Friday, January 25, 2008
Sometimes I feel the New York Times possesses - in spite of the mass of evidence to the contrary - hidden depths of humour, dark wells of irony. This struck me as a possibility when I noticed this tagline on an NYT blog headlined Memory Refill - 'Over a lifetime, coffee as a Proustian common denominator.' Nobody with any wit or literary sensitivity could have written that unless they were being ironic. Is this possible? There may be a further clue in the feature itself - 'I wouldn't be so pretentious as to say,' writes Judith Warner, 'that I have measured out my life in coffee spoons. But it wouldn't be so far from the truth.' Again, this is very funny if meant as irony at the expense of this kind of writing - that having the cake of pretension and eating it is just brilliant - but plain stupid if not. My intention now is to test my ironic NYT theory by deliberately treating the entire thing as an infinitely subtle version of The Onion.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 10:58 am