welcome at my table,” he announced. “You’re wearing a Brooks Brothers shirt.”
Frazier was known for popularizing the idea of duende. A Spanish folk term for a sort of goblin, duende came during the twentieth century to designate “style that’s truly alive”—a quality essential to those icons of Spanish culture, the poet, the flamenco singer, and the bullfighter. Frazier extended the concept to the exemplars of midcentury America. Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, and Miles Davis had duende. So did the Brooks Brothers shirt that they, like Frazier, habitually wore.
As with any object that possesses duende, it is hard to articulate what is so special about that shirt. It has several distinctive features, but the magic lies almost entirely in the collar. Known as “button-down” to unreflective dressers and a “polo collar” to the enthusiast, the Brooks design involves points that are 33/8 inches long and fasten just over three inches apart—almost but not quite half the distance between the top two buttons along the central placket.