On the enormity of trains and why we must bring them back.
New York Review of Books
Creating – and revising – the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.
On the failing institution of the teaching hospital.
“Russian humor is slapstick, only you actually die.”
Memories of “Hollywood’s most grinding bore,” Ronald Reagan.
One famous critic (Adler) takes another (Pauline Kael) to task for a collection of reviews that is “without Kael- or Simon-like exaggeration, not simply, jarringly, piece by piece, line by line, and without interruption, worthless.”
Joan Didion versus the boys on the bus:
American reporters “like” covering a presidential campaign (it gets them out on the road, it has balloons, it has music, it is viewed as a big story, one that leads to the respect of one’s peers, to the Sunday shows, to lecture fees and often to Washington), which is one reason why there has developed among those who do it so arresting an enthusiasm for overlooking the contradictions inherent in reporting that which occurs only in order to be reported.
Joseph Mitchell used composites in his non-fiction, invented characters and added flourishes to his facts. Does it matter?
A treatment for liver cancer gives the writer a fresh perspective on illness – and wellness.