That PEN American Center blithely continued its round of parties these past weeks while the nation battles economic calamity shows how out-of-touch New York's literary socialites truly are. In their skyscraper high-rise glamorous lives they've lost all proportion. PEN's staff spawned from Harvard and Oxford bubbles have always been insulated from the harsher realities of life. They remain so now.
But after all, this is the same city that wants to charge $2600 to see a baseball game. Its mayor is a multi-billionaire. It's a sick city of stupendous wealth and layers of poverty, the most hierarchical city which ever existed. PEN people, the N.Y. literati, circulate through its upper reaches.