The Worst Paragraph in All of 2011’s Food Writing

What follows may be the worst single paragraph in New York Times food writing in 2011. It's from an article titled "Adapting Julia Child for E-Readers." Grab onto something solid, and read on:

"On Wednesday Alfred A. Knopf will release the e-book edition of one of the most famous cookbooks: 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking,' by Julia Child, immortalized in the best seller 'Julie & Julia' and its film counterpart, starring Meryl Streep."

The key problem here, of course: the word immortalized.

Was Mastering the Art of French Cooking actually immortalized by Julie & Julia? Was it otherwise going to fall into a sad, shadowy oblivion, remembered only by a few gastronomic historians? Was it preserved only by the timeless artistry of Julie & Julia, an artistic work likely to be studied and celebrated long after human beings have shed their flesh-based forms and evolved into ethereal beings composed of light and music?

Here are a few other stabs at the same paragraph:

"... besmirched by the best seller Julie & Julia and its film counterpart, starring Meryl Streep."

"... temporarily tarnished by but ultimately transcending the best seller Julie & Julia and its film counterpart, starring Meryl Streep."

"... a fine book tragically dragged through the mud by the carnival sideshow of Generation Y bubble-brained self-celebration that was the questionable best seller Julie & Julia and its film counterpart, a movie saved from being a critical zero only through the labors of the unquestionably talented Meryl Streep."

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