The distinguished literary critic Robert McCrum wrote in The Observer last year that "Writers who flourish at the peak of their powers for longer than a decade, or even two, are rare birds."
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There is a common belief that creativity is the exclusive domain of the young, but this belief is simply wrong -- a product of the drama of early conceptual breakthroughs.
Bellow's recently published Letters give us a generous sampling of the literary judgments of a great writer, with private assessments of his own work -- as well as that of others.
Why did great artists do their best work at such different stages of their careers?
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