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There is a theory of societal evolution that goes like this: Barbarians invent a new culture. A middle class emerges to manage and help perpetuate the culture. An aristocracy eventually develops out of the middle class and devotes their energies to making things comfortable for themselves. Finally, a new set of barbarians smash everything apart and destroy the status quo so that the process must start all over again.

Jul 21, 2024

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Quote Author: Calvin (Bud) Marshall Trillin

Calvin (Bud) Marshall Trillin

Calvin (Bud) Marshall Trillin

Calvin (Bud) Marshall Trillin (born in Kansas City, Missouri, December 5, 1935) is an American journalist, humorist, and novelist. He is best known for his humorous writings about food and eating, but he has also written much serious journalism, comic verse, and several books of fiction.

Trillin attended public schools in Kansas City and went on to Yale University, where he served as chairman of the Yale Daily News and became a member of Scroll and Key before graduating in 1957; he later served as a trustee of the university. After a stint in the U.S. Army, he worked as a reporter for Time magazine before joining the staff of The New Yorker in 1963. His reporting for The New Yorker on the racial integration of the University of Georgia was published in his first book, An Education in Georgia. He wrote the magazine’s “U.S. Journal” series from 1967 to 1982, covering local events both serious and quirky throughout the United States.

He has also written for The Nation magazine. He began with a column called "Variations" (which lasted from the April 1, 1978, issue to the April 5, 1980 issue) which appeared in the magazine once every three issues. He then wrote a column called "Uncivil Liberties" (named after an article he wrote) from the March 10, 1984, issue to the May 28, 1990, issue. His humor columns for The Nation, and other publications, often made fun of the editor of the time, Victor Navasky. (In fact, his first and last "Variations" column were about "the wily and parsimonious" Navasky.) From the July 2, 1990 issue of The Nation to today, Trillin has written his weekly "Deadline Poet" column - humorous poems about current events. Trillin has (by far) written more pieces for The Nation than any other single person.

Much of Trillin’s nonfiction includes references to his life and family. He married the educator and writer Alice Stewart Trillin in 1965, who died in 2001; they had two daughters. The most autobiographical of his works are Messages from My Father, Family Man, and an essay in the March 27, 2006 New Yorker, “Alice, Off the Page,” discussing his late wife. A slightly expanded version of the latter essay, entitled About Alice, was published on December 26, 2006. In an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal , Trillin lamented that his work has suffered since the death of his wife, who used to edit his drafts. [1]

He has also written a collection of short stories — Barnett Frummer Is An Unbloomed Flower (1969) — and three comic novels, Runestruck (1977), Floater (1980), and Tepper Isn’t Going Out (2001). The latter novel is about a man who enjoys parking in New York City for its own sake, and is unusual among novels for exploring the subject of parking.

Trillin lives in the Greenwich Village area of New York City.

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