Add to My MSN

Stalking George Plimpton: A Google Maps Essay

1/15/2010 9:34:32 AM

Tags: Great Writing, George Plimpton, Dinty W Moore, Google Maps, humor, The Normal School, Danielle Maestretti

George PlimptonThirty-two years ago, a very stoned college student was charged with picking up George Plimpton, the legendary journalist and Paris Review benefactor, and depositing him at the campus where he was scheduled to give a talk. Through his multi-drug-induced haze, said college student successfully, if a bit creepily, completed this task, and managed a handful of odd run-ins with Plimpton in the years that followed. There’s more, and it’s very funny, but I won’t spoil the punchline.

This student grew up to be Dinty W. Moore, a well-known writer of fiction and nonfiction in his own right, and he recounts this tale of accidental stalking in a Google Maps essay called “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge.” As you’ll quickly see if you click, the essay is literally written in a Google map, and the smart, quirky folks at the literary magazine The Normal School figured out a way to translate the piece—with all its map-embedded charm—into print, which is where I first spied it.

It’s an interesting format, and with a different story or a different writer, I might have thought it gimmicky, but it really works for Moore’s short, suspenseful, somewhat geographical piece. I also (unfortunately) can identify with this problem: “As is so often the case when one picks up a famous writer, I didn’t know what to say, but I couldn’t stop talking.”

Source: The Normal School 

Photo by MDCarchives, licensed under Creative Commons.



Related Content

Gotta Nuke Something…

Hollywood heroes have an uncanny ability to outrun bombs. For the rest of us, it’d be helpful to kno...

Why the Climate Change Debate Makes No Sense - Crockpot 05.09.12

This link collection includes sexist breakfast cereal, canine brain scans, and why bilingualism is s...

Free Vinyl for the Masses!

Would you stampede for free records? Vinyl enthusiasts outside a Soho record shop hit the mother lod...

Saying So Long to Bush

If you weren't completely satisfied by watching former president George W. Bush leave Washington D....

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!