Monday, November 24, 2008

i read the most interesting article today

written by Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point and Blink)entitled "Late Bloomers" that appeared in a recent issue of The New Yorker. I can't remember how I stumbled upon the piece, but, feeling that my own personal blooms seem to be taking their precious time, I was immediately drawn in:


Excerpt from Late Bloomers:

"Ben Fountain’s rise sounds like a familiar story: the young man from the provinces suddenly takes the literary world by storm. But Ben Fountain’s success was far from sudden. He quit his job at Akin, Gump in 1988. For every story he published in those early years, he had at least thirty rejections. The novel that he put away in a drawer took him four years. The dark period lasted for the entire second half of the nineteen-nineties. His breakthrough with “Brief Encounters” came in 2006, eighteen years after he first sat down to write at his kitchen table. The “young” writer from the provinces took the literary world by storm at the age of forty-eight."

He goes on to draw the most interesting comparisons and contrasts of the life experiences and journeys toward success as experienced by Picasso (early in life) and Cezanne (late in life). He uses their trajectories (as well as a couple of other authors) to elaborate on not only the Late Bloomer's somewhat experimental, trial-and-error way to success versus the young prodigy's happenstance of talent and timing occurring early in life, but also points out how the successes of many Late Bloomers is usually a direct result of a core group of individuals on whose shoulders the Bloomer stands. He speaks about Cezanne's group of support in great detail, and that BUT FOR THEM we would not know of the master painter Paul Cezanne (who has his first solo painting show at age 51)!!! And so, I was really encouraged to read someone else's take (Gladwell) on an idea that I've spent a lot of time thinking about.... I know that I'll eventually be in full bloom, cause, you know, this caccoon is getting a bit tight!

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