Monday, December 8, 2008

Critic Steven Winn files final Chron column

In his final Chron column after 28 years, Steven Winn described the power he felt as a critic.
    One of the first shows I covered here, in the summer of 1980, was an all-male production of "Mame" at the Kabuki Theater in its pre-movie days. I rode the train from Menlo Park to the Chronicle offices the morning my review appeared. A man across the aisle and a few rows up was paging through the Datebook section. He came to my review and read it. I could tell — I was watching closely. It was, at first, a moment of supreme vanity. How potent and important I felt!

    And then, as the train clacked along and my fellow rider continued reading, another realization dawned: My piece was surrounded by many others. There may have been a movie review by Judy Stone and a Terrence O'Flaherty television column that day, a modern dance review and something on pop music. And there would be another paper tomorrow, with different things in Datebook and in Sports and Business and the front section. I was part of something big and in constant motion, its route and destination unknown. The trees and back lots of the Peninsula flashed along outside the window.

    I was going to work. [More]

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