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fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Paris Review Hosts Party... Madonna Up Again for Vuitton...

Whether a good toast is anything like a good poem is something that could possibly be decided in the pages of the Paris Review.

REMEMBERING THAT TIME…: Whether a good toast is anything like a good poem is something that could possibly be decided in the pages of the Paris Review — or at the very least over bellinis at the magazine’s annual Revel Monday evening. It was there that event co-chairs Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn performed a lively round onstage, he all self-deprecation and joviality, and she full of practiced graciousness and boldface anecdotes. One recollection that amused and even shocked the crowd: Quinn’s tale of being in the Hamptons with Paris Review founder George Plimpton, “back when Ben and I first got together” and losing her now-husband in the dunes to Lauren Bacall for an hour. Her only solution, Quinn said, was to befriend Bacall and make her feel incredibly guilty for apparently cuckolding her. The ploy worked, according to Quinn, and they’re friends to this day.

Writers in attendance included Zadie Smith, Paul Auster, Colum McCann and Gary Shteyngart. The poet Paul Muldoon, who is also The New Yorker’s poetry editor, presented The Hadada Award — named after an African bird that Review co-founder and author Peter Matthiessen was compelled to imitate onstage — to poet John Ashbery, preceded by a lengthy discourse on Ashbery’s work that seemed intended to test just how serious donors were about their love for letters. Then the two settled in for a cozy onstage chat.

— Irin Carmon

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