I've spoken before of Norman Corwin. For those who might've missed it,
Norman Corwin is one of the finest writers that this country has ever
produced. At the height of the radio drama age, there was no one better or
bigger...not Orson Welles or Arch Oboler. Nobody.
He has been an inspiration to countless writers. Charles Kuralt. Rod
Serling. Ray Bradbury (who began his career trying to write like Norman). He
is, not to put too fine a point on it, a writer's writer. He is the wellspring
from which many of our finest writers can trace their origin. Speaking as one
tiny trickle in this momentous flood, I can certify his influence on my own
Some have commented on the style of writing in Babylon 5, and in some of
my previous work. While much can be laid at the feet of Harlan Ellison, much
of my influence can also be traced to Norman Corwin, who taught me not just
how to write, but what it meant to BE a writer. I cannot commend his work to
you highly enough. If you have a love of language, of a story well told, of
fiction with a conscience and a point of view, then Norman's your man. Some
of you may remember "A Prayer for the 70s," written by Norman, which I posted
a while back. A work of absolute genius, in a career peppered with awards,
and recognition by the U.N. and others.
Many of you have asked for more information about Norman's work. To that
end I offer the following information:
Norman has a new book out, that is just hitting the stands. It is
entitled NORMAN CORWIN'S LETTERS, edited by A. J. Langguth. It's in hardcover
from Barricade Books, ISBN #0-9623032-5-9. It is an amazing volume, full of
inspiration and humor and the occasional thunder-and-lightning.
You will find letters to and from such notables -- friends of Norman's --
as Carl Sandburg, Ray Bradbury, Bette Davis, Stanley Kramer, Groucho Marx,
Greer Garson, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Edward R. Murrow,
Anthony Quinn, Rod Serling, Leonard Bernstein, Erik Barnouw, Archibald
MacLeish, Stan Freberg, Walter Cronkite, Norman Cousins, Studs Terkel, Eric
Sevareid, Philip Dunne, Bill Moyers, Gregory Peck...the list goes on and on.
The letters are documents of a life, funny and outraged and
thoughtful...and beautifully written beyond my capacity to describe it to you.
If you are a writer, or interested in writing, I can commend no book to you
higher than this one.
If as a Babylon 5 viewer you'd like to get a better grasp of what
inspired me to pursue my career, and has helped make that dream a reality...I
recommend to you the works of Norman Corwin, starting with this book.
If you need any further encouragement to go out *today* and get a copy of
this book, then let me simply suggest that you call up a copy of Who's Who,
and look up who Norman Corwin is. I don't think you'll need additional
(PS. I'm still having a hard time uploading prepared messages to
Internet via the GEnie mailbox; if anyone could be kind enough to take the
preceding and post it to the B5 rec group, I'd definitely appreciate it.