Friday, February 01, 2013

Esquire writing - from Lichtenstein, Chiarella & Jones

There's been a couple of Esquire pieces I've read lately that struck me as particularly remarkable, with one published in the Feb 2013 issue, one for the web last week and one a website post from 2010 that I linked to last year.

The magazine feature story was by Jesse Lichtenstein with "Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?" It's writing that's both on an important subject and incredibly detailed. In this regard of how much included and the reporting that likely had to go into it, Lichtenstein's reminded me of a piece I linked to in Sept of last year, Justin Heckert's Esquire feature "How to Build an American Car" on the 2012 Cadillac ATS.

In the Esquire writing of profundity category lately were two different pieces published on the website. Tom Chiarella wrote "The Happiness of Aaron Swartz" about doing a eulogy at the memorial of the internet pioneer and open source web advocate. The essay by Chiarella touches on the themes of achievement and fear as well as friends and family and struck me as an example of just how powerful words can be when describing something of great import.

The final Esquire piece to note here is one from a few years ago that I previously included as part of a post on writing about fathers & sons, but I came across it again recently and is great writing that also reminded me of the essay on Swartz in the depth of feeling conveyed. "Autistics" was written by Chris Jones for his Esquire blog back in Sept 2010 and is about the writer's four year old son and his diagnosis as mildly autistic. It's a short piece and just struck me as really fantastic work.