Saturday, December 20, 2008

"striving for a kind of Euclidean clarity"

Eleanor Gould Packard (photo) was Grammarian for The New Yorker magazine from 1945 to 1999. Miss Gould, as her colleagues called her, set extraordinarily high standards for clarity and logic, and demonstrated amazing attentiveness and stamina. When she died, in 2005, David Remnick, Editor, wrote a beautiful tribute.

An excerpt: “She shaped the language of the magazine, always striving for a kind of Euclidean clarity – transparent, precise, muscular. It was an ideal that seemed to have not only syntactical but moral dimensions.”

From time to time, I print out the tribute and re-read it, just for the inspiration.

What a woman!

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