Tag Archives: Boston Bombing

Yesterday

    Yesterday I won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. The news was announced almost simultaneously with the first alerts coming out of Boston. Many of us weren’t aware of what was going on until after the gathering around the main news desk broke up, perhaps an hour later. By the time I did a quick video interview for the Post, and a few brief conversations with journalists from the AP and The New York Times, the images flashing on every screen and monitor throughout the building made the ugliness of the bombing–the panic, the wounded, the urgency of first responders–feel almost too familiar, even as the tragedy was still unfolding.
    People asked if it was strange to win on such an awful day. Yes, it was very strange, and I have family in Boston (who are all safe). But it was a thing of wonder to see the newsroom with all hands on deck, to see it do what it does best.  Arts critics survive in newspapers not because we help the bottom line, but because enlightened editors and publishers see art as an essential part of the picture of the world that newspapers deliver everyday. It’s news that makes newspapers vital and relevant, and there wouldn’t be a working arts critic in America if people weren’t first hungry for the work of reporters covering breaking stories with depth, perspective and passion.
    Art, on the other hand, is entirely essential to the survival of the world itself. That fact, that necessity, isn’t universally acknowledged, as the events in Boston give sad witness. Creation is the opposite of destruction.

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