Arts & Culture

Remembering David Rakoff: Writer, Storyteller, and Chronicler

The writer, actor, and frequent NPR contributor passed away at age 47 Read More

By / August 10, 2012

David Rakoff passed away yesterday at the age of 47. Sara Ivry offers a lovely tribute to the singularly talented storyteller, calling him “creative, funny, intellectually curious, and gracious,” while former Jewcy editor Jason Diamond recalls and reflects on the transcendence of Rakoff’s voice.

In 2006, Rakoff valiantly tried to see every screening of a three-week Woody Allen film festival in New York, and chronicled the experience in a way that would surely have made Allen proud. Of Annie Hall, Rakoff memorably wrote,

Walking out, my friend Rick, thirty-plus years resident said, “I had forgotten how Jewish a film it is.” I really hadn’t noticed. But I’m the wrong guy to ask. It’s like saying to a fish, “Do things around here seem really wet to you?”

Upon seing Manhattan (yet again), he mused,

Like many immigrants, I cannot be objective about the city and its role in my life. I habitually give it almost exclusive credit in the forming of my character, as if I moved here at age seventeen as protoplasmic and inert as one of those human larvae in The Matrix. Still, to paraphrase the movie, I idolize the city all out of proportion.

The world has lost a brilliant writer, thinker, and a true New Yorker.

Related: In Memoriam, David Rakoff (1964-2012) [Tablet Magazine]
Allentown [Tablet Magazine]

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