Close Reading. Like, Really Close Reading
The editors of The New York Times Sunday Magazine–one of the best mags in the business–publish a surprisingly uninteresting blog (note to the seven people who read this blog: I totally get the irony of me making that statement) called The 6th Floor Blog. It’s named for the location of the staff offices, and perhaps the that title should have been a tip-off to the content. Anyway, one of the writers occasionally compiles a post of interesting sentences. The following was included in the June 13 post:
“Steve Guttenberg said something, but I forgot to write it down.” (Cindy Adams, New York Post)
Last week I found a New York Post on the train and read it cover to cover. It was, as always when I read The Post, a special time in my life. When I got to this sentence, a couple of paragraphs into Cindy Adams’s report from a swanky party, I was so excited I circled it with my pen and then tore the entire page out. There’s so much going on inside of it: glamour and pathos and a multidirectional irony that I find impossible to parse. (Is she making fun of herself? Of Steve Guttenberg? Of party reporting? Of the reader’s futile yearning to be in the midst of celebrities?) Like the Joe DiMaggio line I keep quoting endlessly (one more time: “What I don’t understand is why you ask me where I’ve gone. I just did a Mr. Coffee commercial”), this could serve as the epigraph to a 10-volume history of the rise and decline of modern America.
That’s, well, that’s pretty awesome. I wonder if Cindy Adams knew she was writing "the epigraph to a 10-volume history of the rise and decline of modern America."