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3 posts tagged with obituary by languagehat.
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Hugh Massingberd joins the majority.

"Hugh Massingberd, a celebrated former obituaries editor of The Telegraph of London who made a once-dreary page required reading by speaking frankly, wittily and often gleefully ill of the dead, became the recipient of his own services after dying in West London on Christmas Day." The linked NY Times obit (by Margalit Fox; print version) contains many good quotes, like "The Telegraph’s send-off of one Lt. Col. Geoffrey Knowles, 'who as a subaltern was bitten in the buttocks by a bear — he survived but the bear expired'"; The Telegraph's own obit is much longer (and, of course, unsigned) and contains, along with more good zingers, a well-written account of his life ("The inevitable consequence of his bingeing proved another triumph of style, as Massingberd, a tall, slim and notably handsome youth with hollowed-out cheeks, transmogrified into an impressively corpulent presence whose moon face lit up with Pickwickian benevolence"). [more inside]
posted by languagehat on Dec 30, 2007 - 21 comments

Goodbye, Ellen.

Ellen Willis was a writer and critic who wrote for the Voice, the Nation, and Dissent, among many others; her NYU homepage and Wikipedia entry link to a number of essays and reviews, all of which are worth your time. She didn't make me a feminist, but her writing gave me much of the intellectual framework of my feminism and throughout the depressing retreat of the '80s reminded me there was still humor and hope. (From her Wikiquote page: "My deepest impulses are optimistic; an attitude that seems to me as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect.") She died yesterday, of lung cancer, at the absurdly early age of 64. I'd like to quote from her "Escape from New York" (Village Voice, July 29-Aug. 4, 1981), an account of a bus trip across the country that shows her inextricable mix of the personal, the political, and the just plain human: [more inside]
posted by languagehat on Nov 10, 2006 - 15 comments

Hilton Ruiz is dead.

Hilton Ruiz is dead. The wonderful pianist Hilton Ruiz, who "had been in a coma since May 19, when he was found outside a French Quarter bar with severe head injuries," has died in a New Orleans hospital. He'd played with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk to Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Archie Shepp, and Clark Terry. Sad news, especially coming hard on the heels of the loss of Billy Preston.
posted by languagehat on Jun 8, 2006 - 16 comments

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