Monday, September 05, 2016

Hmm …

Margalit Fox on Life, Death, and the Best Job in Journalism – Conversations with Tyler Cowen – Medium. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
The stereotypical obituary is a formulaic recitation of facts — dry, boring, and without craft. But Margalit Fox has shown the genre can produce some of the most memorable and moving stories in journalism. Exploiting its “pure narrative arc,” Fox has penned over 1,200 obituaries, covering well-known and obscure subjects with equal aplomb.
I remember much the same thing was said of Alden Whitman, when he was the Times's obituarist.

1 comment:

  1. Somebody writing in The Washington Post wrote of the obituaries as at one time called "the Irish sporting pages." I have generally read the news obituaries and paid death notices before moving on to the rest of the paper; I have turned out for cousins' funerals I might not otherwise have heard of; I have passed along notes of condolence to sometime co-workers.

    But probably the best testament to the NY Times obituary page is Tom Lehrer's "Alma, Tell Us."