Sunday, August 5, 2007

Major coverage of Theresa Duncan's story

Let's face it, blogs rarely practice original reporting, preferring instead to deal in gossip and speculation. (Which, of course, we all love.) Wacky conspiracy theories aside, so far the most interesting stuff written about Theresa Duncan, a.k.a. "The Wit" (don't you just luvit when people nickname themselves?) has come from the MSM. In case you missed them, here are some of those must-reads:

LA Weekly

Kate Coe (who also writes Mediabistro's FishbowlLA), writing in the L.A. Weekly, has penned the most interesting piece so far. It's been eclipsed only by Vanity Fair's profile of Judi Guiliani as my favorite dishy page turner of the summer. Coe does a terrific job of pulling back the curtain to reveal the darkness that was lurking in the Staircase. (No doubt The Wit would have approved, all shadowy and lunar as she was.) Early on in the piece, Coe delivers a stunning prosecutorial opener:

"I knew her, and I knew that much of what she wrote about her world was an elaborate tale, taken as fact by the uninitiated. Duncan blogged daily on her elegant Web site, The Wit of the Staircase, about her bohemian-chic cottage on a Venice canal, meetings of the slightly sinister and probably nonexistent Lunar Society of Los Angeles, and the turbulent love life of Kate Moss." [emphasis mine]

Unfortunately, Coe doesn't quite deliver, and instead gives us a pretty prim account of Duncan's career. Tell us about the cottage, Kate! What else was an elaborate tale? My guess is Coe would like to reveal more, but her editors won't let her. (Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.)

LA Times

In the L.A. Times Chris Lee gives a riveting account of Jeremy Blake's final days (after finding The Wit witty no more in their uber-hipster digs in le Village). Eyebrow-raising quote:

"Possessed of movie star good looks, remembered as "alarmingly brilliant" and at times jealously protective of each other, the couple has been posthumously dubbed "Theremy" by"

Alarmingly brilliant? I wonder where that leaves Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonini. Theremy? Somehow I thought art world people had a little more elan. Apparently they're as clever as a Bonnie Fuller coverline. Still, Lee does give insight into the couple's paranoia. And, of course, it's reassuring to read that Scientologists queried by Lee deny any foul play relating to The Wits. That really put my mind at ease.

The New York Times

The Gray Lady beat the L.A. Times to the punch. (Which makes sense, since
The Wit was no longer living in Venice and she bid this life adieu in Manhattan.) I'm not bothering to include the link, because the Times has put the story on TimesSelect. Brilliant guys! Simply brilliant! They should call you The Wits, part deux in fact.

The Washington Post

David Segal writes: "They were one of those New York couples: good-looking and ridiculously gifted." Whoa! Actually, they were one of those L.A. couples, David. Trust me on this one. (Jeremey's penchant for wearing trucker hats should be your first clue.) Ridiculously gifted? Okay, I'll grant that by L.A.'s generous intellectual standards perhaps they were, but by New York standards? I think more than a handful of people on the upper West Side, Brooklyn and the Village might disagree with that assesment.

Anyway, Jeremy was from Washington, didn't you know? So that's what we learn in this piece. (That and the fact that Mr. Wit was indeed accomplished and talented.)

Eyebrow-raising quote:

"Physically, Duncan was a knockout, but it was her mind that left the most lasting impact. She wrote a blog called the Wit of the Staircase, and it is a roiling tour of a capacious mind, bouncing from lowbrow to high, from Kate Moss to Franz Kafka, from film to the history of electricity."
Is it me or does this guy sound like he's kinda sweet on The Wit? Watch out dude! She's dangerous. Stay away from any body of water containing salt!