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Roger Rosenblatt

(b. 1940– )

U.S. journalist, author, playwright, and professor

“It is much better for a writer to be underrecognized than over, in terms of keeping one’s head down, like the proverbial Japanese nail, so that one might observe the world unhammered and unimpeded. Abjure fame and avoid obscurity. But between those extremes lies the perch where a writer occasionally might do some good work. There’s a Jack Butler Yeats painting I love, showing a wild celebration of St. John’s Eve in western Ireland, with Yeats and J. M. Synge standing in the background, watching and looking small and out of the picture. Yet it was they who created the picture, and a good deal more.”

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source: “Please Turn to the Chapter on Obscurity . . .,” New York Review of Books, May 23, 2014.

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medium: newspaper essay

“When you are completely off balance, so much so that you are certain you will topple over—you bring the paddle down hard on the water’s surface, the way ducks bat their wings. You will feel your kayak right itself. Only by moving in the direction you least trust can you be saved.”

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source: Kayak Morning (New York: Ecco, 2012), 9.

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medium: Memoir

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