SMITH magazine is a welcome discovery for a scribbler like me. It’s an online magazine that acts as a “home for storytelling of all forms and kinds, with a focus on personal narrative. We believe everyone has a story, and everyone should have a place to tell it.” Admirable!
SMITH recently published “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure” and I’ve passed pleasurable minutes reading some of the entries. Consider this, the profound:
Diapers, rompers, shorts, jeans, suits, diapers.
Or this, the silly (but still a little profound):
Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah
And this, the moving and profound:
I still make coffee for two
Enter: Lizzie Widdicombe’s review in the New Yorker, an exercise in literary discipline. It opens:
Brevity: a good thing in writing. Exploited by texters, gossip columnists, haikuists. Not associated with the biography genre. But then—why shouldn’t it be? Life expectancies rise; attention spans shrink. Six words can tell a story. That’s a new book’s premise, anyway.
Do you get it? The entire review is composed of six-word sentences! I know because I counted each one, with my eyes.
I need to bring this Widdicombe person on as a guest blogger. I wonder if, in place of her position as a staff writer at the most prestigious magazine in the nation, she’ll accept $100 a week and unlimited use of my David Sedaris home library. Lizzie, if you’re reading this, let me know.