24 April 2007

And the Beat Goes On?

David Halberstam passed away recently, in a car accident. If you don't know exactly who he is; you're probably among the majority. Halberstam was a journalist and a great writer.

To be honest, I only got into him because of his basketball themed books (Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made) but that expanded out to his other works and over time, I came to think of him as someone whose career I'd love to emulate; however poorly. I can't really speak on Halberstam's place in the literary world as a whole, but he had a high position in my little world.

Halberstam spoke at my University of Michigan graduation services (2000). I can't recall exactly it is that he said, but I'm sure whatever it was, it was more than "The answer is...pizza!" I probably should have listened closer, but it wasn't really my graduation, and the crowd was rowdy, so attention was lost.

Writers get into the business to immortalize people/objects/the world; but also to immortalize themselves. Do they know what's waiting beyond that breech? Immortality! Take it David; it's already yours.