"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

This is . . . creepy

From Politico:
One of the more mysterious characters from President Obama's 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father is the so-called 'New York girlfriend.' Obama never referred to her by name, or even by psuedonym, but he describes her appearance, her voice, and her mannerisms in specific detail. But Obama has now told biographer David Maraniss that the 'New York girlfriend' was actually a composite character, based off of multiple girlfriends he had both in New York City and in Chicago.
No intelligent person takes a memoir or autobiography at face value. Even when the author/subject is critical of themselves, what's interesting and often revealing is exactly how they criticize themselves, and what about themselves they find less-than-admirable. Equally interesting, and often revelatory, is what gets left out: there is no hint in "The Education of Henry Adams" that its author/subject had ever been married. Which tells us rather a lot. But a reader of autobiography, presented with declarative sentences setting out matters of fact (rather than judgment, perception, or reaction), may be excused for expecting such information to be . . . true. The "composite character" is the stuff of historical fiction, screen adaptation, and the roman a clef. On the other hand, this notion may be useful, come November, when we must decide whether the President is a composite of Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, or instead consists of equal parts Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

Comments on "This is . . . creepy"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:20 PM) : 

In the comments at Politico: "Similarly, the dog he ate was a composite too. It wasn’t one dog, it was an amalgam of many breeds, like casserole."


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