Monthly Archives: December 2011

Eudora on “The Worn Path”


For those students writing essays about Eudora Welty, please view this interview.  This interviewer is Beth Henley.  Take notes as you watch, rewinding to get the exact quote, if you want to use it in your essay. Prepare notes for beginning of class.


Jackie Xu’s response

I disagree with Evelyn Waugh’s thoughts on news. His idea that “news is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read” is a contradiction in itself. If one does not care much about anything, why would he bother reading the news? In addition, his thought, “…it’s only news until he’s read it [and] after that it’s dead”, is incorrect because even after “he” has read it, the news still lives on for others. According to William Safire, “news expands to fill the time and space allocated to its coverage”, and this contradicts Waugh’s belief because Safire is stating that news will always be present in any space it is able to reach, and even after one has read it, it still continues to live on. The news will spread and expand to others through any network possible, whether it be through the Internet, television, radio, newspaper, or even word of mouth. For example, the disastrous earthquake that struck Haiti had been announced on several news channels. Many people watched this announcement on television and read about it in newspapers and online. Although they had knowledge about it, the news did not die. This news continued to “expand to fill the … space”. Even after the week of its acknowledgement, those who knew about this catastrophe continued to spread the message as news. Therefore, Waugh’s idea about news dying after one has read it is not a viable statement.


I certainly agree with Safire’s quote. Safire is commenting on the expansion of the time and space allocated to the coverage of news, and the corresponding expansion of things that are included in the news. Safire is pointing out that the more people know, the more they want to know. However, in our current society, people want to know about all the wrong things: celebrity scandals, fashion trends, et cetera.

I believe Safire’s quote can be expanded: “Things expand to fill the time and space allocated to them.” The ‘things’ that I refer to are the non-necessities in daily life. People always say that “there just aren’t enough hours in the day,” but hours to do what, exactly? We as a society are always trying to maximize the time we have; whether it’s with drugs like caffeine or taurine that make our bodies run faster, or with technologies that do our work for us.

This being said, I certainly do not agree with the second quote. Waugh’s first assertion, that “news is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read,” is contrary to reality. My problem is with the word want. People who care about an issue, whether it be something as silly as fantasy football, or something as serious as developments in cancer research, will definitely be the most eager to seek out information and news on a topic. His second sentence is based on the assumption that his first sentence is true, and therefore both sentences are wrong; if a person who cares about an issue acquires news on it, contrary to the news being alive and dying, the person can make it come alive. A person who is inclined to seek out a piece of news will be the most active in promoting his opinion regarding that piece of news, and therefore the news will be given more meaning than it had before that person read it.


I think that the first quote means that news is everywhere. “News expands and fills time and space…” is evidence of this belief. When news expands, this is when reporters go out and report it. I do agree with this quote because I think that news is everywhere in our lives. News is on television, Internet, and in newspapers.  I disagree with Evelyn Waugh because I see the news every day, and when I read the New York Times I feel that it is important to understand what is going on in the world. Waugh states that when, after one reads a newspaper, one forgets what one has read. The first quote however, claims that news is never out of one’s life and always there, filling the expanse.