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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nora Ephron, Distinguished Legal Theorist, RIP

It's with great sadness that I note Nora Ephron's passing. Here's the Times obit. She did so many things surpassingly well that I'm struck by the absence of discussion about her many contributions (perhaps unwittingly) to the realm of legal theory. Tomes could be written on her insights as they apply to law, and not just the human condition.  Here are just a few treasures of hers. Feel free to add your own in the comments. May her memory be a continued blessing to those who loved her.

1) In the end, I always want potatoes. Mashed potatoes. Nothing like mashed potatoes when you’re feeling blue. Nothing like getting into bed with a bowl of hot mashed potatoes already loaded with butter, and methodically adding a thin cold slice of butter to every forkful. The problem with mashed potatoes, though, is that they require almost as much hard work as crisp potatoes, and when you’re feeling blue the last thing you feel like is hard work. Of course, you can always get someone to make the mashed potatoes for you, but let’s face it: the reason you’re blue is that there isn’t anyone to make them for you. As a result, most people do not have nearly enough mashed potatoes in their lives, and when they do, it’s almost always at the wrong time."

2) You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.

3) But, really, what's so hard about finding an apartment? What you do is look in the obituary section. You see who died, find out where they lived, and tip the doorman. What they could do to make it easier is combine the two. You know, Mr. Kline died yesterday, leaving behind a wife, two children, and a spacious three bedroom apartment with a wood burning fireplace. 

Posted by Dan Markel on June 27, 2012 at 09:48 AM in Culture, Current Affairs | Permalink

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My favorite Nora Ephron story is how she used to be married to Carl Bernstein of Watergate journalists Woodward and Bernstein fame. He cheated on her when she was pregnant and raising an infant son. Her response was the correct one - divorce him, then write a best-selling book about it called "Heartburn," which later became a movie starring Meryl Streep as her and Jack Nicholson as him. Well played, Nora.

It also cracks me up that back when her ex was still keeping Deep Throat's identity a secret for many years, Ephron apparently took every opportunity to publicly out Deep Throat. She'd be giving a speech and would just blurt it out: "Mark Felt is Deep Throat. Good night." How the press ignored such a delicious scoop is far beyond me.

Rest in peace, Nora Ephron.

Posted by: hush | Jun 27, 2012 12:32:04 PM

Dan, well said. Here's another one: "And I'm going to be 40 . . . someday!"

Posted by: Giovanna Shay | Jun 28, 2012 3:04:20 PM

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