David Rakoff Dead: Popular Humorist And Essayist Dies …



The much-loved essay is about Pi's encounter with a Japanese girl named Asako, daughter of a boarding house Pi stayed during his study in Japan.

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Walking with a visitor over to the general store, he took a bottle of orange juice to the counter. ''Hi, Al,'' he said to the proprietor. ''Hi, Andy,'' the proprietor replied, and at the same time handed him a copy of the local paper, The Ellsworth American, published by his longtime friend J. Russell Wiggins. Now and then, he would contribute a letter or essay to the paper.

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He recalls his three encounters with her in life in a calm manner, and the essay became his signature writing, conveying the feelings related to yearning, nostalgia and passage of time.

Although Pi stopped writing around 20 years ago, an English translation of his poems and essays came out in 2001, titled ``A Skylark.'' He was also given a government award Eungwan Order of Culture Merit in 1999.

Pi, who wrote the essay "Inyeon" (Karma) died at the age of 97 on Friday evening.

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''E. B. White was a great essayist, a supreme stylist. His literary style was as pure as any in our language. It was singular, colloquial, clear, unforced, thoroughly American and utterly beautiful. Because of his quiet influence, several generations of this country's writers write better than they might have done. He never wrote a mean or careless sentence. He was impervious to literary, intellectual and political fashion. He was ageless, and his writing was timeless.

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Mr. White's score of books - essays, poems, sketches, letters - include ''The Points of My Compass,'' ''The Second Tree From the Corner,'' ''Here Is New York,'' ''One Man's Meat'' and (with James Thurber) ''Is Sex Necessary?''

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Pi, a professor emeritus at the Seoul National University, was famous for his essay style that dealt with plain themes in a lyrical and simple manner.

He retired in 1974.Pi became known as a distinguished poet and modern essayist.

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For his contribution to American letters, Mr. White was awarded the National Medal for Literature in 1971. In 1963, President Kennedy presented him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was elected to the 50-member American Academy of Arts and Letters and, in 1973, received its gold medal for essays and criticism. In 1978, he received a special Pulitzer Prize for the body of his work.

``Nevertheless, there was not a single piece that lacked greatness in his collection of essays.''

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He continued to publish essays and do public speaking to the very end, including the day he died. In an opinion piece in the newspaper Reforma, he expressed optimism for the new government of Francois Hollande, who was sworn in Tuesday as president of France, saying he hoped it would be “defined less by its technocratic profile and more by what the French understand as ‘humanism’ .”

Garcia Staff Reporter Pi Chun-deuk, who wrote the essay ``Inyeon

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E. B. White, the essayist and stylist who was one of the nation's most precious literary resources, died yesterday at his home in North Brooklin, Me., where he had lived for half a century. He had Alzheimer's disease and was 86 years old.