January 23, 2009 § Leave a comment
As a partially reformed practitioner of snark — a snippy, quippy manner of writing that has become a preferred style in Web journalism — I approached David Denby’s “Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation” with high hopes. Having penned a popular daily online gossip column for years — back when the Web was still young and finding its voice — I had mastered the snappy turn of phrase, the knowing wink, the gentle elbow poke directed my readers’ way. Yet as the tone spread wide, to sites like Gawker, TMZ, Perez Hilton (shudder), and beyond, its cadences, once so comforting, began to feel repetitive and tired, and I more or less moved on.
Was Denby, a longtime film critic for the New Yorker, going to make the case that snark is not just tiresome and played out but actually a malevolent force? It seemed so …
Review: “Snark” (The Barnes & Noble Review)
“To save a life is God’s gift”
January 12, 2009 § Leave a comment
Each crinkle in the well-lined faces that stare out from the crisp black-and-white photos in Norman H. Gershman’s “Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II” seems to tell a story. The Albanian Muslims standing proud before Gershman’s lens have endured much: Nazi occupation, Communist rule. But look into their eyes and you see heart-melting kindness, righteous determination, joy. Gershman, a fine-arts photographer, traveled to Albania and Kosovo to photograph Muslims who rescued Jews during World War II and to hear and share their stories …
In Brief: “Besa” (The Barnes & Noble Review)