Bernard Malamud

The origin of Roy Hobbs

Eddie Waitkus

Phillies first-baseman Eddie Waitkus, Clearwater, Florida, 3/9/53 (source). On June 19, 1949, Waitkus was shot in the chest by a deranged fan, Ruth Ann Steinhagen, in a Chicago hotel room. The incident inspired the similar episode in Bernard Malamud’s The Natural.

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Malamud: “work in uncertainty”

To any writer: Teach yourself to work in uncertainty. Many writers are anxious when they begin, or try something new. Even Matisse painted some of his Fauvist pictures in anxiety. Maybe that helped him to simplify. Character, discipline, negative capability count. Write, complete, revise. If it doesn’t work, begin something else.

— Bernard Malamud (via Paris Review)

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