It seems obvious why Vanity Fair asked the esteemed Patricia Bosworth to write “a five-decade trajectory” piece about Paul Newman for the current issue. They obviously know the poor guy is on the ropes so they’ve decided to tribute him now instead of wait for the sad farewell and then give the go-ahead for a good-old-Paul piece.

I wonder why VF editor Graydon Carter didn’t contact Oregonian critic Shawn Levy to write the article, given Levy’s extensive research on a forthcoming Newman biography over the last couple of years. I’m told Levy has dug up some fascinating new material, including stuff about Newman’s formative early-on experiences.