Sunday, July 01, 2012
Dropped Names by Frank Langella (book review)
I love gossip. I love knowing who's sleeping with who and why X isn't talking to Z. But there is a limit. And, in his new memoir, Dropped Names, Frank Langella goes well past it.
There's something deeply icky about the whole endeavor. He writes only about dead people (with one exception). Is it (1) to spare their feelings? or (2) to deny them a chance to tell their side of the story? Even if it's choice (1), his choice to expose people who believed him to be a friend is creepy.
To Langella's credit, he knows that he's arrogant and somewhat closed down. But he doesn't seem to understand that he's also a user. And a shit.
Gossip is fun at a party when a stagehand or production assistant tipsily shares anecdotes of the great and/or famous. But for a peer to do it--someone who claims to have loved many of these people--and to do it in print, and to do it for profit, is repulsive. I'm glad I took the book out of the library and didn't contribute to his cheerful selling out of his old friends.