Love for great writing

3 Jan

Happy new year! Well, ain’t I a terrible blogger — I wanted so badly to get a Jac’s Top 10 Flicks of 2009 up here before 2010. I still might get to it — better late than never and all that jazz.

This is considerably shorter. I’m reading a memoir by a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter, Rick Bragg, “All Over but the Shoutin’.” He writes about his dirt-poor upbringing in the south, and I’m about half way though a section about the path that took him from high school graduate to the pinnacle of this profession.

I love memoirs, and sure, the best ones are written by journalists — we tend to have a keen eye for detail and can share that detail without the flower and fluff of the romantics — but the writing in “Shoutin'” is too spectacular. I just read a short, insignificant-in-the-scheme-of-the-story graph that had me literally laugh aloud. Read it:

“I had fun. I made lasting friends. I stood up with Greg Garrison when he married Tracy from the art department, and threw a bachelor party that ended ignominiously when he, drunk as Cooter Brown on the one night of a man’s life when it is more or less acceptable, bit a nudie dancer on the behind and got us tossed out of the bar by one of the biggest men I had ever seen. Greg is the religion writer.”

I could go into the fabulous word choices here (“nudie dancer on the behind” just makes it sound so more innocent than “stripper on the ass,” no?), the subtle alliteration that flows a line like a river (bit, behind, bar, biggest) or the wonderful power of following a long, detailed sentence (68 words) by a short little kicker of a line (five words) that socks you in the gut (heh heh, that stripper biter writes religion stories).

But man.

Damn I love good writing.


One Response to “Love for great writing”

  1. Suburban Sweetheart January 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I love memoirs. I’ll def check this one out. Thanks for the rec!

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