How ironic that Hugh Kenner’s obituaries should be appearing on the same day that I published a piece
about Warner Bros. cartoons that made mention of his elegant little monograph
about Chuck Jones, creator of the Road Runner. He was a distinguished critic and a great gentleman, and will be greatly missed.
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt’s New York Times obituary, incidentally, ends with the following paragraph:
Nor, surprisingly, did he deplore the decline of print as our main medium. “We forget that most of what people read when everybody read all the time was junk — competent junk,” he told U.S. News & World Report. “Now they get it from television. The casual entertainment people get in the evening from the box was what they used to get from the short fiction in The Saturday Evening Post. That magazine and others like it were the situation comedies and cop shows of their era. It is not a cultural loss that this particular use of literacy has been transferred from one medium to another.”
A very smart man.