Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Great Writing From The Economist's Obituary Columnist

The obituary column in The Economist continues to feature some of the best writing of our time (here are some previous Slog references, and here's an index of recent columns).

This week's piece is about the magazine's retired foreign editor, Brian Beedham, a craggy, obstinately brilliant fellow who married a Swiss aristocrat. It's actually one of their weaker offerings (too close to home, I suppose; the column's best when it delves into obscure and far-flung personalities like Natalia Revuelta Clews, a Cuban aristocrat who fell in love with Fidel, helped bankroll his revolution, and spent decades faithfully loving him from afar), but there was one paragraph good enough to send me into a reverie. Read it a few times - suck on it like a lozenge - to extract all the goodness:

Away from work, the world he was analysing weekly was kept at bay. He did not own a television set, and found the best use of computers was to listen to American civil-war songs. Some of his pieces were pounded out on an ancient Olivetti in a turret of Barbara’s family castle in the Alps, surrounded by peaks and clouds.

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