Trapped on a plane on a runway in Atlanta the other evening, I had three hours to catch up on back issues of the Times Literary Supplement. Instinctively, I looked for M.E.M.O material. There on the runway I encountered some memorable aspects of some memorable characters, each of which would be worthy of comment. I offer here some highlights.
There is Cole Porter, for starters (January 31, discussed by Stephen Brown), a songwriter “capable of transcending his own mockery with a line which is just lovely language: ‘In shallow shoals, English soles do it’ before he turns crude with ‘Goldfish in the privacy of bowls do it.’” (“Let’s do it . . . Let’s fall in love.”)