a tale of two writers

Jezebel points out today that Pulitzer winner Gene Weingarten’s Twitter feed is less than brilliant. I didn’t want to undercut my praise of his award-winning piece earlier this week, but I will say now that I can’t think of another writer I’m generally more conflicted about. I find his humor writing a real turn-off, and I almost think of the person who writes the Pulitzer-winning stuff (including 2007’s Pearls Before Breakfast) as someone entirely different. Gene did a chat yesterday on WashingtonPost.com and I found this exchange with a reader interesting:

Q: Is there a part of you that is reconsidering your creative focus right now? I’m looking forward to your comic strip project, but two Pulitzers in three years might be a sign that you have a gift for feature writing. Selfishly, I hope you return to them even if only occasionally.

A: …. I do know that some readers don’t love my humor columns. I know others really do. It’s a pretty lonely and scary place to be, in the middle of this. I can only follow my gut. I know I still try; I believe I still succeed; I hope I’ll known when to stop before someone else has to tell me. But in a larger sense, I really like writing humor and drama, at the same time. I proud of the versatility, but I also think they keep me nimble. I think one informs the other. I think I’d be less happy if I was doing only one.

I do think the audacity it takes to write such polarizing humor is part of what makes his feature writing so startlingly good. Still, I think it’s fair to say I’ll avoid his Twitter feed as I always have his columns and chats.

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2 responses to “a tale of two writers

  1. Yes, it does seem a bit sophomoric, doesn’t it? Plus: What’s up with his twitter avatar? Gross.

  2. I don’t know, Kate. Maybe it’s a generational thing.
    His column “Past Imperfect” (March 14) was funny.

    And “Unfit to Print” (December 13) is hilarious!

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