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A NEW DIMENSION
Imagine my pleasure when I came across "Brooklyns Lose" in SI, Sept. 20. A first-rate story in the unassuming and pleasant manner of Irwin Shaw (pre-Riviera days) but more than that, a really fine piece of reporting. It has the flavor and ring of authenticity and your line drawing helped a lot. A napkin dispenser on the drug store counter, yet. Things like that add a dimension which sole preoccupation with facts, the batting averages and the scores misses.
Now let's have more, shall we? No need to hunt for shrinking Hemingways because the Hemingway days are over. Every hick small-town columnist (I should know, I was one myself for six years) has that delightful inner feeling that after all, yesterday's humorous, yet moving piece on "Slob" McNulty's, the town's only former pro athlete (semipro fighter in a small coalmining town 42 years ago), death was just about as good as Mr. H. ever penned. There are plenty of good, honest writers who, if properly handled, will turn their talents and thoughts to sports and away from contemplating their own shrunken navels.
A well-written fiction piece, and I mean well-written, can often tell more than the best piece of straight reporting. Just as "Brooklyns Lose" told more of that in equal parts noble and despicable borough than New York sportswriters have been able to do for 20 years, barring the great Red Smith.
THE JOY OF DYING