The Last of the Bohemians


I wish I had known Eugene Walter (pictured). But since I never had the opportunity to meet him, before he died in 1998, I’m glad I will have the chance to make his acquaintance via Robert Clem’s original short film “Eugene Walter: Last of the Bohemians,” which will be shown at New York’s National Arts Club on Wednesday evening, October 29th. And just who, you ask, was Eugene Walter? He was one of the founders of The Paris Review. He wrote a prize-winning novel, “The Untidy Pilgrim,” as well as a best-seller, “American Cooking: Southern Style.” His apartment in postwar Rome, where he lived for two decades, was, said writer Muriel Spark, “the nearest thing to a salon.” Are you starting to see why I wish I’d known him? By the way, Walter was celebrated a few years back by Katherine Clark in her oral biography, “Milking the Moon,” which is available on Amazon.

One Comment to “The Last of the Bohemians”

  1. Mister Eugene was my grandfather’s oldest and dearest childhood friend, and I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a world which always included him. This film not only encompasses all things Eugene- as well as any one film can- for generations of viewers who may never have known of him beforehand, but also does so in a way that floods me with my own personal memories of him… memories of learning Judy Garland showstoppers and Shakespearean soliloquies in his lap after dinner, of feeding his fourteen cats and keeping his antiques free of dust while he traveled, of the gift he sent from Ireland for my Bat Mitzvah, wrapped in a cutting of the eggshell muslin he’d used to pattern out my grandmother’s wedding train in 1944 and coupled with a handwritten note that read, “If you can just grin and bear it for fifty years, you’ll be the grandest old lady that ever was. If you must tell them to go fuck themselves- be a grand lady all the while. Love, garlic, cats’ footfalls and good wishes, from Eugene.” What a guy 🙂

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