wayne koestenbaum and i go way way back. he is my biggest literary crush. at the age of 14, his book (jackie under my skin: interpreting an icon, penguin group: new york, 1995) changed my life. there is no way anything i write would be worth reading had i never read his book. if i were trapped on an island for twelve dozen years, this is the book i would miss most. all that to say, i love wayne koestenbaum.
koestenbaum is full of fanciful jackie theories: jackie as a fictional character, jackie and the apocalypse, jackie and repetition, jackie and synesthesia, jackie and duration, jackie as a dandy, etc., etc.
in the midst of these awesome arguments emerges one thought i've never really bought into. the idea that jackie is a dynamic, eccentric figure, while jfk is a constant. jfk is always jfk. we know he died and that jackie lives on and, according to koestenbaum, that makes every photograph of the pair of them together appear unnatural-- as though jackie were standing alongside a cardboard cut-out of jfk.
i never gave this much thought until i saw this month's vanity fair. seriously.