When Roger Ebert wrote to an Indian critic

On his blog, the bibliophile Jai Arjun Singh writes of his online encounters with Roger Ebert, the iconic Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, who passed away in the middle of the week.

“In a somewhat surreal turn of events, I found myself in correspondence with him around six years ago, after he mailed to say he liked something I had written in Business Standard.

“This begat a comical email exchange because, although his ID and the tone of his mail seemed authentic, my blog had been plagued by some inventive troll activity around the time, and this seemed a little too good to be true.

“So I sent “Ebert” a very cautious, split-personality response expressing my happiness if the mail really was from him, but also being careful not to get too fulsome, and repeatedly using the phrase “assuming this really IS you”.

“Then he would reply trying to convince me. He used faux-philosophical lines like “How can I prove I’m me?” He even sent across two photos from the 1999 Calcutta Film Festival, which I knew he had attended; the subject line of his mail was “Would an imposter have this?”

Read the full piece: Jabberwock

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