Friday, April 03, 2009

Reading/Judging on the Subway

A friend sent me this speech by New York Times Magazine Editor Gerald Marzorati. It is either poorly transcribed or the editor of said fantastic magazine cannot speak English properly (perhaps only when he gets upset about people reading his magazine on their BlackBerrys?), but it's worth the read. I especially liked the beginning, because I, too, judge people by what they're reading on the subway. Also, since canceling my N.Y. Times subscription, I get jealous of people's newspapers.
I watch what people read. Everywhere I go. Obsessively. Furtively. Seeing what they are reading, I pass judgments quickly and with confidence. I establish imaginary relationships: I used to get crushes on women who were reading Proust, or Baudelaire, or a recent issue of French Vogue. I am not impressed by men who carry big Lincoln biographies onto planes. I'm afraid of people who spend too long with a page of Dostoevsky. A young person immersed in a volume of poetry give[s] me hope. I would trust leaving my children with anyone who can fold a broadsheet newspaper properly.

1 Comments:

At 4/4/09, 8:47 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Wonderful! I do the same thing, especially with men. If I see an attractive man, what he is reading can tilt the scale one way or the other completely and in a way over which he has no control. Sports Illustrated? No hope. The Wall Street Journal, FT or the Economist? Good -- a conversation starter, we have something to talk about. Russian literature? Swoon! Thanks for posting the link. It's a good speech.

 

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