But considerable wit. It showed up on page four of Friday’s Tribune:
“Being earnest: The ballad of reading guilt.”
I read the article below the headline anxiously, fearful that the Tribune would make the catastrophic mistake of pandering to readers by explaining it. Smartly, the paper didn’t. You either got it or you didn’t.
The article was worthy of its headline. Written by Ellen Jean Hirst, it told the tale of a limited-edition copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray 78 years overdue at the Chicago Public Library. But the library had declared an amnesty, so back it went.
Hirst began, “Dorian Gray’s story would have been much different had he been granted amnesty for his sins. Instead he died a deformed, barely human figure, resembling the ugliness of his immoral life.”
The headline was written by Pat Daily, a temp on the copy desk. I’m pleased to say that in a better time Daily got off his good ones for the benefit of the Reader.