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Gary Smith probably doesn't read you

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Joe Williams, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    from Romenesko site:


    "I don't read that much sports journalism," says SI's Smith
    Sports Illustrated veteran Gary Smith prefers fiction and philosophy. That shouldn't surprise his fans "because he's a master storyteller and amateur philosopher," writes Jon Friedman. Smith says "it fascinates me what makes a person tick. It's the contradiction, the paradox. In ambiguity, there is a goldmine."
  2. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    what does it mean to be an amateur philosopher? I was hoping the video link would be Smith talking about the meaning of life, but it's just the writer talking about the article.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    So, I saw this earlier today, and the title of the article is: Gary Smith is America's best magazine writer.

    No great disrepect to one of my heroes, but I would argue that is no longer true. Gary is still good, obviously, but there are others who are better.

  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've always seen Smith as more of an armchair shrink, seeing a set of events or a story from a perspective from above as if he was looking at it through a fishbowl.
  5. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Is that like a stand-up philosopher?

  6. The New Yorker rolls out like five writers an issue who make me want to cry they are so good. I need to start doing a better job tracking their bylines.
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Fuck him. Then I won't read him, either.

    That'll show him.
  8. My biggest issue with Smith is that he only writes profiles. I'd like to see him tackle a travel piece or a more expansive narrative at some point. I know he has, in a way, in stories that involve more that one person. But not enough.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    There are probably writers at Esquire or the New Yorker who are better, but I would say he is without question the best sports magazine writer out there...

    I don't completely believe his answer because usually a lot of Smith's pieces are expanded versions of stories that have been written before. I'm not in any way suggesting he's done anything wrong, but I know of a few that started as features in small papers that became some of Smith's best work. Obviously, his version is about 1,000,000X better than the original...
  10. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    The title "Best Magazine Writer in America" varies from piece to piece, issue to issue, week to week, month to month, year to year. Nature of the business. Depends entirely on who's writing what for whom. This month it's gotta be Jones, right, with his epic piece in Esquire? Next month it might be Mark Singer or Charlie Pierce or Katherine Boo or Susan Orlean. Or Gary Smith. At the end of the year, they'll tally 'em all up and hand out a National Magazine Award. Completely subjective, of course, but an indicator of a kind.

    Over time, though, you can make some judgments about the body of work.

    Gary Smith? For the last 25 years? Based on that body of work, certainly one of the two or three you have to bring up when you talk about the "Best Magazine Writer in America." And probably in the top 10 when you talk about "Best American Magazine Writers of All-Time."
  11. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I'll agree with that. I actually bought the Best Magazine Writing of 2007 collection the other day. I haven't started it yet; just finished the 2007 BASW last night.
  12. jmac --
    Big props to you for mentioning Katie Boo.
    Monster chops.
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