THE March 21 issue of The New Yorker reprinted an excerpt...

salmagundi

March 28, 1994

THE March 21 issue of The New Yorker reprinted an excerpt from a Penelope Gilliatt story on Woody Allen, which originally ran in the magazine 20 years ago, in 1974. It appeared this time around under the heading "From the Archives."

We're not quite sure why it ran, but we enjoyed reading the quotes from a man who, sad to say, isn't as funny or as lovable as he was 20 years ago. As one example, we cite this rambling Allen quotation, following Ms. Gilliatt's remark that she would have been poor if she hadn't become a writer:

"Would you, too? Ah. You could have been a meter maid or an actress, but, as I wouldn't want to be an actor in a play, I don't suppose you'd have wanted to be an actress. Writers aren't good actors. Speaking somebody else's words all the time. Embalmed if you're in a long run and out of work if you're in a short run. But rehearsing is terrific. You know something? The nuisance when you're alone is that you start thinking about the poor luck everybody has. Because the worst thing that could happen to anyone is getting older. It's like drawing the ace of spades. And everyone gets it. Though being very young isn't always great, either. It can be like living in a concentration camp. A bum's life or a comedian's life is liberty, on the other hand. Like being just the right age all the time. If I hadn't had this ridiculous capacity for being funny, I'd have been a bum. Or a messenger boy. Coming uptown with an envelope. Your day's your own. That's freedom."

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