Tuesday, October 16, 2018

May 29, 1964

"[Ralph] Ellison came down for lunch, the Department-about-to-hire-you lunch, and talked very soundly and very impressively about the translation of American experience into authentic works of the imagination. . .

"Ralph is terribly impressive. With his beautiful light-Indian-Negro color, the Oklahoma accent, the scar just alongside of the right eye, and above all his sense of American experiences as something naturally flowing into and boiling up creatively in a literary mind of his kind of sensitivity, I find that I learn from him more of what I owe myself than I do from many writer-friends. This same evening, the Hoftstadters just back from Europe were over for dinner, full of self-satisfaction and purring with tales of the Mercedes and the grand tour. Whenever I am with the Hoftstadters, I feel in the air this self-consciously competitive ticking off of everything--academic accomplishment, literary accomplishment, motor-car acquisition."

~~ from Alfred Kazin's Journals, entry from May 29, 1964


Sunday, October 14, 2018

June 1, 1985

"An evening with the lost generation. . . Karl Shapiro, Alfred Kazin, Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, etc. . . .Now in their 70s, still smoking, hale and hearty sex lives. . . . Of course, some of us wear white on white shirts like Jewish dentists or brokers or nuclear engineers. . . . and some of us have had as many wives as Henry VIII, as many mistresses as Dracula or Jack Kennedy. Resolutely thin, carrying on as usual, determined not to sink like our fathers, but o my! how our social opinions reflect our top lofty incomes, and what excuses we do find (we who once had no trouble execrating everyone in power) for those in power."

~~ from Alfred Kazin's Journals, entry from June 1, 1985

Thursday, October 11, 2018

favorite bad review

My new favorite negative review of Fight for Your Long Day is for "11 out of 12 conscientious objectors." Of course, authors do not live on negative reviews alone, so I'm very grateful if you would be kind enough to read, rate, or review either my debut novel or Auggie's Revenge. Thanks so much for considering this; it's greatly appreciated, at least by me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

May 29, 1933

"The world of today is at the crossroads--[t]he whole scheme of aimless capitalism and the last dregs of traditionalist nationalism are being seen more clearly in their death struggle."

~~ from Alfred Kazin's Journals, entry from May 29, 1933

Monday, October 8, 2018

Haiti

An earthquake in Haiti has killed at least twelve people. The subsequent aftershocks have lead to various tremors and disturbances not at all limited to one wandering soul finding my blog on Haitians in Philadelphia and my childhood home posted around the time a far more devastating earthquake struck.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Joseph O'Neill

Joseph O'Neill's "Pardon Edward Snowden" and "The First World" are short stories I enjoyed this September. Likewise, O'Neill's interview in The Paris Review includes this gem: "Publication is almost certainly a punishment for having written a book."

Monday, September 24, 2018

Jessica Bruder's Nomadland

Among the wide range of books in the post-Nickle-and-Dimed category on American workers in economic trouble, Nomadland is an informative title that I enjoyed.

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Auggie's Revenge: Reviews, Interviews, and Excerpts

Book Reviews: "The Teaching Life as a House of Troubles," by Don Riggs, American, British and Canadian Studies , June 1, 2017 ...