I wrote in a book today.  A published book.  It is the Penguin Classics edition of The Complete Essays of Montaigne.  Beneath the page that says, simply: ‘Book One’, I wrote today’s date, and initialed the entry.  It is written in black ink.  It is something that I plan on doing regularly, this annotating of my books.  Let the content rule over its container.


While I might be late coming to the party, there are gifts to be found in abundance here, at the Paris Review.  Many of the interviews with notable novelists and playwrights over the past six decades are available to read.  Well worth your time.


‘The Swede.  During the war years, when I was still a grade school boy, this was a magical  name in our Newark neighborhood, even to adults just a generation removed from the city’s old Prince Street ghetto and not yet so flawlessly Americanized as to be bowled over by the prowess of a high school athlete.  The name was magical; so was the anomalous face.  Of the few fair-complexioned Jewish students in our preponderantly Jewish public high school, none possessed anything remotely like the steep-jawed, insentient Viking mask of this blue-eyed blond born into our tribe as Seymour Irving Levov.’

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