Reading Writers

For days I have been trying to remember Russell Baker’s name. I am currently reading a book by Russell Banks, which is very good, so the same initials with similar names initiated a search of the deep recesses of the cranial archives. Trust me, there is a plethora of useless trivia stored in there and the dust is enough to suffocate a person.

Last night as I was lying abed, snuggled in the flannel sheets, reading Rule of the Bone, it came to me; a brilliant recovery of buried memory, RUSSELL BAKER! I reminded myself not to forget. The mind works, or not, of its own accord.

I read Growing Up as a very young adult, possibly as a teenaged adult, and I LOVED every word of it. I followed Mr. Baker’s columns strictly for his admirable writing skill. I follow Calvin Trillin’s work for the same reason. Both writers are wonderfully clever with their intimate knowledge of language. Neither of them chooses to drop gratuitous F bombs in his own work and both are effectively shocking journalists working within the self-imposed strictures of polite discord.

A link to a commencement speech Russell Baker gave in 1995, I am dismayed that we have been an angry nation for nearly 20 years and delighted by the sage bits of the speech that are timeless.

A link to a Calvin Trillin piece on his experience writing for The New Yorker He describes useful examples of euphemism that tickle my brain.

It feels presumptuous to blog about writing. Really, who am I? A foremost Authority on Nothing, acting simultaneously as Queen of All I Survey, not very important but damn busy, and not a professional writer.

Lately, I have been reposting other writers’ work. It makes me feel good to do it. It doesn’t diminish my stature, as a foremost Authority on Nothing, to be generous in sharing. I know what I like. I like the story. The story is life.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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2 Responses to Reading Writers

  1. Oh, man, I loved the way you ended that last post! Keep up the great work, my queen! HF

    • elroyjones says:

      Thanks very much indeed. Practicing a queenly projection, indeed at the end of a sentence adds a little something regal. Adopting the royal “we” is next!

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