Tag Archives | American History

Low Library steps


It begins with a joke. The Yiddish phrase ‘Ikh hob fargessen’—I forgot!—uttered in panic to an immigration official, turns the hapless Isaac Reznikoff into Ichabod Ferguson.

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The rock-hound’s use of the word Indian, rather than Mexican, opens fertile ground. A different idea of territory, of legitimacy, of history, of boundary, of intersecting identities. Who then the interloper? Who the immigrant? The undocumented?

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Is Donald Trump the Antichrist? A quaint sort of question in these days of general Biblical illiteracy. But I am reading Denis de Rougemont’s Talk of the Devil, written in 1945, and I am up to the section called “Is Hitler the Antichrist.”

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Memed, My Hawk

John wrote to me from Istanbul a while ago saying I should read Yashar Kemal’s Memed, My Hawk. There were no copies in the public library here, nor in the university library, and so I turned to Amazon—not without the usual flutter of misgivings. An attractive offer of a clean used copy said one dollar, […]

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West Virginia

Philadelphia Main Line, Lincoln Highway, US 30. Although I grew up in Brooklyn, many of my early memories—much the most intense part of my education, so to speak—are strung along an arc from Montgomery County west to Harrisburg and south to Chambersburg, Waynesboro, Hagerstown. The roads of one’s childhood and youth. Weaving and criss-crossing. Signposted […]

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Ceramics 3

Going through some old papers I come across a small bundle from the late sixties, and among the letters and forms and certificates is a birthday card from Barbara Papish, a memento that survived the shoving of random handfuls of letters into a stove one winter in Fergus, Ontario, in the course of a pointless […]

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