So, Which Is It?

My friend Andrew Wimmer texted me the following two lines… [Paul] Street’s dementia: “the Kremlin [is] in the grip of a megalomaniacal neofascist…” Stephen F. Cohen on accusations of fascism leveled against Putin: “absurd.” Streets…

Some Works Are Greater Than Others

Edward W. Said, Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews Edited and with an Introduction by Gauri ViswanathanPantheon Books, 2001 Two writers who are well known for their championing of the literary canon are Harold Bloom and George…

A Letter from 2005

April 6, 2005 Dear Andrew, I recently finished a small book by Edward Said, Humanism and Democratic Criticism, and it made me think of many conversations we’ve had over the past couple of years. So…

Righteous, Remorseful Jews

As my 61st birthday approaches, I’ve noticed that I have recently been going back to authors and works I read many years ago.  For example, I’ve been reading Thomas Merton’s Asian Journal, William D. Miller’s…

From 7 P.M. to 7 A.M.

Gershom Scholem,  From Berlin to Jerusalem: Memories of My Youth Schocken paperback, 1988 I first read this book eighteen years ago.  So much time has passed since those Maryknoll days when I thought I wanted to…

History from a New Perspective

Dorothee Soelle, Against the Wind: Memoir of a Radical Christian A series of short 3-6 page chapters proceeding chronologically from growing up in Germany, through the war years, to her education, her intellectual influences, especially, existentialism;…

Always an Opportunity

Tariq Ali, Conversations with Edward Said 22 May 2006 There’s not much to this 128-page book, a long interview between Ali and Said, “the true chronicler of his people and their occupied homeland,” most all…

Yiddish Writers

H. Leivick I have often felt that instead of writing my autobiography I would like to write the biography of my poems. I mean, tell the life story of some of my poems… Sholem Aleichem…

Mentshes/1

Dear Shannon, I enjoyed our long conversation on Saturday afternoon at 6 North Coffee. I appreciate you taking the time to visit on such a busy weekend. After our chats, the strong impression I am…