Monday, March 31, 2008

Ensorcell me

In her New York Times column "Surrender, Dorothy," Maureen Dowd threw out a word that *moi* was not familiar with: ensorcell. It was used to describe Barack Obama. I thought it might have something to do with sorcery and, in fact, it does. It means to enchant or bewitch.

I have been enjoying reading the New York Times on line because I find the site easy to navigate. It's also updated frequently. It's fast, I'm very seldom annoyed by pesky pop-up advertisements and the headlines are great. It still doesn't offer the same convenience as print ... which for me is the ability to scan a page of articles very quickly, but it's helping me cope with cyberspace.

Anyway, all that being said, I read a piece today in the Times that I imagine was supposed to be witty and tongue-in-cheek, but it came across, at least to *moi*, as nasty. It reminded me of the old days, when the Washington Post would regularly go over the top in cattiness. The Post has made great strides in recent years at civility ... and of course, they publish *moi*, so now I am very fond of them.

However, I digress. The article was about dating and reading and all the people in New York City who have dumped each other over reading. New Yorkers are a finicky bunch. If you've never heard of your date's favorite author, you're out. If your reading tastes are deemed too middlebrow (say, John Irving), you're out. But if you carry a book that seems to scream pretension, you're also out. And if your taste doesn't match your date's perfectly-- for instance, horrors, if you actually like Virginia Woolf, you're out.

Well, we all have our middlebrow reading tastes (I'm reading the Golden Compass trilogy, right now, which probably doesn't even qualify as middlebrow) and we all love authors our friends love to hate. I hope we book lovers are a little more generous, good humored and down to earth than The Times makes us out to be.

I love Nancy Drew as well as Jane Austen. I can also enjoy a good middlebrow adult mystery and some contemporary "highbrow" literary fiction leaves me cold. Are there politically incorrect books you like? Enscorcell me.

No comments: