Friday, November 16, 2018

William Goldman RIP

I grieve this afternoon. I'd just completed another blog, and found out that William Goldman has passed away. That other blog can wait.

I've been a reader since grade 3. I spent much of my childhood and teenaged years with my nose in a book. It's always been my opinion that writing is THE fundamental invention of humanity. Without it, we wouldn't be humans. I think it's remarkable that with a trivial effort someone today can find out what some of the smartest people to ever live have thought about various topics.

Think of it, shapes of ink on a page can bring forth every emotion known to us. I've laughed and cried at the antics of characters that never existed, but in the author's brain, till they were set down on paper. Sometimes I lose my mind in admiration at the brilliance of the words I've just read.

It doesn't have to be "For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;"

How about:

Follow the money.


Life is pain, anyone who says differently is selling something.

Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!

And the best explanation of why there are so many crappy movies, "Nobody knows anything."

I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a kid, and loved it, but I didn't know anything about screenwriters then. It was only later I found out he had done that. Then I discovered The Princess Bride marked down in a bookstore, and darn near read all of it before buying it. I probably paid a dollar for it. I laughed myself silly. The movie is almost as good as the book. Over the years I've read and watched a number of his works.

When you're working on writing, you pay attention to the words you hear and read. There is so much bad writing it hurts my brain. There is writing that mostly gets the job done, with some clunks. There is writing so good you barely notice it till you pay attention. Then there is writing that whaps you between the eyeballs with it's brilliance. Then there is writing that is so good it just slides into your brain and you don't even notice the words, and you have to go back again to see what happened.

Some people have a way with words, and those of us who aspire to be writers have our favourites. Isaac Asimov, E. B White, Donald Westlake, Lois McMaster Bujold, William Goldman.

The world of letters is a darker place today.


  1. Such a fabulous post, Keith. As for Mr. Goldman, I simply uttered "Have fun storming the castle."

  2. With heart, tear, and smile, goodbye Mr. Goldman. You left us with things of value RIP. Sean


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