Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Each week, the Emdashes staff puts the blue ribbons on the aspects of the last issue that most reminded us of Wilbur, the good-hearted, unprejudiced pig radiantly bathed in buttermilk.

I’d like to reassure anyone alarmed by Calvin Trillin’s tale of drugs, arson, and violence in Nova Scotia that we Canadians are a peaceable people, with universal health care, level roads, and excellent hockey players. Trillin is ascending my list of favorite writers. I often flash back to moments from his tales of Alice, his late wife; and “swayve dogs,” from his Letter about Frenchy’s, a Maritime secondhand clothier, makes me smile weekly.

J.D. Salinger poked his head into my last last POTI entry, and I can’t look at those photos of soaring trestles in David Owen’s “The Anti-Gravity Men” without thinking of Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters. Check out that welder! —JB

Speaking of Trillin, I’d like to thank Laura Buckley for introducing the phrase “asshole issues” to my vocabulary. It was one of those lacunae one only recognizes in the act of filling it. It will get a lot of use. —MCS

I’ve already noted my pleasure in Lou Romano’s far from hacklike romantic taxi cover, Nancy Franklin’s incisive column (a Sopranos-mad friend says it’s the best thing she’s read on the show closer), and the excellent writing on architecture and engineering by the underappreciated Owen.

Like John, I admired Trillin’s taut, beautifully told story of island strife, and the review of Tina Brown’s Princess Diana book by John Lanchester was notably sensible; I also appreciated its dignified lack of tittle-tattle about both Brown (which was the clear choice under the circumstances) and Diana (which was admirable; I’m tired of hearing her defined by her taste in couture). John Lahr always makes my list. He is a giant. —EG


As it turned out, I was compelled by Canadians before I reached British Royalty.

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