Tuesday, February 07, 2012
The Book I Read: Lucking Out by James Wolcott
Lucking Out dawdles only in a chapter that begins as a discussion of the New York ‘70s porn scene, and it’s as if Wolcott (who seems a temperate fellow, certainly no punk) was asked to write this part of the book in the hopes that sex might gin up the sales. Fortunately Wolcott uses porn as a counterpoint to his emerging love of ballet, an art form he approaches as an outsider and comes to love. I’d enjoy a Wolcott book on the world of late Balanchine New York ballet culture; the way he describes audience members and young ballet students attempting to reenact the dancers’ moves made me want to catch the next train to Lincoln Center. If the moment that Wolcott chooses to label the “end of an era’ (the murder of John Lennon) isn’t a surprise then the joy and particularity with which he recounts his early New York years certainly is. The aptly titled Lucking Out is the story of a man who made the most of his ticket to the show.