From this post at Harper's. Curious what the journalists in the audience think. This certainly gave me pause. There are many times I've thought it would be more comfortable to just slip into a first-person account of the story I'm writing, often because of exactly what Mann says here. I definitely consider myself a work in progress as a journalist and as a writer on the whole, and this just made me sit and think for a minute. Curious what thoughts others might have on the subject:
Lawrence Weschler, the great New Yorker writer, has a quote along the lines of, “I like to insert a strong I into what I’m writing not out of some sense of egomania, but precisely the opposite.” I agree with that. I don’t have the hubris to traditionally report on something, then step back, remove my personality, biases, memories, and screw-ups, and speak with authority. I’m the neurotic, often-confused dude who is trying to figure out why all this stuff is important to him, and that crucial, intimate honesty isn’t something I’d ever want to remove from the work.