“Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”
- William Goldman, The Princess Bride
The world lost a literary giant today. I never met Mr. Goldman (they say never meet your heroes and he was on the top of that list), but his impact on my life has greater than anyone I'm not related to (...or married to). "The Princess Bride" has been an essential part of my life since I was a child - I must have read it 20 times, and seen the movie over 100... but also Marathon Man, Brothers, Butch Cassidy, Maverick, Temple of Gold, Adventures in the Screentrade, Which Lie Did I Tell... these are novels, films, and nonfiction works that gave me a voice, and shaped my POV on writing and the creative world.
Mr. Goldman was always a straight shooter with his words, prose or otherwise, and I love that his work doesn't talk about what it's talking about - it just talks. He's been quoted as being self-deprecating about his style, he went to Oberlin and studied the great poets (and he famously got rejected from the school literary journal that he helped run or founded), but despite living under that cloud off less-than, he developed a timeless, signature style that propelled him to creative greatness.
Mr. Goldman - thank you for your words and stories. Thank you for your characters and hilarious zingers. Thank you for Fezzik. Thank you for "Who are those guys?" and "Get used to Disappointment" and "The fall will probably kill you!" In one essay you described yourself as a "blip" in the world of fiction and I wrote you a letter that started "You, sir, are no blip." And if you didn't believe it in life, well today's digital groundswell will be a testament to your extraordinary life and career - the impact you had on so many of us. So have fun storming what ever castle you find yourself in front of now! And thank you for sharing your incredible mind.
(above, photos of my award-winning William Goldman book collection; below, my collection of The Princess Bride film on various formats)