Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Boy Meets Cougar

There is nothing, I have found, more dangerous to young people than middle-aged women who have renounced all pretensions to coquetry, for the sheer force of their desires is channeled into  cannibalistic selfishness, an appetite that has engrossed all the resources of their charm, brains, and conscious appeal as human beings.  True, many elderly men also deploy the same forces vis-à-vis the young of both sexes; but there is with them, I think, a less ruthless, mindless determination, and their efforts are generally tempered by a certain sense of decency and measure, of regard for their juniors whom they consider as desirable objects rather than as victims or trophies.
--John Glassco, Memoirs of Montparnasse 33 (NYRB 2007)

[Glassco would have us believe he wrote this memoir in his early 20s, while the experience was still white-hot. But it appears that in fact he wrote it many years later in his 50s, back-dating it as (apparently) a literary conceit. For details,consult Louis Menand's excellent introduction to the NYRB edition.]

No comments: