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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May 29, Thomas Breen rated it it was amazing.

He thought he wanted to concentrate on New York itself, describing a series of walks around the city. Here, with a sensuous, sensory responsiveness, is a return to the streets where old clothesmen, forgotten fiddlers, and Blumka, the madwoman, walked; to his school- and the agony of stammering; to the moviehouse and synagogue; to his mother’s itchen–the heart of the home; to the exaltation of discovery in reading, and the idening worlds of literature and music and religion, etc.

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. 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. Contemporaries includes reflective essays on travel, five essays on Freud, and some very perceptive essays on literary and political matters.

A Walker in the City – Alfred Kazin – Google Books

They told me it was their wedding anniversary, and that they were going over to Manhattan for the first time in 40 years! Reassessing A Walker in the City: Hailed by walkwr whose opinion I respect as one of the greatest of all memoirs; I’m not in a position to judge, since I probably haven’t read as many w those who confidently make such pronouncements.

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The author returned home and describes his walks to the synagogue, his home, the shops and people of the neighborhood, and the leisure activities of the neighborhood. I was compelled to keep learning about the evolution of Brownsville kasin an end-of-the-line Jewish settlement to disrepair and predominantly black housing developments – literally the periphery of society for generations of poor folk. Just couldn’t get into it.


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.

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 walmer 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.

A Walker in the City Summary & Study Guide

Kazin, a damp sadness and an early hopelessness in Brownsville from which the young strove desperately to escape. 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 real lives.

Feb 21, Gregg rated it really liked it.

A wonderful look at life in “The City” from days gone by. Alfred Kazin burst onto the American literary scene inwhen his first book, “On Native Grounds,” announced the arrival of an important new literary critic. Years later he would admit how he struggled writing it. Then, my father home to the smell of paint in the hall [he was a painter], we sat down to chopped cucumbers floating in the ice-cold borscht, radishes and tomatoes and lettuce in sour cream, a mound of corn just out of the pot steaming on the table, the butter slowly melting in a cracked blue soup plate–breathing hard against the heat, we sat down together at last.

A Walker in the City.

A Walker in the City Summary & Study Guide

The synagogue and the busy family kitchen are early centers of life. Please provide an email address. Feb 11, Helen rated it really liked it.

In his hands, memory is as dynamic and lively as a movie. Summerwhich is usually affixed to the beginning of A Death in the Family. KIRKUS REVIEW A street scene which derives from a boyhood in Brownsville, in Brooklyn, cjty 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 insulation of the foreign born to the quest for the “”great alfre that was anything just out of Brownsville””.


A Walker in the City

The New York of Kazin’s youth, in the decade before the Depression, comes alive on the pages of this memoir as he revisits humble scenes in Brownsville and beyond, lingering along the way over sensory detail. The rebellious might sink into crime. Alfred Kazin, a literary critic and professor of English literature, was born in Brooklyn on June 5, There was “no middle ground between despair and the fury of our ambition.

During the course of his memoir, though, he’s a boy. I stopped by one afternoon to pick up dinner, and saw the owners all dressed up-a well preserved 20 year old suit, camera, fedora, etc. It doesn’t help that the genre seems to be jam-packed with so much celebrity dross, political maneuvering and self-help sob-stories nowadays–that’s not to say that there can’t be something genuine lurking in that morass, but I’m not going to spend much time looking through the haystack for the needle.

In the midst of the current antihumanistic trend in literary theory, Kazin remains a literary critic of the old school, believing in the relevance of literature to modern life. A classic portrayal of the Jewish immigrant culture of the s.

Every New Yorker has her own map of things as they were, things as they have become. Here, his contemplations focus more completely than anywhere else in the narrative on the relationship between the spiritual and social aspects of being Jewish, commenting on his simultaneous appreciation for the tenets of the faith and his distaste for the ways in which those who professed it actually practiced it.

Through the screen a,fred the chant of the score being called up from the last handball game below. Jun 05, Laura Tanenbaum rated it it was amazing. Books by Alfred Kazin.