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The Power of Words

Posted on 2008.05.29 at 19:02
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Everyone's Gone to the Movies - Steely Dan
We Chicagoans are spoiled. I, as a non-native of this town, am probably more aware of this fact than most native Chicagoans. I want to focus today on one particular aspect of our, well, spoilage. One of the benefits of living here is being able to regularly read the writing of Roger Ebert. Yes, everyone knows him from his movie reviews on TV, but his real gift is the art of writing. He possesses a rare talent for awakening one’s mind and emotions through the clarity and eloquence of his prose. It came as no surprise when I found out that Ebert was the first person to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism as a film critic.

As I learned when I moved here, though, Ebert writes about a lot more than just movies. He periodically writes essays and commentaries that appear on the editorial pages of the Sun-Times, ranging from current politics to sociology to philosophy, and he does it all with an air of intellectual integrity and honesty. I am moved to write these words because of an essay that appeared in today’s Sun-Times. Ebert wrote a piece titled “How Studs inspires me to carry on.” The reference is to another great Chicago writer, Studs Terkel, who turned 96 a few weeks ago and is still going strong. I have been unable to find the text of the article online, but I have found it in a somewhat longer form right here. I heartily commend it to your attention!

FYI – In case you didn’t know, Ebert has had a succession of health problems over the last several years, which have kept him off TV and have forced him to spend a lot of time in hospitals and rehab centers.

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