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Friday, October 26, 2012

SB Nation: The two Rogers

Enjoy the Series day off with this remarkable piece.

One day, Angell stopped by the studio. He had on a v-neck sweater like he wore in the author photo from his books but he was not the curious and outgoing narrator that he was in print or on film. He sat by himself on a leather couch and didn’t engage anyone on the crew but Burns.

I called my father after work that day and told him that Angell was a disappointment. The Old Man was pleased to hear I’d met him. As a young man Dad had worked as a unit production manager on “The Tonight Show” and he never tired of talking about his encounters with actors, musicians, and writers. He reminded me to separate the artist from the person. “Some hacks are charming,” he said, “and some great artists are ########. It’s nice when somebody you admire turns out to be a good man but the work on the page is what counts, not the personality.”


AndrewJ Posted: October 26, 2012 at 07:26 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books, writing worth reading

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   1. Belfry Bob Posted: October 26, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4284027)
A great read, indeed.

The way George articulated his love of writers and writing in all of his own work made me give out with a major 'huh?' when reading RK's account of 'what happened.' RA's rejoinder smacks of the truth.

I enjoyed both writers as a college student learning about a game my dad had never mentioned and I had not followed until the Mets of 1969 caught the nation's fancy.

   2. pthomas Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4284185)
Thank you for posting this......
   3. Mark Armour Posted: October 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4284317)
Great piece. He writes as if life is complicated, and he has not yet figured it all out. As this is how I feel, the story draws me in.

I am very heartened that SB Nation is doing long form material. Most of the big baseball sites (even SB Nation) seem to be focused more and more on what happened five minutes ago "Game Still Scoreless After Four Innings!" presumably because people are watching the World Series with their laptop so that they can ... get confirmation of what they just saw happen?
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 26, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4284400)
That's a gret piece.
   5. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 26, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4284410)
Alex is one of my favorite writers. Up there with RA, Greg Prince, Jason Fry, Cait Murphy and Rob Neyer...
   6. esseff Posted: October 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4284450)
Excellent. It echoes Angell's reminiscences of his own father and stepfather in "Let Me Finish."

As for Kahn vs. Angell, I can only say that the one time I met Angell professionally, he was engaging and helpful.
   7. AndrewJ Posted: October 26, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4284492)
Kahn explained: “Angell wrote to Plimpton and said, ‘This is going to be a deplorable book, let’s see what we can do to destroy it.’ Now, how do I know this? Because Plimpton had his secretary write back and say, ‘Yes, let’s do what we can to destroy this book.’ And Plimpton sent that letter to Mr. Roger Kahn at The New Yorker. It was given to E.J. Kahn. Ely Jacques Kahn, you know the name? He sent it to me and said, ‘Obviously, mis-addressed.’ So that’s how I know that Angell was going through all this stuff to have ’The Boys of Summer’ knocked.”

Rube Goldberg would find that particular sequence of events highly improbable.
   8. Steve Treder Posted: October 26, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4284497)
Excellent. It echoes Angell's reminiscences of his own father and stepfather in "Let Me Finish."

Absolutely. This is superb: multi-layered, bittersweet, curious, observant.
   9. Mike Webber Posted: October 26, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4284547)
Very nice article, make me happy that I had supper with my dad on his 70th birthday this week.
   10. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 26, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4284576)
The one time I met Roger Angell, he was grouchy. The same with Will Eisner. But Joe Franklin was delightful.

Therefore, the one and eternal winner is Joe Franklin. Martin Paint. It ain't... just... paint.
   11. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4284730)
I've never met Angell--but I did have an association with Kahn in the mid 70's and I can tell you with complete confidence that he is among the most obnoxious, loathsome, noisome human beings I have ever dealt with
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4284743)
Good, good piece.
   13. base ball chick Posted: October 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4284757)
wonderful writing!!!!
   14. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: October 27, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4285047)
I've met Belth once or twice. He is charming, but not a hack.
   15. AndrewJ Posted: November 18, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4305456)
In the current New Yorker, Roger Angell has a piece ("Over the Wall") about the recent death of his wife. Not available on their website, and no significant baseball references, but a poignant article all the same.
   16. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: November 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4305471)
Terrific read.

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