I cannot believe the Washington Post let her spread her incoherent writing and bizarre antecdotes all over its pages, AGAIN: I am speaking, of course, about DeNeen L. Brown, the Post staffer responsible for Beaujon’s iron law about Style section pieces: Their quality is in inverse proportion to their use of italics. EXAMPLE! But today, for the second time in a row, Brown prevents her prose from really taking wing, resulting in a strangely readable piece.
On Dec. 4, she wrote a profile of sculptor Willard Wiggan that lacked first-person flights of fancy or excessive use of typographical devices to move the narrative. Sure, there was weirdness:
The boy hates school. And absconds. That’s the word he uses. “I absconded.”
But overall it was pretty great! And today, in her profile of author Helena Andrews, Brown’s worst tendencies peek through only a few times, too:
1. OVER-IDENTIFICATION WITH SOURCES
The futile rituals are familiar: the dressing up, the eager cab ride over to the party, the hold-your-breath as you walk in, scanning the room quickly for any looks returned. The mantra sounding in the back of your head: “So-and-so found a man last year at a party like this. Maybe tonight is my night.” Then one by one, the men prove to be disappointments and disappointing: married, uninteresting or uninterested.
2. SHORT SENTENCES THAT TELL THE READER SOMETHING THEY KIND OF PRESUME WHEN READING A PIECE IN A MAJOR NEWSPAPER
Is this a true story, you ask.
“Yes, it’s my life story.”
So all right, DeNeen L. Brown! Let this trendlet swell into a wave. Into an ocean. Will this rob me of future blog items? You ask. The answer. Is. Yes.