The second and most crucial part of the second-chance work was to make me faster on my feet under cross-examination, in fulfillment of the fantasy of saying what I should have said in the first trial instead of what I did say. Bostwick assumed that Morgan would repeat the questions that had served him so well, and he and I devised answers to them that brought l’esprit de l’escalier to a new level. At trial, Morgan did not disappoint us. He confidently asked the old questions and didn’t know what hit him when I produced my nimble new formulations. I remember one of the most satisfying moments. At the first trial Morgan had repeatedly tortured and humiliated me with the question: “He didn’t say that at Chez Panisse, did he?” I had wiggled and squirmed. Now I could answer him with crushing confidence.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
… A Second Chance | by Janet Malcolm | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)