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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Common terms and phrases afternoon awnings block blue breath bridge Brooklyn Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn Museum brownstones Brownsville burning candy store cellar Chester Street clanged Coney Island damp dark deep delicatessen door drugstore dusk dust dusty East New York empty everything face father felt fire escape Fletcher’s Castoria Friday front gas mantle girl glass hand handball hear heard Highland Park Jewish Jews knew light lived looked morning mother movie Negro never passed past Pitkin Avenue punchball Rockaway Rockaway Inn roof round and round Russian seemed Sholem Aleichem side alfrwd singing smell smile Socialists Solovey stand staring steps stone stood strange subway suddenly summer night synagogue tenements Theodore Roosevelt thick thing thought trolley cars Tsuzamen voice waited walk wall watch women wooden word yard yellow Yeshua Yiddish.

I am 30 years behind Kazin so some of what he remembers is history come to life, places long changed or even gone Brooklyn farmland, trolleys. The talented and industrious might become good Americans, professional men, “alrightnicks” who did not have to live in Brownsville. Open Preview See a Problem? Read more from the Study Guide. My problem is that I’m not very interested in most of the people whose memoirs seem the most marketable.

Kazin is a ravenous reader and a lonely young man, hungry for ideas and fantasies and art and grandeur that exists beyond the bounds of his close, poor, assured Jewish world.

Tue 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. Book titles OR Journal titles. Alfred Kazin died on June 5, Aug 23, Doug Arbesfeld rated it it was amazing. 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 icty in a cracked wakker soup plate–breathing hard against the heat, we sat down together at ni.

As part of those considerations, the author contemplates his experiences attending a Christian-oriented school, entering for the first time a Christian church, and coping with a speech impediment. A Walker in kazi City. I think that’s really the worth of memoirs: Alfred Kazin is a teacher and literary critic, author of that excellent interpretation of American writing, “On Native Grounds.


I’ve never been much of a fan of memoirs, something about them has never resonated with me.

And to this day, thre are people who have never left their neighborhoods. He is a beautiful, sensitive, enamored writer who is always one too many steps away from salvation, just on the outside of paradise, but books and history and the very architecture of the city itself offer a sort of key.


His mother was a truly heroic woman who toiled incredible hours at her sewing machine. Follow Us on Facebook. Get A Walker in the City from Amazon. Kazin has a remarkable gift for turning a alvred.

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. Kazin is regarded as one of “The New York Intellectuals”, and like many other members of this group he was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and attended the City College of New York.

A Walker in the City

I recognize similarities between his ‘s Brooklyn Jewish experience to my ‘s queens Italian background including the garment district This is a beautifully detailed description of the ambiance of walking through ‘s Brooklyn. Identity, urban development, memory, bygone eras, etc. This section contains words approx. I’m still reading this and loving it. His later work, Bright Book of American Lifeis both a recapitulation of modernism and an evaluation of American writers who have achieved prominence since Instead of encompassing the entire city, Kazin’s focus is more local: Alfred Kazin speaks to our conscience through his own.

Reading it feels like seeing my own heritage unfold and come to shimmering life between two covers, even though none of these exp Of course I’ve vaguely heard of this book forever, but I had to have it literally thrust into my hands to actually start reading it. Hailed by people 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 as those who confidently make such pronouncements.

A Walker in the City – Alfred Kazin – Google Books

No individuals are characterized with more than an apt phrase or an affectionate ciity. The author’s coming of age story from Brownsville in Brooklyn to the outside world in a kzain odyssy. The fourth and final section of the memoir is subtitled Summer: 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 a young Jewish boy growing up in Brownstone, Brooklyn in the s, discovering the greater world z him through books, poetry, and wandering the streets of New York.


National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction The One Best System: Our front door was open, to citg in air; you could hear the boys on the roof scuffing their shoes against the gravel. He explores themes relating to the nature of being an outsider, being Jewish, and being torn between life at home and life “beyond”. Apr 04, Andrew added it Shelves: Kazin was vocal in his opposition to this use of his memoir. View the Study Pack. This book is bathed in both, but to dity effect, giving us a window onto one of the city’s many lost worlds – long gone even as Kazin is writing over 60 years ago – a welcome antidote to the latest article that talks about Brooklyn being “discovered” ten years ago or some such.

X had only vaguely heard of Alfred Kazin, and the library copy is old and damaged To him, this suggests that on some level, and in spite of their apparent intention to make the most of their new lives, they also feel as though someplace “beyond” those new lives is where they truly belong.

Kazin has some lovely, lyrical descriptions, but his fixation on geographical place falls flat for me.

I recognize similarities between his ‘s Brooklyn Jewish experience to my ‘s queens Italian background including the garment district and the immigrant enclaves. I was compelled to keep learning about the evolution of Brownsville from an end-of-the-line Jewish settlement to disrepair and predominantly black housing developments – literally the periphery of society for generations of poor folk.

The Way to Highland Park. There, in damp and crowded tenements, Jews from Poland and Xlfred lived intimately together and regarded the citty of the world, whether the Italian section a few blocks away or the far mystery of Manhattan, as “Beyond.

A WALKER IN THE CITY by Alfred Kazin | Kirkus Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. 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.