November 10, 2008

John Leonard, In Remembrance

I grew up watching CBS Sunday Morning, with Charles Kuralt, and then Charles Osgood. I always stayed to watch John Leonard review books, movies, and TV. I loved his style, his words. He was a master of the grammatically correct extra-long sentence. As I watched Sunday Morning yesterday, I was saddened to learn he had died. I am grateful for the internet, which allows us to find his reviews and read his prose. I will leave you with a quick quote on reading, and a link to his review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The books we love, love us back. In gratitude, we should promise not to cheat on them -- not to pretend we're better than they are; not to use them as target practice, agit-prop, trampolines, photo ops or stalking horses; not to sell out
scruple to that scratch-and-sniff info-tainment racket in which we posture in front of experience instead of engaging it, and fidget in our cynical opportunism for an angle, a spin, or a take, instead of consulting compass points of principle, and strike attitudes like matches, to admire our wiseguy profiles in the mirrors of the slicks. We are reading for our lives, not performing like seals for some fresh fish.

1 comment:

mark said...

Great review, which opens new ideas to a book that wasn't my favorite of the series, but exlores how it is perhaps the most complex and transpartne to real life. I suppose, like a good book, a good review takes patience to read.