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« Jerome Sala: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch] | Main | The Enemy (L'Ennemi) by Charles Baudelaire [trans. Sandra Simonds] »

June 12, 2022

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Wonderful, Alan.

I loved this, Alan. Thank you for sharing this illuminating recollection!

Hi Alan, this is valuable material and
I would agree with his edits, as I gather
you did also.

Just a few things....!

Was the issue of the "split infinitive"
in the last sentence of the fourth
paragraph of your story brought up
at all? I know they had an official
grammarian at the New Yorker, and
although the split infinitive issue
has now been largely discredited
by official grammarians, one would
have expected some discussion.

I'm afraid the letter is more
problematic. "Dear Alan Ziegler"
is a problem. "Mr. Ziegler" might
have been acceptable but in a personal
letter like this to a writer, even
if it's in a business context,
"Dear Alan" is the way to go.
And signing it "Roger" would
also be preferable, especially
since he then types out his
whole name underneath.

Closing with "Your check should
be along soon" is also weird,
but what I really don't like is
referring to your work as "a modest
story." Although you are very kind
about it, I don't like that at all.
What was his self-edit? I can't
make it out online.

Pound wrote that we should not
take seriously any comments from
someone who has not written a
masterpiece. I do think that
Roger Angell mastered the art
of writing about baseball for
an audience whose wants, needs,
and interests he deeply understood.
I would not call this a modest
achievement. And I liked his
voice on the answering machine
recording that you posted recently.
Thanks for sharing all this.
Onward!

This article is wonderful, as is the story that goes with it. Thank you.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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