I thought I'd write something incisive about the confluence of Scandinavian crime drama and the emergence of the pirate party in the context of global networked culture; I imagined what the digital world of the Collyer brothers
, the original hoarders, would look like if their one hundred and forty tons of ephemera was on portable hard drives; I thought maybe I'd be a provocateur and challenge you all to embrace the term "data" over the term "text."
Joe is asked to look into the death, which does not appear to be suspicious, by his girlfriend, Beverly Hillstrom, the state's medical examiner, who is a cousin to the dead man, who was a hoarder very much like the storied Collyer brothers
who gained fame many decades earlier in New York City.
Other names for this compulsion are "hoarding" and "Collyer Brothers
But the novel also revels in context and history, from the origins of Pearl Street to the enigmatic Collyer brothers
, Homer and Langley, eccentric hoarders who died in their Harlem Brownstone alongside 140 tons of debris.
Doctorow's latest historical novel, Homer and Langley, makes counterculture heroes of the Collyer brothers
, those Manhattan hoarders nonpareil who died of starvation and suffocation by trash in 1947.
Doctorow's latest novel is based on the ludicrous lives of the Collyer brothers
. The real Homer and Langley Collyer were creepy crackpots who became notorious for their reclusiveness and hoarding.
The heaps of praise accorded their art collecting accomplishments rival in magnitude the mountains of items amassed by New York City's other legendary pair of collectors, the Collyer Brothers
. But there the comparison ends, for while the Collyers hoarded junk, the Vogels assembled a collection of choice modern artwork that is the envy of more than a few museum curators.
This funny, moving and enormously imaginative work retells the true story of the famed Collyer brothers
: hoarding recluses whose deaths in their Harlem Brownstone--one crushed under the weight of their possessions, the other a victim of starvation--shocked the nation in 1947.
It's all a far cry from the first version of the game, developed by the Everton-mad Collyer brothers
Oliver and Paul, which launched in 1982 for the late, lamented ZX Spectrum computer.
The Collyer brothers
, who achieved post-humous fame after they were found dead and decaying in 1947 in a New York City brownstone that was packed to the ceilings with junk including old newspapers, 14 grand pianos, and the chassis of a Model T Ford, have inspired a new play, "The Dazzle," which opened in March in New York.
A program note for Richard Greenberg's new play, The Dazzle, asserts that it is "based on the lives of the Collyer brothers
, about whom I know almost nothing." Most people know almost nothing about the Collyer brothers
, Langley and Homer, except that these eccentric siblings spent their twilight years living in a house stacked floor to ceiling with old newspapers and collected junk.
Greenberg's persnickety eccentrics are supposed to be the Collyer Brothers
, Langley and Homer, who are famed for having amassed a terrifying amount of bric-a-brac, notably every newspaper going back for several decades, in their Harlem townhouse.