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Thursday, November 23, 2023

I Am Thankful for the Great Writing in the New York Times

It is a small thing compared to the importance of news coverage and investigative journalism, but the Times is still capable of wowing me with great writing at the sentence level. I am in awe of the reporters who produce these gems, and the editors who let them do it. Here are a couple that I made note of recently:

In an article by John Leland on the auction of a Chuck Close painting:

At Lot 77062, he started to get antsy. “I’m getting shpilkes,” he said, using the Yiddish word for shpilkes.

In an article in the Magazine by Matt Flegenheimer about Russell Brand's well-deserved unraveling:

With Jesus-length hair, multidenominational tattoos and promises of unspecified revolution, Brand, 48, had in recent years been reaching millions daily across a media and wellness empire, fusing the downward-facing dogmatism of a proper guru with the cold efficiency of the YouTube algorithm. 

Comments are open for other fine examples.


Posted by Steve Lubet on November 23, 2023 at 08:17 AM | Permalink


The writing in the Times has gotten worse, for many reasons but prominently because the editing in the Times has gotten worse. Eliminating half the editing desk was a terrible mistake. That said, any day that Dwight Garner’s work appears is a good day; he is one of the paper’s most enjoyable writers and possibly the paper’s last reliable and tolerable critic. Here he is describing a writer’s work with a jumble of biographical materials: “ He wrestles this material into a loose but sturdy form, as if he were moving a futon.”

Posted by: Paul Horwitz | Nov 23, 2023 3:19:18 PM

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