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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The last section is indeed a walk, to Highland Park where he stands on the edge of the wider world, ready to leave Brownsville. Descriptions of his mother’s friends hint at his emerging sexuality. Through the screen came the chant of the score being called up from the last handball game below. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The focus here is on the summer of the author’s sixteenth year, a long, hot and humid summer of unexpected discoveries, many of which are triggered by his reading of a Christian New Testament and his contemplations of the life and teachings of Jesus.

Standing within Brownsville and its protective Jewish atmosphere, the outside was American. Kazin was vocal in his opposition to this use of his memoir.

I can smell the pickles and herring being sold from pushcarts on Blake ave. Alfred Kazin speaks to our conscience through h This book was an extraordinary read. One example from near the end, during the very hot summer of his sixteenth year: Kazin talks about gettting off the block and and what it was like to go to Manhattan, crossing the bridge.

Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Poignant Memories of Youth But if life in Brownsville was oppressed by poverty and the pressure for success, it was enlivened by immense vitality. He makes you feel the summer heat and taste the Jewish foods and smell the odors of Brownsville in the Nineteen Twenties and the first year or two of the depression. At that time, I looked around for his other work, and read about A Walker in the Cityand about how well-regarded it was.

A Walker in the City – Alfred Kazin – Google Books

This book is a memoir of growing up poor, Jewish and intellectual in a small, suburban American community in the early part of the 20th Century – specifically, in the years leading up to and during the Great Depression of the s.


Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Get A Walker in the City from Amazon. This study guide contains the following sections: He became one of our foremost intellectual minds. Jun 22, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: References to this book The One Best System: The synagogue and the busy family kitchen are early centers of life. His son is historian and Dissent co-editor Michael Kazin.

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. Aug 23, Doug Arbesfeld rated it it was amazing. They told me it was their wedding anniversary, and that they were goin I read this about a decade ago, and forgot all about it until today.

Cole’s meditative story about an immigrant doctor in residence wandering New York City reflecting on what he sees and the rich brew of thoughts it all brings to mind reminded me of Kazin’s memoir because that’s how I remembered it. Kazin’s is one of those memoirs that I normally would have passed over: Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Part 1, From the Subway to the Synagogue, p. View freely available titles: 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.

Drawings by Marvin Bileck. Alfred Kazin burst onto the American literary scene inwhen his first book, “On Native Grounds,” announced the arrival of an important new literary critic. He was our oldest habit. As a New Yorker, and a lover of New York history, this stood out to me, but I think it really has universal appeal.

The room was so wild with light, it made me tremble; I could not believe my eyes.

A walkeer portrayal of the Jewish immigrant culture of the s. The third section of the memoir, The Block and Beyond, takes 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”. Alfred Kazin June 5, — June 5, was an American writer and literary critic, many of whose writings depicted the immigrant experience in early twentieth century America.

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This book evokes some of those memories of when people rarely left their neighborhoods-they had everything they needed within a one or two block area. Imagine, if you will, an American version of Walter Benjamin, a Bernard Malamud who writes nonfiction, and a Sherwood Anderson transported to an urban environment, and then combine the three.

Mar 01, Christinep rated it it was amazing. A Walker in the City was more radical in its political and literary ambitions than these interpretations would suggest. 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.

When I did, I shelved it and didn’t think much more of it–memoir-itis kept me from jumping right into it. The author contemplates and explores his feelings of not belonging in the world in which he lives or in the world in which he aspires to live. Mar 16, Anita rated it it was amazing. There isn’t any character development or plot, just place and time. I requested a copy from my library system, and was taken aback to find that it was a first edition, printed and bought ina worn hardcover with exposed cardboard edges and a peeling fabric spine.


But I’m glad they pointed me toward this; it is very, very good. As he grows his world broadens to the block and to nearby streets. He found his Aaron in pen and paper, as this gorgeous memoir proves. Wlaker 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.

Others were still part of the city of my childhood day—the street games handball, box ball, and other variations life before universal air-conditioning, and stoops and candy stores as cultural centers.

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