Lit

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W. David Marx On How Japan Saved American Trad

In September, 2010, I was watching my old cordovan oxfords get polished at Tokyo’s “shoeshine bar” Brift H, when a middle-aged man walked in and pulled out an original 1965 print of “Take Ivy.” The book had not only been autographed by all four authors, but also had a rare printing error. I leaned over

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Handed Down: A Video Interview With Oak Street Bootmakers

On Tuesday a video posted on YouTube — promoted by none other than Coors beer — featuring an interview with Oak Street Bootmakers founder George Vlagos. Vlagos talks about inheriting the cobbler craft from his father, even though his dad was against his son’s desire to work with his hands. While so many larger companies have

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From The Archives





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Literary Voice: The George Plimpton Documentary

George Plimpton certainly had pedigree. His father was “a successful corporate lawyer who became the American ambassador to the United Nations,” the New York Times noted in his obituary. “The family traced its roots in this country to the Mayflower. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard and Cambridge.” This pedigree no doubt accounted


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John Updike, Style Icon

Recently GQ said John Updike was in as a style icon while Jack Kerouac was all washed up and played out. And last week the magazine’s web site put up a slideshow. No new images for you guys perhaps, but maybe for the younger and/or less literate out there. Remains to be seen if fashion


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100 Years Of Stover At Yale

Perhaps because he’s a football player, Dink Stover has been at Yale for a hundred years. Hey, the real world is coarse and common, would you want to leave? One hundred years ago this month Owen Johnson published his college novel “Stover At Yale,” which is long on novel but short on college. I attempted


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Hit The Road: Kerouac Out, Updike In

A sign of civilization in an age where the edgy, extreme and downright trashy are lauded daily, the April issue of GQ encourages readers to “kill their style icons,” and suggests trading Jack Kerouac for John Updike. Kerouac went to Columbia, but was too bohemian to dress Ivy League. Updike, on the other hand, went


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Voice In The Dark: Richard Frede’s Entry E, 1958

“Entry E” is something of a pulp novel, telling a tale of Ivy League life in America that was considered startling on its release in 1958. But for all the adolescent angst and raucous action in this story, there is plenty of mid-century Ivy League style and quiet consideration of the “Ivy Man,” described in


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The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt

For Ivy Style’s 300th post, London-based contributor Rebecca C. Tuite examines the most important piece of literature about The Ivy League Look’s most important brand. There is little doubt that Mary Mccarthy’s short story “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt” is now probably more famous for its punchy title — a dream for the


No Picture

Buttoned-Down Beatnik: Ginsberg Biopic “Howl” Gets Sept. Release

A few months ago I heard about the Allen Ginsberg biopic “Howl,” and asked the production company if there were any upcoming screenings. There weren’t, as the film had yet to find a distributor. It’s got one now, and is scheduled for release on September 24. The film focuses on the poet’s 1957 obscenity trial


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Bohemian in a Sack Suit: The 1959 Brooks Brothers Novel

For Ivy-Style’s 200th post, I thought I’d break out something special I’ve been sitting on for awhile. Last year, between Los Angeles and New York, I spent six months in my old environs of the Bay Area, including five weeks staying with a former flame (now married to a Hungarian who lost his baronetcy in


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JD Salinger, 1919-2010

Don’t things like this usually come in threes? Click here for The Washington Post‘s coverage.


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Louis Auchincloss, 1917-2010

Louis Auchincloss, author of prep-school classic “The Rector of Justin,” plus many novels and stories set among New York’s Old Money, died Tuesday night. The New York Times‘ coverage is here. And from 2008, The Washington Post‘s book critic Jonathan Yardley looks back on “Justin.”


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Where All The Angry Young Men Go

For the Beat Generation, there were only two places to live: New York’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s North Beach. North Beach has been an old stomping ground of mine since my early twenties. I recently paid a visit to the neighborhood after years of exile in Los Angeles. Broadway is home to San Francisco’s