Monday, April 7, 2008

Feature Creature

[Pulitzer Prizes] About 19 years ago, Gene Weingarten came to the newspaper I worked for at the time, the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, in Minnesota. He was editor of the Miami Herald's "Tropic" magazine. He led a day long writing workshop. He offered practical tips on writing feature stories, but I mostly remember him as riotously funny--in word and in print.

Today it was announced that Weingarten, a staff writer with the Washington Post, won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The Post picked up six Pulitzers in all. But the best thing, in my mind, is that Weingarten won for a humorous
feature, which hardly ever happens. The Prize committee is usually won over by poignant tear jerkers. Features chronicling the lives of babies without bones and the like.

Anyway, his story--"Pearls Before Breakfast"-- is about a world-class violinist, whom Weingarten placed in the Washington D.C. subway system. The premise of the story was to see what busy, hard-bitten commuters would do when they heard the guy playing. Ignore him? Throw him some coin? Shake their heads at the shame of it all and move on?
Read it.
(Holly Mullen)


  1. Holly, you're the big gun in town.

    I'm hoping you send The Trib a Christmas card.

  2. I doubt Holly Mullen needs my defense, but here it is. You are one big prick.

  3. This is an excellent article, though I don't find it to be very humorous. To the contrary, for me, it is depressing.

    It addresses something that I consider nearly every day of my waking life - am I wasting my short life on silly things? The answer is often yes. And - how in the hell do I live that I might always be available to appreciate beauty, indeed, life? Answer to that is always, "Fuck if I know." But because I am aware, I do try. I am always working to break these bonds of mediocrity. One day, I'll succeed.

    What I do now is that if I had been in that subway station, no job, supervisor or boss could have forced me away from the performance. I almost always stop to listen to street musicians, good or bad. I always have.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.