He will glow a covetous green…

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I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a clever bit of personification from Anthony Lane. 

Is it possible to personify a person? I think it is, is if person is dead. And if the writer is Anthony Lane, the British journalist and film reviewer who is one of two film critics for the New Yorker magazine.

His latest sleight of hand can be found in the Dec. 23/13 review of the movie Her, headlined “Only Make Believe.”  (I found the movie a bit dull and overworked, myself, but then I saw it on an airplane so perhaps that explains my view. Most of my friends and family enjoyed it.)

Here is the personification I so greatly appreciated:

And Theodore’s cell phone reminds you of those slender vintage cases for cigarettes and visiting cars; if the ghost of Steve Jobs is watching, he will glow a covetous green. 

Perhaps it’s because we all know Steve Jobs, or because he’s the perfect person to cite in a movie about technology, or maybe it’s simply Lane’s use of the superb word “covetous” but I found this image deeply evocative.

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