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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This is a beautifully detailed description of the ambiance of walking through ‘s Brooklyn. A very moving depiction the life of first generation and immigrant Jews in Brooklyn in the s and 30s. Quite a splendid ode to author’s Brooklyn childhood and cool glimpse of race relations and immigration back in the early- to mid-2oth century.

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.

Kazin has cited numerous specific details, but he nevertheless conveys an abstract and generalized impression. Alfred Kazin June 5, — June 5, was an American writer and literary critic, many of whose writings depicted the immigrant experience in early twentieth century America.

A Walker in the City

Eventually its number came up: The synagogue and the busy family kitchen are early centers of life. There is no narrative thread to bind his memories together.

Kazin has a remarkable gift for turning a phrase. Drawings by Marvin Bileck. I enjoyed Kazin’s belletristic memories of New York far more than I expected to, even though it’s written in a style that I think is extremely hard to pull off–maybe impossible now.

I’m still reading this and loving it. I stopped by one afternoon to pick up dinner, and saw wlfred owners all dressed up-a well preserved 20 year old suit, camera, fedora, etc. May 29, Thomas Breen rated it it was amazing. No individuals are characterized with more than an apt phrase kqzin an affectionate tribute.


Books by Alfred Kazin. Alfred Kazin burst onto the American literary scene inwhen his first book, “On Native Grounds,” announced ealker arrival of an important new literary critic.

Alfred Kazin speaks to our a,fred through his own. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. 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.

A sensitive, suggestive extension of time and place which fuses past and present, alien and American, through he inquiring, observant notations of a young man’s walks in the city.

A Walker in the City

Kazin was vocal in his opposition to this use of his memoir. This is very much a memoir of what it was like to grow up in a section of the city dominated by Jewish families and their way cith life so reminiscent of Europe. From that penetration the focus expands outward to remember how the boy’s curiosity and increasing awareness encouraged him to move into newer environments. A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin. He thought he wanted to concentrate on New York itself, describing a series of walks around the city.

I ciyt only vaguely heard of Alfred Kazin, and the library copy is old and damaged Kazin’s kszin and artfully written evocation of his childhood in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.

The focus here thf on the summer of the author’s sixteenth year, a long, hot and humid summer of unexpected discoveries, many of which are triggered by his reading of a Christian New Testament and his contemplations of the life and teachings of Jesus. I could feel the summer heat on the pavements. Kazin established his own critical reputation in the mids with On Native Groundsa study of American literature.

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A street scene which derives from a boyhood in Brownsville, in Brooklyn, and 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 world that was anything just out of Brownsville””.


Despite its age, the book offers what I still consider the most accurate description of the soul and rhythm of life in New York. The One Best System: Jan 02, James Murphy rated it really liked it.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. 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. The author’s coming of age story from Brownsville in Brooklyn to the outside world in a poetic odyssy. As a boy Kazin did explore and wander a bit.

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. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

A Walker in the City Summary & Study Guide

This book was an extraordinary read. Published March 19th by Mariner Books first published Alfred Kazin died on June 5, His son is historian and Dissent co-editor Michael Kazin. Allowed me to live another person’s discovery of life and words through walking the streets of East Brooklyn and beyond.

This book is a memoir of growing up poor, Jewish and intellectual in a small, suburban American community in the early part of the 20th Century – specifically, in the years leading up to and during the Great Depression of the s.

Mar 16, Anita rated it it wlker amazing.