Good Reading: Who Says an Obit Can’t Have Fun?

Not Margalit Fox, who writes them with a keen eye for the human and the humorous. Here’s a sample from her March 4 New York Times obituary of Justin Kaplan, a biographer of Mark Twain, Lincoln Steffens, and Walt Whitman who served as general editor of two editions of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations:

The new Bartlett’s, published in 1992, reflected Mr. Kaplan’s desire for a cultural ecumenicalism that older editions seemed to lack. Under his stewardship, the volume incorporated quotations from Woody Allen (“It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens”); Kermit the Frog (“It’s not that easy bein’ green”); and an Englishman born Archie Leach (“Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant”).

Read it all here.


  1. “Who says an obit can’t have fun?” Nobody I know of. This is the question backwards form of McCartney’s “We’ve all been thinking it.”

Speak Your Mind