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    The New Yorker | Malcolm Gladwell | 10/13/08 | 30 min
    12 reads7 comments
    9.8
    The New Yorker
    12 reads
    9.8
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    • normanbae
      Scout
      1 month ago

      “Why does a dam with a crack in it leak so much?”

      “There was just something in me, there was like a pressure.”

    • sjwoo1 month ago

      It's true that Fountain and Cezanne required significant forms of patronage to realize their success, but it's also worth mentioning that both Foer and Picasso came from some form of patronage as well (their upper/middle class upbringing, literate/painterly parents, etc.).

      What does this mean? It means there are probably many more people who could be fine artists and writers, but it doesn't work out for them for a litany of reasons. Sad, right? Well, yes. The world is indeed a sad place. But it's the only one we have...

      BTW, the Fountain novel that was late was no doubt Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which was very well-received (Angl Lee made a movie out of it, even), so the wait was obviously worth it!

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I had a feeling that Elizabeth Bishop would come up in this article, though I was very surprised that “The Fish” is mentioned as her best. I think “One Art” is better (one of the best poems of all time) and it fits this example perfectly as she wrote it near the very end of her life.

      Late bloomers’ stories are invariably love stories, and this may be why we have such difficulty with them.

      This is all so true. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is another example. One day the guy tells his wife: I’m not going to do anything for the family. I’m just going to write. Figure out what to do with the kids. How to make money. and she basically said, Ok. Go.

      And yes, proximity to greatness can be super crucial. Bishop had Lowell. Thoreau and Melville had Emerson. Foer had Oates. The list goes on and on.

      Then again: whatever! There are so many Emily Dickinson types, mega loners, all over the place throughout history. Seriously: The only rule is that there are no rules.

      • vunderkind
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        LOL I love you, man.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          1 month ago

          ☺️ Hugs!

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Great!

      There is no evidence, Galenson concluded, for the notion that lyric poetry is a young person’s game. Some poets do their best work at the beginning of their careers. Others do their best work decades later.

      Late bloomers’ stories are invariably love stories, and this may be why we have such difficulty with them. We’d like to think that mundane matters like loyalty, steadfastness, and the willingness to keep writing checks to support what looks like failure have nothing to do with something as rarefied as genius. But sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it’s just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table.

    • vunderkind
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      This is the best thing I've read this year.