Sunday, November 23, 2008

why I love the Sunday Times

My normal morning routine usually involves me with a cup of coffee perusing the New York Times website (after a couple of visits to entertainment sites of course, I can't handle hard news before the caffeine kicks in). I love this paper and I wish I could afford a subscription. Whether you think they slant left or not, you can't disagree that this paper employs some of the best journalism writers in the country. But I digress. I love the Sunday edition of the NY Times, because almost weekly I find one article that isn't necessarily about headline news, but which is thought provoking and thoughtful. These are usually longer articles, ones that have obviously been researched and worked over for a while. They take a subject, look at it from the inside out and present it in a way that forces the reader to engage and feel and think. And they're consistently well written.

The one I came across today was beautifully written. It's about the prevalence of Holocaust related films, particularly in the upcoming awards season. But it goes so far beyond that. It digs into why and how we create stories about something as massive and horrifying and indescribable as the Holocaust. This kind of work is why I laugh whenever someone suggests that newspaper journalism is a dying breed. Because as long as there are writers this talented, who can write something like this, with such passion and clarity and eloquence, then I think newspapers will continue to exist and be very, very necessary. Here's a passage from it with the link:

"The moral imperatives imposed by the slaughter of European Jews are Never Again and Never Forget, which mean, logically, that the story of the Holocaust must be repeated again and again. But the sheer scale of the atrocity — the six million extinguished lives and the millions more that were indelibly scarred, damaged and disrupted — suggests that the research, documentation and imaginative reconstruction, the building of memorials and museums, the writing of books and scripts, no matter how scrupulous and exhaustive, will necessarily be partial, inadequate and belated. And this tragic foreknowledge of insufficiency, which might be inhibiting, turns out, on the contrary, to spur the creation of more and more material.

Shortly after the war the German critic T. W. Adorno declared that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” This observation has frequently been interpreted, aphoristically, as a fiat of silence, a prohibition against the use of the ordinary tools of culture to address the extraordinary, inassimilable fact of genocide. But those tools, however crude, are what we have to work with. "

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...