Friday, February 13, 2009

Anyone can swear. Some can do mimicry. But to do both and to have Zadie Smith notice it, well.....

Slate magazine notes that Barack Obama has a unique ability "to voice almost anybody" as demonstrated in his writings.
Zadie Smith, who knows a bit about making a bunch of different cultures leap off the pages of text, says,
"In Dreams from My Father, the new president displays an enviable facility for dialogue, and puts it to good use, animating a cast every bit as various as the one James Baldwin—an obvious influence—conjured for his own many-voiced novel Another Country. Obama can do young Jewish male, black old lady from the South Side, white woman from Kansas, Kenyan elders, white Harvard nerds, black Columbia nerds, activist women, churchmen, security guards, bank tellers, and even a British man called Mr. Wilkerson, who on a starry night on safari says credibly British things like: "I believe that's the Milky Way." This new president doesn't just speak for his people. He can speak them."

Now I've been looking for a way to put this up for a week, because it's hilarious and now it's applicable.
Slate glommed onto the same article that everyone else has found from the Boston Phoenex who performed a most valuable Obama-related service in stringing together some dialogue from the President's book, Dreams From My Father.

Posted by David

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