Economic Inequality in ‘The Undoing’ and the work of Pietro Di Donato

Joe Pagetta
Mar 21 · 6 min read
The Promo Photo for the HBO show the Undoing, paired with the text for the essay, When Willy K. Frolicked and I Shoveled His Snow, and a photo of Pietro Di Donato.
The Promo Photo for the HBO show the Undoing, paired with the text for the essay, When Willy K. Frolicked and I Shoveled His Snow, and a photo of Pietro Di Donato.

What the HBO Show and an obscure 1963 essay in an adult men’s magazine have to do with each other.

The November 1963 Issue of Nugget Magazine, featuring a man with his shirt open and a women whispering in his ear.
The November 1963 Issue of Nugget Magazine, featuring a man with his shirt open and a women whispering in his ear.
The November 1963 Issue of Nugget Magazine

I’ll never forget the head chef sending one of the chauffeurs and the Rolls Royce all the way into Willy’s Park Avenue home for a box of iodized salt, nor peering into the window of the music room and seeing a drunken nude woman at the piano playing and singing the Ave Maria.

One wonders what Di Donato might have made of the opulent townhouse where the Frasers live in “The Undoing,” or the lavish fundraisers thrown for the $50,000-a-year middle school where they send their son.

I … still vividly saw old Willy in his birthday suit on the sun-sparkling deck of the gleaming white ALVA entwined like a centaur with the nude exotic brown girl.

“To do justice to the past romantic age,” he adds, “that pose should be immortalized in marble alongside the stern bronze statue of Commodore Vanderbilt in front of great Grand Central.”

An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

Everything Begins With An Idea

Joe Pagetta

Written by

Museum professional, arts writer and personal essayist whose writing has appeared in America: The Jesuit Review, Chapter 16, Wordpeace, Ovunque Siamo and more.

An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

No Matter What People Tell You, Words And Ideas Can Change The World.

Joe Pagetta

Written by

Museum professional, arts writer and personal essayist whose writing has appeared in America: The Jesuit Review, Chapter 16, Wordpeace, Ovunque Siamo and more.

An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)

No Matter What People Tell You, Words And Ideas Can Change The World.

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