I prefer to believe it’s Nudelman, and not Dr. Nuland, who thinks there is nothing really all that wrong with wearing a toupee or acquiring a penile implant; Nudelman who quotes Browning (“Grow old along with me! / The best is yet to be”) and Longfellow; Nudelman who uses such words as “toileting” (see what happens as a result of our letting “parenting” get through?); Nudelman who announces that he is now going to reflect on wisdom “accompanied by the hope that I can avoid the great temptation of waxing ponderous,” and then becomes entirely ponderous, beginning with the word “waxing”; Nudelman whose sugary acknowledgments might be dangerous if read by anyone with diabetes. This Nudelman must be captured and as soon as possible silenced, if not placed under house arrest in a nursing home.Oh, I see Epstein invokes Oprah. Well, once you've done that, why are you so puzzled? Is money an obscure concept these days?
How to account for the stern and penetrating Dr. Nuland letting loose the soppy and vaporous Nudelman, this perfect “Oprah” guest. (Dr. Jekyll at least struggled against the emergence of Mr. Hyde.) Could it be that he sat down to write “The Art of Aging” after returning each day from the gym high on endorphins? Or, what I fear may be the case, is “The Art of Aging” itself an example of what aging can do to make a once unsparingly unsentimental writer so intellectually squishy?
March 4, 2007
What a pussy Joseph Epstein is! He's reviewing Sherwin B. Nuland's new book and he admits he couldn't get past page 150 in that spiffy death book "How We Die." Epstein is 70 years old. That's too old to be a candyass about dying. Why then should I care what he thinks about Nuland's new book? Well, because the review is right here in front of me, and I'm curious what the deal is with Nuland writing a book with the candyass, Oprah-ready title "The Art of Aging." So let's go on with Epstein's opinion. To read this excerpt, you have to understand that Epstein has introduced a little literary device for the purposes of this review, characterizing the author as two personas: Nuland (the guy with the attitude encountered in "How We Die") and Nudelman (a squishier guy)(the name is Nuland's real family name, by the way).