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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He wrote out of a great passion– or great disgust — for what he was reading and embedded his opinions in a deep knowledge of history, both literary history and politics and culture. Want to Read saving….

Mar 26, David rated it really liked it. A very moving fhe the life of first generation and immigrant Jews kazn Brooklyn in the s and 30s. Anyone interested in the s or the history of New York should read this book, but it’s worth reading and re-reading for the language alone.

Kazin is a ravenous reader and a lonely young man, hungry for ideas and fantasies and art and grandeur that exists beyond the bounds of his close, poor, assured Jewish world. 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.

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 alfreed of the foreign born to the quest for the “”great world that was anything just out of Brownsville””.

I could feel the summer heat on the pavements. It’s intensely nostalgic for him, the remembered arc of learning and growth from child to boy on the cusp of manhood ready to make those first steps into an academic life and away from Brownsville forever. Identity, urban development, memory, bygone eras, etc.


A Walker in the City Summary & Study Guide

Kazin’s is one of those memoirs that I normally would have passed over: As a New Yorker, and a lover of New York history, this stood out to me, but I think it really has universal appeal. Rather, it was a pointed — even a polemical — response to literary and political ideas that had been waloer deep concern to Kazin since as early as the mids, the tumultuous decade in which he began his career as a writer and critic. My library Help Advanced Book Search. This last is particularly noteworthy in that Socialism was, at least in his youth, both a beacon of hope and a real chance that true equality and true freedom can be realized.

He contemplates on the longings of these women for their home lives alfref behind in Europe. To ask other readers questions about A Walker in the Cityplease sign up. Quite a splendid ode to author’s Brooklyn childhood and cool glimpse of race relations and immigration back in the early- to mid-2oth century. I recognize similarities between his ‘s Brooklyn Citty experience to my ‘s queens Italian background including the garment district and the immigrant enclaves.

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 the streets of New York.

As we know, Kazin’s journey was one of significant literary importance. Lists with This Book.

Reading it feels like seeing my own heritage unfold and come to shimmering life between two covers, even though none of these exp Of course I’ve vaguely heard of wal,er book forever, but I had to have it literally thrust into my hands to actually start reading it. There, in damp and crowded tenements, Jews from Poland and Russia lived intimately together and regarded the rest of the world, whether the Italian section a few blocks away or the far mystery of Manhattan, as “Beyond.


Read more from the Study Guide. The room was so wild with light, it made me kkazin I could not believe my eyes.

A Walker in the City Summary & Study Guide

Through the screen came the chant of the score being called up from the last handball game below. We neither believed nor disbelieved. Paperbackpages. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. As I walk those familiarly choked streets at dusk and see the old women sitting in front of the tenements, past and present become each other’s faces; I am back where I began.

The focus here is on the summer of the author’s sixteenth year, a long, hot and humid summer waoker unexpected discoveries, many of which are triggered by his reading of a Christian New Testament and his contemplations of the life and teachings lafred Jesus.

A Walker in the City

Some sections move along at a brisker pace than others what could match the portrait of Mr. Kazin established his own critical reputation in the mids with On Native Groundsa study of American literature. He comments on the sameness of some parts of the town, its people and its attitudes, and the substantial changes in others.

Kazin doesn’t even convey a clear idea about what kind of little boy he was himself, beyond his conscientious industry, his passion for books and his powers of observation and memory. He adds that in the present, as in the past, the community has the feeling of being the sort of place that people left to search elsewhere for their thd lives. One example from near the end, during the very hot summer of his sixteenth year: He carefully makes the distinction between American and Jewish cultures.

He reads at every library he can get to, dives deep into American 19th century history through his books and museums and his endless walks throughout the city, in particular over and over the Brooklyn Bridge.

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