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Roger Ebert Recalls His Very First Newspaper Gig

In case you missed it—and a lot of people seem to have done just that—Roger Ebert recently teased his upcoming memoir Life Itself by sharing on his Chicago Sun-Times blog the intoxicating, breathless intro.

The book comes out September 13, and there’s no doubt it will be stupendous. Ebert seems to have an almost photographic recollection of his spur-of-the-moment life’s journey, right down to his very humble beginnings as a newspaper baron in Urbana, Illinois, supported by the ancient mechanics of an hectograph:

You could impress the hectograph on perhaps a dozen sheets of paper before it grew too faint. With this I wrote and published the Washington Street News, which I solemnly delivered to some neighbors as if it existed independently of me. I must have been a curious child.

Ha ha, this kid basically figured out how to deliver newspapers in the third person. Ebert’s preface also has one of the best opening lines we’ve read in quite some time. It reads, simply: “I was born inside the movie of my life.”

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