Richard Russo, Nobody’s Fool: Who wouldn’t be satisfied with such a woman? Well, most men wouldn’t be, because most men are never satisfied.


I paraphrased: the actual quote is, “Who but Carl Roebuck, the little twerp, wouldn’t be satisfied with such a woman, Sully wondered as he limped up the driveway of the Roebuck house. Well, most men wouldn’t be, he had to admit, because most men were never satisfied.” 

The quote interests me because I believe this is a fundamental difference between men and women.  I think of the protagonist in Milan Kundera’s The Incredible Lightness of Being saying that however many women he’d had, he’d always want more. (I can’t put my finger on the quote, but that’s the meaning.) Is this difference hardwired or the result of socialization?

Or am I wrong? Is there no difference? Do women desire more men? Is that why there’s a huge market in romance novels? Men act out, women read romance?

Before AIDS, a lot of single gay men had sex with a lot of men. Maybe young men still do, safely I hope. It’s logical to me. Because if you made two single straight guys attractive to each other, what would stop them from getting it on? How many single young straight guys walk away from an attractive woman who invites them in?


Clark Gable and Loretta Young, above, are in Call of the Wild (shots reblogged here from We Had Faces Then).

Paul Newman was in the movie of Russo’s Nobody’s Fool. For years I didn’t read Nobody’s Fool because I’d seen the wonderful movie and figured that knowing the story would detract from the pleasure of reading the book. But I read it recently and was reminded of why Russo’s The Straight Man is among my all-time favorite books. Russo’s prose is so memorable: “That was one of the things Sully’d always liked about Ruth. She knew when not to say what she was thinking. What he didn’t like about her was her ability to make clear what she was thinking without saying anything.” (from Nobody’s Fool )

Below, Paul Newman is Sully (shot reblogged here from The Turning Wheel).


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