|Vol. 16 No. 76||
Friday September 29, 2017
Flight of Fancy with Miss Lillian
She was 99.
Countless generations of readers and writers appreciated this lovely, down-to-earth artist. She had a wonderful technique and style and become the heart and soul of The New Yorker, one of the truly great magazines.
She retired in 2012.
“You try not to get in the way of the person you’re trying to show,” she wrote of her technique.
“You are trying to follow along the person you’re interviewing, to respond to him instead of coming along with a lot of prepared questions, you just get him going.
“Don’t bother him.
“It’s just a question of listening.”
People that knew her noted that “on assignment Miss Lillian asked very few questions and never used tape recorders but filled many notebooks.”
“Miss Lillian preached unobtrusive reporting,” The New York Times wrote, “and practiced what she preached.”
She outlined her credo in the preface to her book Reporting (1964):
“Your attention at all times should be on your subject, not on you,” Miss Lillian declared.
“Do not call attention to yourself,” she concluded.
Here is a landmark essay from 1950 that Lillian Ross wrote about Ernest Hemingway: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1950/05/13/how-do-you-like-it-now-gentlemen
It’s best to savor these glorious words in a flight of fancy and fantasy during some quiet time that is truly all your own.
Thanks, Miss Lillian…
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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller
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