Friday, January 22, 2010

Love means never having to say you’re sorry

Erich Segal (June 16, 1937-January 17, 2010)

REMEMBER that popular catch-phrase from the early 1970s? Brooklyn-born ERICH SEGAL, the author who gave us the romantic novel, Love Story (Harper & Row, 1970), which spawned the romantic film classic that starred Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, has died of a heart attack in London. He was 72. Though critically panned for its mawkishness and saccharine sweetness, Love Story somehow struck a deep cultural chord and was universally adored, and became a hugely successful best-seller around the world. Originally written as a screenplay, the slim, modest volume has sold over 20 million copies.

Segal was not only the author of such international best-sellers as Love Story (1970), Oliver’s Story (1977), Man, Woman and Child (1980), The Class (1985), Doctors (1988), Acts of Faith (1992), Prizes (1995) and Only Love (1997), he was also a Classics professor at Yale, Harvard and Princeton who has written, edited or co-edited a number of scholarly works on ancient Greek and Latin literature: Roman Laughter: The Comedy of Plautus (1968), Euripedes: A Collection of Critical Essays (1968), Plautus: Three Comedies (which he also translated) (1969), Greek Tragedy: Modern Essays in Criticism (ed.) (1983), Caesar Augustus: Seven Aspects (co-edited with Fergus Millar) (1984), The Dialogues of Plato (ed.) (1986), Oxford Readings in Aristophanes (ed.) (1996), The Death of Comedy (2001), Oxford Readings in Greek Tragedy (ed.) (2001) and Oxford Readings in Menander, Plautus, and Terence (ed.) (2002).


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