THE apple that fell far from the tree is one I could only dream of — a perfect newshen and God’s little pencil.
I would have taught this daughter to begin each work by having a real and passionate curiosity about how people behave in the infinitely various situations they find themselves in.
To be aware that no art can be reduced to principles or rules, there is the mystery no one has explained or could explain, which gives great authors’ work their literary force, particular charm and vitality.
I will encourage unobtrusiveness and inculcate that she is just a consummate observer. As a reporter, she is to be the reporter’s reporter — as objective, free of prejudices and preconceptions, neutral and fair-minded as it is possible to be.
She is a newshen who is faithful to the facts and does not invent; instead, she uses her determination where to look for the telling detail to reinforce her understanding of the subject until she finds the happiest form in which to cast her piece. She chooses to inform and convey precisely what people did and said in certain circumstances in their life’s journey.
She doesn’t interpret, analyze or pass judgment. What she does is to get at the truth. She does that with clarity, accuracy, simplicity — a simplicity grounded in her knowledge of just how complex every human being and human event is.
I want her to look at the world with affection, enormous humor and sanity, and to be a watchful newshen who listens and brings back reports that cast light and give lasting pleasure in a manner of reporting that is neither new journalism or old journalism but categorized in the timeless journalism. She is of that highest tradition, yet utterly original. I imagine her reporting in a style that should be transparent and never calls attention to itself. She reports in a style without ornament and devices — natural and crystalline, as pure spring water — and places her considerable skills in the service of the subject at hand by having a real and passionate curiosity about how people behave in the infinitely various situations they find themselves. Her reportage is ever present when people are going through actual experiences in their lives (beyond being interviewed), as they interact with one another.
Above all, I want her to surge across the boundary separating women from the former bastions of the editorial room, where men previously controlled as chief opinion giver and defined what was newsworthy.
Wherever she finds herself, she gets the things she feels are right, whether she is writing fact or fictional. She will learn to savor the breathtaking way she can walk into people’s lives to ask them anything she wants in that moment available to her — the whole universe of a person’s life, the pain and suffering, the joy and the struggle — and learn from it, as she takes it with her and walks away.
She is the newshen who thinks for us, listens for us and asks the questions we might ask if we were on the spot. She is the adorable newshen who asks a decent question, broad enough to allow people to take off in many directions.
She knows how to turn on the tap, eloquently and colorfully, and achieves celebrity status, with power that staggers the mind.
This is a daughter I could not have because I would have died in labor.
E-mail Mylah at firstname.lastname@example.org