Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The only sure cure

In "Extraordinary Comebacks", we present the story of author Stephen King's recovery from a devastating accident. Work, he said, was the only remedy for pain -- it was much better than morphine.

Now, in a new book about the esteemed author Saul Bellow, he seconds that emotion. NPR reviewed the new book of his letters.


The only sure cure, he writes in 1960 from his house in Tivoli, New York, to young San Francisco writer Alice Adams, the only sure cure for everything that ails you is to write a book. I have a new one on the table, Bellow says, and all the other misery is gone.

His devotion to his work is instructive for all writers, especially the young. The years go by, letters flow. Admiration and awards and sales replace adversity, and one marriage yields to another, but the wit sparks up all the same, even as Bellow shifts from aesthetic critiques of books by friends into writing their eulogies - eulogies for Bernard Malamud, Robert Penn Warren, Ralph Ellison among them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 was a comeback year

Time magazine cites:

  • Conan O'Brien
  • GM
  • Paul Reubens
  • Eliot Spitzer
  • Lisa Murkowski
  • Mark Twain
  • Betty White
  • Kanye West
  • Michael Vick
  • Jerry Brown

Friday, December 17, 2010

Deadly haunting, young Madoff succumbs

What makes comebacks special is that they are difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, never guaranteed, and sometimes life and death themselves hang in the balance, as it is with a tightrope walker strung between two buildings.In high winds.

Very tragic story here, Madoff Jr suicide.

"Haunting" is lethal.

Madoff Jr should have found the wherewithal to start over, somewhere, someplace, new name, new endeavor.

But he couldn't. He was 'haunted.'

The problem wasn't on the outside, it was on the inside.

The wisdom of Sparky Anderson

Many notables left us in 2010, including baseball manager Sparky Anderson. 76, who took his leave November 4. Like a Yogi Berra or Casey Stengel, Sparky was known for colorful language.

For example:

"I've got my faults, but living in the past isn't one of them. There's no future in it."

and, the even more metaphysical:

"It's like there and their. What's the difference, as long as you know there's a there there?"

Amen, Sparky, amen. RIP.