The Funniest Writer Not Writing Today...or yesterday, or last year, or even for ages, has to be Fran Lebowitz. So it was quite refreshing to find this little website devoted to her scant and miserly online presence. The latest publication featuring her name is, in fact, the menu of the newly-opened Café Lebowitz in Manhattan's Nolita. Well, the author of the two masterpieces of wit, Social Studies and Metropolitan Life, recently anthologized in The Fran Lebowitz Reader, always warned us she was pathologically lazy... But the old, occasional, lazy (but always witty) interview or odd, random quotation is no compensation. I think she's up there with S. J. Perelman. Robert Benchley or Dorothy Parker. If only she'd actually do some work! Are there any other wilfully and chronically unproductive writer you miss terribly and would force out of retirement if you could?
The Latest Salvo From Gore Vidal, The Last Of The Great Wits: He's a tremendous snob, infuriatingly opinionated and sets out to upset all and sundry, left, right and centre. But Gore Vidal is still the meanest, fastest wit in the West. Harry Kloman runs a magnificent fan site, bursting with goodies and verbal violence which is an education in itself. Or, for a contrarian view, check out rival wit John Simon's demolition job. But come on - can anyone compete with the Master? Christopher Hitchens? Fran Lebowitz? James Woolcott? Clive James? I think not.