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Munch Mush Much

"His visitor, reading slowly, makes a stab at it..."
--173, America's Best Newswriting

I chose this quote because it is the only time in the entire story where the writer calls attention to herself. So far, it seems that injecting yourself in a profile story is a no-no, but I think it works here. Gorney clearly had done her research in addition to conducting a very thorough interview with Geisel, and she did a marvelous job of selecting tons of interesting details to keep the reader invested in the story, from the personal details about their house to his career to his dedication to his craft (I love the use of the "different shades of green" detail). It's almost like this guy is so impressive and incredible that by the end you want someone who seems a little bit more everyday and down-to-earth. It's particularly effective because it connects the writer with the reader in a very specific way--I got mentally tongue-tied when I read "munch mush much," and in the very next sentence she mentions that she got tongue-tied. She doesn't stay focused on herself for too long, however; she immediately connects it back to Geisel with a quote from him explaining that he intentionally wrote the line to challenge beginning readers, which once again is a testament to his genius. I know that technically it's not a good idea to include stuff about yourself in an article, but I think it worked so nicely because it was very minor and secondary compared to Geisel (it actually helped to enforce the good things about him that were present throughout the article) and it helped fill a need to connect with another person who's just as much in awe of Theodore Geisel's accomplishments as the reader is. It was a nice example of the "this reporter" rhetorical device that wasn't too cheesy or self-centered. It just goes to show that the exception proves the rule.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 1, 2009 4:02 PM.

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