February 11, 2005



Reader Ken Bensinger saw our post about the gold leaf artist and sent us the below observation. (Maybe the word "perfect" was not the right word.)

"I don't think this story is an isolated incident. There are two other stories that ran in just the last week that exhibit strange stylistic brewings, literary tics and shivers I haven't really seen in the paper of record up till now.

They are this one, about a strip/boxing event, a real stylistic adventure and, in a more subtle way, this one, about a football player, full of incomprehensible but verbatim quotes.

After reading these and returning to the gold leaf story, I thought about the allegedly impaired grammar of the subject, Jerry Pagane. The web-based version of the story was accompanied by an audio slideshow, with Pagane talking about his work. You can hear that while it's quite clear that Pagane has hearing problems, he seems to have perfect English grammar. He speaks eloquently, in fact. Which makes <<"Have hairy ears," Mr. Simonds remembered Jerry saying. "Other kids don't have hairy ears. Want to be like other kids.">> one of the strangest paragraphs in recent New York Times history. What, exactly, is going on here? Who's pulling the wool over whose hairy reconstructed ears?

I live in Mexico City, by the way."

Posted by Sasha at February 11, 2005 09:40 PM | TrackBack