Backward Ran Sentences
The Best of Wolcott Gibbs From The New YorkerBook - 2011
"Maybe he doesn't like anything, but he can do everything," New Yorker editor Harold Ross once said of the magazine's brilliantly sardonic theater critic Wolcott Gibbs. And, for over thirty years at the magazine, Gibbs did do just about everything. He turned out fiction and nonfiction, profiles and parodies, filled columns in "The Talk of the Town" and "Notes and Comment," covered books, movies, nightlife, and, of course, the theater. A friend of the Algonquin Round Table, Gibbs was renowned for his humor. (Perhaps his most enduring line is from a profile of Henry Luce, parodying Time magazine's house style: "Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.")
In his day, Gibbs was equal in stature to E. B. White and James Thurber, but he is little read today. In Backward Ran Sentences , journalist Thomas Vinciguerra provides a biographical sketch of Gibbs and gathers a generous sampling of his finest work across an impressive range of genres, bringing a brilliant, multitalented writer of incomparable wit to a new age of readers.
Praise for Wolcott Gibbs:
"His style had brilliance that was never flashy, he was self-critical as well as critical, and he had absolute pitch, which enabled him to become a parodist of the first rank." -E. B. White, New Yorker , 1958