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Veronica Geng vs. Nora Ephron; Riad Sattouf advances

Not much going on in yesterday‘s Past vs. Future battle. Maybe we should’ve brought in Michael J. Fox as a guest judge . . .

Anyway, the best argument in the comments came from Ethan:

Since we can’t have Mr P let’s have Mr B.

Ahhh, but we can have Mr P. We can always have Mr P. So then we don’t need Mr B. Sorry, Mel!

Today is a battle of two literary wits. Highbrow vs. Middlebrow. Or maybe it would be more precise to say High Middlebrow vs. Middlebrow. The New Yorker vs. Hollywood. Two different branches of the literary comedy tradition. Love Trouble vs. Heartburn. Mr. Reagan vs. Proust. Can’t go wrong with either choice. What’s yours?

Again, here are the rules and here’s the bracket:


  1. DanC says:

    True fact: I started the Veronica Geng article on Wikipedia over 14 years ago. Been a fan for a long time.

    Ephron’s OK, but the kind of people who are crazy about her films are generally people with poor taste in movies.

    • Dalton says:

      14 years and that’s all you got? Dan! It’s less than an abstract!

      If we’re going solely by Wikipedia, (And let’s be honest, I have been for the entire contest) it’s Nora by a mile. Nora’s got a picture and bio-box. A personal life and a career section. An entire section entitled “Ephron and Deep Throat.” Nicely formatted tables. A detailed section on her death (which really makes you realize that HIPAA is not something you can take with you).

      For Veronica, we’ve got: Philadelphia (+), brain cancer ( :( ), “revolving door sex-life” (?), and that she liked Phil Roth, but not Tina Brown. Dan! You’re not selling it.

      Anyway, here’s a fish for Ephron.

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  2. zbicyclist says:

    We’ll only get that Springsteen vs Geng rematch if Geng’s unlikely win streak continues.

  3. Jonathan (another one) says:

    From Rick Hertzberg’s New Yorker obituary of Ephron:

    “We met sometime in the mid-nineteen-sixties, via our mutual friend George Trow, my college classmate and eventual New Yorker colleague and weekend housemate. The two had become acquainted at Newsweek, where they briefly had low-level summer jobs. George was a connoisseur of women who had what he called “interesting syntax.” Nora was among the first he befriended, a group that eventually included Jamaica Kincaid, Veronica Geng, Alison Rose, Jacqueline Onassis, and Diana Vreeland.

    Nora’s “syntax” was indeed interesting, as her readers well know, but what was downright mesmerizing was her voice. It was deliciously liquid. It had a steady rhythm that gave it a quality located somewhere between deliberation and laughter. It was intimate and confident—the perfect vehicle for her deadpan wit and sense of fun.”

    Hmmm. I was all in on Geng, as you know, but I have no idea what she sounded like.

    But it’s not the voice is it? It’s the content. And listen to what Geng could do (Remorse, April 7, 1986) “I will also spend one hundred hours working with youthful offenders, who, I believe, could profit tremendously from one hundred hours away from the grind of science or math, listening instead to me explaining why I am talking to them instead of their teachers or parents.” If she can do that for youthful offenders, imagine what she can do for those of us lucky enough to attend. And science and math really is a grind, no?

    So I’m sticking with Geng, but if Trow has a contrary opinion, he can leave a comment below, and I’m willing to abide by his opinion.

  4. Not Trampis says:

    I have not heard of any of them.

    Are they peculiar to the USA?

  5. brianG says:

    I’m not going to stump for ephron’s body of work, but I will say that ‘When Harry Met Sally’ happens to be #1 on my rom-com list. Also, it could be sort of interesting if ephron wound up in the finals against julia.

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