The favorite daughter


The apple that fell far from the tree is one I could only dream of. A perfect newshen. God’s little pencil.

I would have taught her to begin each work by having a real and passionate curiosity about how people behave in the infinitely various situations they find themselves in.

To be aware that no art can be reduced to principles or rules — because at the center, there is mystery no one has explained or could explain. This gives great authors work their literary force, their particular charm, their vitality.

I will encourage unobtrusiveness…inculcate she is just an observer, a consummate one. And as a reporter, to be the reporter’s reporter, as objective, free of prejudices and preconceptions, as neutral, as fair minded as it is possible to be.

A newshen that is faithful to the facts. Who does not invent; but uses her determination where to look for the telling detail to reinforce her understanding of her subject…till she finds the happiest form in which to cast her piece.  The one that chooses to inform, convey precisely what people did and said in certain circumstances in their life’s journey.

She doesn’t interpret, She doesn’t analyze, she doesn’t pass judgment. What she does is to get at the truth.   She does that with clarity, accuracy, simplicity — a simplicity grounded in her knowledge of just how complex every human being, every human event is.

I want her to look at the world with affection, enormous humor and sanity. To be a watchful newshen who listens and brings back reports that  cast light and give lasting pleasure. To be able to do this in a manner of reporting that is neither new or old journalism, but categorized in the timeless journalism.  She of that the highest tradition yet utterly original: I imagine her reporting in a style that should be transparent and never calls attention to itself. To be ever present when people are going through actual experiences in their lives (beyond being interviewed, as they interact with one another.

She reports in a style without ornament and without devices. It is natural and crystalline, as pure spring water. Nor does she in her work without calling attention to herself, but places her considerable skills in the service of the subject at hand — by having a real and passionate curiosity about how people behave in the infinitely various situations they find themselves.

Above all, I want her to surge across the boundary separating women into formerly bastions of the editorial, where men previously controlled as chief opinion giver and defined what was newsworthy.  And whether she is writing factual or fictional writing, I imagine she will get the things she feel are right and will for those things wherever she finds herself.

She will learn to savor the breathtaking way she can walk into people’s lives to ask them anything she wants in that moment available to her, the whole universe of a person’s life.  The pain and suffering, the joy and the struggle — and learn from it, as she takes it with her, and walks away.

The newshen who thinks for us, listens for us, asking the questions we might ask, if we were on the spot.

She is the adorable newshen who asks a decent question, broad enough to allow people to take off in many directions.

The newshen who knows how to turn on the tap, eloquently and colorfully and achieves celebrity status, with power that staggers the mind.

This daughter I could not have because, I would have died in labor.

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