March 30, 2007
Tribute to Art Buchwald
How did I miss Art Buchwald's death? Can you say information overload? And it just seems to be getting worse. Things like Twitter (and that was my point of my blog post) only add to the fire. Aggregators help but they're not 'narrowly defined' enough and search isn't the method I want to use for things like this.
I feel like I'm continually swimming in a sea of information and it is increasingly harder to sift through what I really want to know about in the moment -- for processing then and there and what I want to process later.
And so, Art Buchwald died two months ago and I missed it. I first saw Art at some cocktail gathering in New York (can't recall the month or year) and then later had an opportunity to meet and talk to him at great length in 2002.
Perhaps I was so endeared to him because his personality reminded me of my grandfather in some ways. Perhaps because I believe everyone should have grandparents, even if they have passed. Perhaps because we shared a motherless life start. Perhaps just because he was so funny, wise, interesting and engaging. And on top of it all, a great writer.
As a prize-winning US writer, who was among the best loved and most widely read columnists of his age, he is not even listed in Wikipedia. (perhaps someone from the iPod and Wiki generation forgot to add him? or never knew who he was? or that he won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1982?)
According to the BBC, his column "appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the US and abroad. He was known for his wit, which was sharp but never cruel, and which aimed to deflate the rich and powerful. Richard Nixon was a favorite target, with Buchwald saying he worshipped "the very quicksand he walked on."
Thanks for the warm memory I have of you Art if you're listening from Heaven, which you traveled to from Washington Dulles on Virgin was it not? You should have met my grandfather -- perhaps you now can. Hats off to your amazing humor, writing, candor and a helluva saucy personality so many of us loved.
Update from someone who just commented to this post and sent along a fabulous video link that the New York Times ran about his death.
Update 2: Strange that when I wrote this, I tried Art Buchwald several times in wikipedia and nothing came up for him. Here's the link - under Arthur Buckwald; it was in fact created in 2004. He will not be forgotten.
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My Grandparents met Art in Paris in 1956, they didn't know who he was but appreciated that he was also from NYC and spoke English.
Posted by: paul | Mar 30, 2007 5:16:44 PM
He did a fantastic 'obituary interview' with the NY Times that ran when he passed. It's amazing:
Posted by: Josh | Mar 31, 2007 12:18:13 AM
Hi DTA, thanks for the link. I write from India and for many, many years, I read his columns regularly, as they appeared in one of our national newspapers. I sincerely believe the iPod/Wiki generation is the poorer for not being able to scan the morning paper for Art's column.
Posted by: Geeta Padmanabhan | Mar 31, 2007 10:08:49 AM
Buchwald's Wikipedia page was created on September 2, 2004, so somebody from the Wiki/iPod generation knows who he was.
Posted by: Nat Hefferman | Mar 31, 2007 8:59:14 PM
These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.
Posted by: Annerose | Sep 5, 2007 11:31:05 AM