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Words to live by — if you can

July 21, 2008 |  5:01 pm

Josephmitchell A very nice line from our Richard Rayner in his "Paperback Writers" column this week just past. He celebrates the centennial of the New Yorker's Joseph Mitchell, left, and offers this insight into the writer's abilities (before writer's block silenced him for some 30 years):

His career until 1964 had been a steady progression, in which the increased reach of his ambition had been matched by ever more perfect and discriminating execution.

Something every artist aspires to — and that few reach. And what happens when this position is finally attained? It can be lost, as Rayner later explains. Just a reminder for all those reachers out there. Nothing's permanent.

Nick Owchar