The Blog

the writing life: be inspired by other people’s writing

But there’s a baseball clutched in his hand and a love of the game tucked deep in his being right alongside a radical way of understanding baseball statistics.

Manohla Dargis
“Throwing a Digital Age Curveball”
The New York Times

i love movies and i love food. lately i’ve also been loving the writing of the people writing about movies and food. i learn a lot from reading other people’s work.

jonathan gold, the food critic of the la weekly, is incredibly knowledgeable about food yes, but it’s his writing that makes me want to read what he’s written. i know from his evocative phrasing exactly what the atmosphere of the restaurant will be and how the food will taste. he rarely reverts to the common food adjectives. instead he prefers to conjure up a moment, and that moment so precisely describes what he’s eating (or seeing or hearing or touching) that you know exactly what the experience will be like.

manohla dargis also used to write for the la weekly. then she shed city and paper to write for the new york times when elvis mitchell left. i don’t read her with the obsessive compulsion that i read jonathan’s columns (mostly because i like to form my own opinions about movies before i see them, which is why i also like to see movies the first weekend, innocent of their reputation) but moneyball hasn’t opened yet in london, where i am (and may not). there’s a good possibility that i won’t see it until it comes out on dvd but being that i know two people who worked on it, i felt curious to see how it was being received. irregardless of what she’s written, it is her writing that often stuns.

ps: i’m adding sam anderson to this list. formerly at new york magazine, now at the new york times.  he’s as far from the stuffy pipe-smoking book reviewer as…well…he’d probably come up with better metaphor than i can at this moment. read his latest piece on haruki murakami.

image: stardust, from his flickr, with a creative commons license

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