10:29 AM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Mosaic re-publishes "Adam and I: A Story," by Irving Kristol.
As the web magazine explains: "This week in Mosaic we are celebrating the release of our new ebook On Jews and Judaism, a collection of Irving Kristol’s essential writings on the Jews. As his wife, the historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, recounts in her introduction, 'Adam and I,' originally published in the November 1946 issue of Commentary, was Kristol’s 'only published story. (He later wrote, and scrapped, a novel, deciding that fiction was not his forte.) It is also his first literary venture with an explicitly Jewish theme.'"
Here's the opening:
I was quite unprepared for Adam, for his peculiar insensibility, his directness, his momentous inertia. He didn’t at all fit the picture that I had imagined—or that had been imagined for me—of the liberated Jew.
I met Adam in the spring of 1945 at the Zionist headquarters in Marseille, a shabby building on the Rue de Convalescence not far from the center of the city. It was a murky side street, dingy in the light of day, shadowy and dangerous after dark. Not fifteen feet from the building, huge yellow signs proclaimed that the rest of the street was “off limits” to American and British military personnel, a negative advertisement for a row of brothels. The infrequency of my visits to the building had nothing to do with its unpleasant location, or unprepossessing appearance. (I found it necessary to assure myself of this constantly.) Rather it arose from the anomalies of my position as an American and a soldier. These people had undergone so much and I had been so fortunate. . . . I had no wish to play the benevolent American uncle dispensing chocolate and cigarettes (though not enough to go around). What I wanted was to be with them in their sorrows, to be a scapegoat among scapegoats. I had daydreams of impoverishing myself, of donating all my worldly goods in an attempt to share their state of abandonment; but I knew that this would be the most sensational patronization of all. Knowing themselves, and knowing others through themselves, they would suspect the hidden sources of such a grandiloquent renunciation.
Not that they were unfriendly; they were, on the contrary, courteous and frank, as the democrat in a third-class coach is courteous and frank to the “others” in the first-class car. We were unalterably equal and irrevocably discreet.
Read the rest here.
The forgotten growing pains of American fiction. Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By ANTHONY PALETTA
For all of the just wars that have been fought over the cultural canon, one genuine benefit of the (still somewhat undulating) critical consensus is that it’s a pretty genuine aid for determining what you really needn’t bother reading right away. Or, as a professor once said while wielding Samuel Richardson’s 1,534-page doorstop Clarissa, “I’ve read it. You don’t have to.” So it is with most longitudinal surveys of literature.
A debut novel probes the soul of New York. Mar 5, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 24 • By ANN MARLOWE
And under the influence of the cradlelike rocking of the train, your carefully crafted persona begins to slip away. The superego dissolves as your mind begins to wander aimlessly over your cares and your dreams; or better yet, it drifts into an ambient hypnosis, where even cares and dreams recede and the peaceful silence of the cosmos pervades. It happens to all of us. It’s just a question of how many stops it takes.
The use and abuse of words that pack a punch12:00 AM, Oct 13, 2010 • By BARTON SWAIM
Recently I watched a 10-minute YouTube video purporting to be the “100 Greatest Movie Insults.” It’s a pretty diverse collection, though as you’d expect it favors American films from the 1980s and later.
Conspiracy theories told the hard-boiled way.Mar 1, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 23 • By JOEL SCHWARTZ
Blood’s a Rover
by James Ellroy
Knopf, 656 pp., $28.95
The rise of the bestselling novel.Dec 30, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 16 • By BRIAN MURRAY
Popular Fiction Since 1900
by Clive Bloom
Palgrave Macmillan, 292 pp., $60
I'M NOT SURE who started the rumor--it may have been Sam Goldwyn or, more probably, Marshall McLuhan--but somewhere in the middle of the twentieth century, people came to believe that books were doomed. The future belonged to film and television, it was assumed, the prevailing media in an increasingly visual age: Queen Victoria read books, but we will watch video screens.
It didn't exactly turn out that way. The book lives: Just visit your local Waterstone's or Borders or Barnes & Noble.
Our holiday gift to you: We offer our choices for books to enjoy over the holidays or to consider as last-minute gift ideas.11:00 PM, Dec 19, 2002 • By
Editor's Note: We'll be on hiatus for the holidays, so next week, we'll be posting some of our favorite recent pieces from both The Weekly Standard and The Daily Standard--some holiday-related, some not. Enjoy, and have a terrific and safe holiday season!
William Kristol, editor
READ ANYTHING by the greatest living American comic writer (besides Andy Ferguson), Donald E. Westlake.
Crime fiction for Christmas.Dec 23, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 15 • By JON L. BREEN
A Crossworder's Holiday
by Nero Blanc
Prime Crime, 224 pp., $22.95
A Puzzle in a Pear Tree
by Parnell Hall
Bantam, 308 pp., $23.95
The Christmas Garden Affair
by Ann Ripley
Kensington, 293 pp., $22
THE TRADITION of telling ghost stories at Christmas has a venerable lineage, reaching back well into the Middle Ages. Christmas detective stories have a shorter history.
Man and automata.Dec 23, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 15 • By HUGH ORMSBY-LENNON
Flesh and Machines
How Robots Will Change Us
by Rodney A. Brooks
Parthenon, 260 pp., $26
by Michael Crichton
HarperCollins, 384 pp., $26.95
A Cultural History of Ventriloquism
by Steven Connor
Oxford University Press, 448 pp., $35
Designing and Building Warrior Robots
by William Gurstelle
Chicago Review Press, 256 pp., $19.95
Behind Deep Blue
Building the Computer that Defeated the
World Chess Champion
by Feng-Hsiung Hsu
Princeton University Press, 298 pp., $27.95
Are We Spiritual Machines?
Ray Kurzweil vs.
Marvel Comics resurrects the Rawhide Kid, with one little twist.11:00 PM, Dec 11, 2002 • By VICTORINO MATUS
MARVEL COMICS IS ON A ROLL. First there was the blockbuster "X-Men" movie that generated almost $300 million worldwide. Then came "Spider-Man," which grossed more than $800 million. Coming in February, Ben Affleck will star in "Daredevil." In that same month, Marvel will be bringing back to comic book stores a cowboy hero known as the Rawhide Kid. From 1955 to 1979, Rawhide Kid battled the outlaws of the Wild West as part of a Western-themed series that included other heroes like the Two-Gun Kid and Kid Colt.
Michael Connelly's mysterious Los Angeles.Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By DAVID KLINGHOFFER
"Chasing the Dime"
by Michael Connelly
Little, Brown, 400 pp., $25.95
WILLIAM J. BRATTON, having won his crime-fighting laurels in the first Giuliani administration, was recently inducted as the new chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. There was something discordant about the erstwhile top cop of New York City taking over in Los Angeles. The two cities are just so different.
It's not a question of statistics, though in L.A. violent crime is rising at an alarming rate, murders having vaulted upward by 27 percent since 2000.
In brief: Novels by Joel Rosenberg and Richard Dooling and Bill Wyman's Rolling Stones tome.Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By
BOOKS IN BRIEF
The Last Jihad
by Joel C. Rosenberg
Forge, 304 pp., $24.95
AMID THE HEMMING AND HAWING about how to confront Saddam Hussein, Joel Rosenberg, former aide to Steve Forbes and Benjamin Netanyahu, uses fiction to convey the threat Iraq poses to international security. Though the picture painted by Rosenberg is disconcerting, the possibilities he raises are real.
Several years after Bush completes his second term and his successful war on terror, another popular Republican president is surfing a surging economy and unprecedented domestic security.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" after a century and a half.Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By ALGIS VALIUNAS
THE CLOSE OF 2002 brings with it the close of the 150th anniversary of the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." But you would hardly have known it from America's premier journals and magazines, which showed little interest in giving "Uncle Tom's Cabin" its due in the course of the year. No other book before or since has had so dramatic an effect on American consciousness--or American history--as Harriet Beecher Stowe's epoch-making novel.