Alfred Kazin is a teacher and literary critic, author of that excellent It is called “A Walker in the City” and it is Mr. Kazin’s loving and artfully. Alfred Kazin burst onto the American literary scene in , when his first book, ” On “A Walker in the City,” his second, signaled the other direction his career. More than six decades after its initial publication, Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City () occupies a curious place in the canons of Jewish-American and.
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Rather, it was a pointed — even a polemical — response to literary and political ideas that had been of deep concern to Kazin since as early as the mids, the tumultuous decade in which he began his career as a writer and critic. At that time, I looked around for his other work, and read about A Walker in the Cityand about how well-regarded it was.
It’s exciting to handle a book that’s so old – even though the memoir is about the author’s childhood a few decades and a half before the book was published, it still gave me a tactile connection to the by-gone past described by Kazin. I’d rather spend the time reading their fiction.
But several years ago, I’d read a collection of his essays The Inmost Leaf: One of my favorite books, just began my fourth reading. He is a beautiful, sensitive, enamored writer who is always one too many steps away from salvation, just on the outside of paradise, but books and history and the very architecture of the city itself offer a sort of key. But I’m glad they pointed me toward this; it is very, very good.
Then, my father ctiy to the smell of paint in the hall [he was a painter], we sat down to chopped cucumbers floating in the ice-cold borscht, radishes and tomatoes and lettuce in sour cream, a mound of corn just out of the pot steaming on the table, the butter slowly melting in a cracked blue soup plate–breathing hard against the heat, we sat down together at last.
My library Help Advanced Book Search. A sense of ambivalence, of both positive and negative aspects to his experiences, enters the writing as the author discusses his relationships with his parents, life on the streets of Brownsville, and his considerations of Socialism. I am thankful for the serendipity that brought me to this book! Kazin has recorded the sordid and unpleasant as well as the colorful and touching.
Mar 01, Christinep rated it it was amazing. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. One example from near the end, during the very hot summer of his sixteenth year: As he grows his world broadens to the block and to nearby streets. Conversely, just because it was published before memoir writing became a cottage industry is no guarantee either. Kazin’s loving and artfully written evocation of his childhood in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Kazin did not become absorbed as a boy in American history and literature, particularly in the nineteenth-century American past of New York City.
View freely available titles: From that penetration the focus expands outward to remember how the boy’s curiosity and increasing awareness encouraged him to move into newer environments. Kazin has described in “A Walker in the City” will seem as foreign and remote as if Brownsville were a district of Lodz or Cracow instead of a section of Brooklyn only a subway ride from Times Square.
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A Walker in the City
Contemporaries includes reflective essays on travel, five essays on Freud, and some very perceptive essays on literary and political matters. Part 1, From the Subway to the Synagogue, p. Forged from a partnership between a university aa and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Kazin was vocal in his opposition to this cith of his memoir.
I read this about a decade ago, and forgot all about it until today. View all 3 comments.
Kazin doesn’t just “tell” the story – he lives it on each page, drawing the reader into his shoes and his head as he finds his place in the world, and then as he returns to that scene some 20 years later and walks the streets and subways once more, remembering and reflecting and relearn An amazing memoir of Kazin’s passage from a young Jewish boy growing up in Brownstone, Brooklyn in the s, discovering the greater world around him through books, poetry, and wandering aa streets of New York.
A Walker in the City was more radical in its political and literary ambitions than these interpretations would suggest. I had only vaguely heard of Alfred Kazin, and the library copy is old and damaged His son is historian and Dissent co-editor Michael Kazin. The third section of the aa, The Block and Beyond, alvred the narrative back outside the kitchen and the apartment into the larger Brownsville neighborhood, and also back into the author’s contemplations of what triggered his dreams of life “beyond”.
Life in a Neighborhood Apart This is a book of memories, a beautifully written sometimes an almost too kazih and elaborately written exercise in recalling the past.
The last section is indeed a walk, to Highland Park where he stands on the edge of the wider world, ready to leave Brownsville. Authenticity is probably in the eye of the reader; A Walker in the City seemed perfectly genuine to me.
A Walker in the City
It’s a lovely little time capsule and glimpse into for me a different life in a different world. The closest thing I can compare it to is James Agee’s absolutely superb Knoxville: Each walk is simultaneously a journey out and a journey in: Hailed by people whose opinion I respect as one of the greatest of all memoirs; I’m not in a position to judge, since I probably haven’t read as many as those who confidently make such pronouncements.
Kazin, a damp sadness and an early hopelessness in Brownsville from which the young strove desperately to escape. In the midst of the current antihumanistic trend in literary theory, Kazin remains a literary critic of the old school, believing in the relevance of literature to modern life.
Kazin writes about growing up in a Jewish community in Brooklyn before the depression. Reassessing A Walker in the City: Be the first to discover new talent! Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Really liked this a lot. KIRKUS REVIEW A street scene which derives from a boyhood in Brownsville, in Brooklyn, and which- in its succession of sequences- radiates from a slum settlement of Jewish immigrants to the far bourns of “”the city”” beyond, from the tradition and solidarity and insulation of the foreign born to the quest for the “”great world that was anything just out of Brownsville””.
Kazin doesn’t just “tell” the story – he lives it on each page, drawing the reader into his shoes and his head as he finds his place in the world, and then as he returns to that scene some 20 years later and walks the streets and subways once more, remembering and reflecting and relearning. Feb 20, Liam rated it it was amazing.