John Cheever, on the rest of us “doctors”

Didn’t think too much of us, apparently, inasmuch as he might have shared the beliefs of his protagonists. Or maybe he did like us, but we were just too middlebrow. Or maybe he was making fun of his snooty protagonists. In any case, I don’t think that Cheever’s view differs that much from that of the rest of society.

Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis.From

Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis.

They were the sort of people who discussed the price of things at cocktails, exchanged market tips during dinner, and after dinner told dirty stories to mixed company. They did not belong to Neddy’s set—they were not even on Lucinda’s Christmas-card list. He went toward their pool with feelings of indifference, charity, and some unease, since it seemed to be getting dark and these were the longest days of the year. The party when he joined it was noisy and large. Grace Biswanger was the kind of hostess who asked the optometrist, the veterinarian, the real-estate dealer, and the dentist.

From The Swimmer, by John Cheever


One response to “John Cheever, on the rest of us “doctors”

  1. A good story and an old movie with Burt Lancaster as the lead
    Hope to see you soon.

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