Kenneth Roberts the Man: “Curmudgeonly Kenneth Roberts helped generations know their past”

Here’s a great article – “Curmudgeonly Kenneth Roberts helped generations know their past” – on The Working Waterfront on Kenneth Roberts the man (written by Harry Gratwick in the Dec. 07 – Jan. 08).  While most of the info mentioned in the article is familiar to me, he provides to quotes that shed further light on Kenneth Roberts the man.

Kenneth Roberts and American Education:

He had no use for American education: “A mind loaded with little scraps of information on Egyptian history, zoology, oriental art, the poets of the Renaissance and similar intellectual detritus is not trained,” he wrote. “It might be called a human New England attic: A repository of useless and forgotten things.”

Kenneth Roberts on his wife, Anna, whom he apparently loved dearly.  He speaks so fondly of her, I wish I could have met her; she seems to have been a significant key to his success.

In 1911 Roberts married Anna Mosser from Boston, and she must have been a saint. She typed and re-typed his manuscripts, often in unheated apartments during the winter. Until the success of Northwest Passage in 1936, they had very little money. He called her “patient and long suffering'” and he completely depended on her. “Anna says we can’t spend a penny until we get a check from the Post. All writers should learn to live on spaghetti for months on end. It’s delicious”.

At least Kenneth Roberts had a sense of humor.

“Anna says I ought to have a theme song, so I wrote one for her:
I wonder what’s eating him now:
At what he is raging-and how!
I wonder what’s making him squawk and yell,
Beef and howl and roar like hell.
I wonder what next he’ll rewrite?
All day and through most of the night
I wonder what tripe I will next have

Take some time to read this nice article.


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