Our Man In Profile

09.7.2004 | The Editors | Partisan Briefs | 8 Comments

We couldn’t have been more pleased to have seen the profile of Partisan columnist Jonathan Leaf in the latest Doublethink. Here’s a teaser —

In the world of New York City letters, a lot of people are listening to him these days. In the course of just two weeks, I watched as he went from canceling a reading because the play wasn’t ready to signing book contracts and giving legs to a new theater company. It’s the all-or-nothing nature of the arts in New York, and Leaf is becoming a player.

We’re just borrowing Jon until his ship comes in, but man are we glad to have him until then.



"Greatest playwright in English verse since Shakespeare..." No small praise from the likes of James Wood. Of course, Shakespeare did scare off most everybody for quite a while. Still, Leaf's "Pushkin," and even some of his comedies (think Marx and Heine duelling glumly in Paris between bed-hoppings), take a stab at great writing that would be admirable even if it didn't hit the mark so well, so often.
09.7.2004 | Jonathan Funke
Jon is a one-man intellectual army. It would be downright intimidating if he weren't so modest and down-to-earth.
09.7.2004 | Paul Craig
Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated; I merely entered an entagled quantum state designed to reappear periodically and opportunistically at Jonathan Leaf sightings. Nothing would stop me from coming to any place Jon was performing or being performed, from a reading to a traffic court hearing. Although, to be frank, the last traffic court hearing was a bit disappointing. Not his best work, and I mean that in the most critically encouraging way. However - with that load off my chest - I am honored to attend any event at which the "greatest playwright in English verse since Shakespeare" is even remotely involved. Long live the Leaf. - E.S.
09.7.2004 | E. Schroedinger
Jonathan Leaf's novel The Hope of the Future, which I have had the great pleasure of reading in manuscript, is certainly one of the top four or five satirical novels in the English Language. This novel by Jonathan Leaf is as funny as as anything by Waugh or Tom Sharpe, and it goes as deep as Anthony Powell and the best of Simon Raven and Dawn Powell. I have no doubt that Jonathan Leaf will be remembered as one of the great writers of the 21st century.
09.8.2004 | M. Justin
Jonathan Leaf has great talent, energy and insight. He is one to watch. I'm sure he'll be remembered for building a contemporary bridge back to 16th or 17th Century playwriting.
09.8.2004 | W. Sweet
Leaf's erudition is equalled by his candour and thoughtfulness. I am delighted to find that, like Addison and Steele before him, he has decided to write for a superb periodical. Leaf's finest literary work will echo through the ages, as has Swift's, Milton's and Shakespeare's. His perceptive writings on our contemporary world reveal an insight and understanding unmatched by any of the "pundits" of our era.
09.9.2004 | Brian Phipps
Jonathan's range and scope of interests are one of the many things that make him so compelling. His plays reflect amazing historical knowledge, refinedliterary sensitivities, and an agreeably wicked sense of humor. I hope that New Partisan readers will be able to attend the upcoming reading of his play, "Pushkin" on Monday, 20 September at 7pm at the Manhattan Theater Club (311 West 43rd). The event is free, but the experience should be priceless.
09.9.2004 | Richard Ryan

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