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.
Tag Archives | writing
Nothing is spared and nothing is explained. No motive, no reason. Eventually we will get there but not now, and anyway these are not really very important. What is important is that we are pitched headlong into the story. Propelled by pity and terror.
You don’t see praying mantises much any more. They’ve disappeared, along with grasshoppers and crickets. I remember them from my childhood in Brooklyn. On hot summer days occupying a place on the sidewalk, indifferent to everything, waiting and still, a little frightening in their composure.
It was a common name for girls among Norwegian immigrants. Rutgersen, Börresen, Dahl, Aarstad. And others. All produced Mildreds. The vogue lasted across at least two generations. No one names girls that any more, not since the War. The median age for living Mildreds, I read somewhere, is seventy-eight, older even than the Gertrudes and […]
I could date it with some precision if I thought about it, probably in the late 70s, in other words a long time ago, and I forget what book it was that triggered it, a Bellow or an Updike most likely, but at any rate what came out was an idea that reading American authors […]
As I warm to the subject I will ask who anyway wonders what S.K.Johannesen might have to say about Scorsese’s films, say, or Norwegian Pentecostals. Nobody.