quotes, writing

an abyss of loneliness

“…just as often the entries record a kind of spiritual desolation and profound isolation. The actress Hope Lange, with whom Cheever had an on-and-off affair, once said that he was the horniest man she had ever known, and sexual avidity is certainly omnipresent in the journals. They include graphic descriptions of sexual encounters, real and imagined, with members of both sexes, as well as anguished attempts to hide or rationalize or excuse his attraction to men. But what comes through most strongly is not so much lust as all-purpose yearning: for a gentle touch, a moment of closeness — for love. The journals are often so thrillingly well written that you can’t put them down, and yet there are pages where you feel you ought to look away. Reading them is like peering over someone’s shoulder into an abyss of loneliness.”

– Charles McGrath on John Cheever in the NYT Sunday magazine