Error Messages: Night Thoughts Inspired by James O'Donnell's Avatars of the Word

Error Messages: Night Thoughts Inspired by James O'Donnell's Avatars of the Word boundary 2 28:3, 2001. Copyright © 2001 by Duke University Press. these as student readers: symbolically, as children, eavesdropping at the far end of the long dining room, baffled and excited all at once. Here’s Cynthia Ozick, as a New York University freshman in Washington Square, 1946: ‘‘Attached to a candy store, the newsstand. Copies of Partisan Review : the table of the gods. Jean Stafford, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, Irving Howe, Delmore Schwartz, Alfred Kazin . . . I don’t know a single one of these names, but I feel their small conflagration flaming in the gray street: the succulent hotness of their promise. I mean to penetrate every one of them.’’ The little magazines were scorching hot back then. Noses pressed against breath-fogged shop windows, sweaty palms reached out, hoarded nickels rang on the counter—and to buy not just Partisan but also Commentary, the Kenyon Review, and the Journal of the History of Ideas. Eventually, students and readers grew up. They became writers. Often they started out by playing both roles at once, as reviewers. Wilson in the twenties, McCarthy and Kazin in the thirties, Sontag in the sixties: Each in turn left the Kindertisch, joined http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture Duke University Press

Error Messages: Night Thoughts Inspired by James O'Donnell's Avatars of the Word

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0190-3659
eISSN
1527-2141
DOI
10.1215/01903659-28-3-191
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

boundary 2 28:3, 2001. Copyright © 2001 by Duke University Press. these as student readers: symbolically, as children, eavesdropping at the far end of the long dining room, baffled and excited all at once. Here’s Cynthia Ozick, as a New York University freshman in Washington Square, 1946: ‘‘Attached to a candy store, the newsstand. Copies of Partisan Review : the table of the gods. Jean Stafford, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, Irving Howe, Delmore Schwartz, Alfred Kazin . . . I don’t know a single one of these names, but I feel their small conflagration flaming in the gray street: the succulent hotness of their promise. I mean to penetrate every one of them.’’ The little magazines were scorching hot back then. Noses pressed against breath-fogged shop windows, sweaty palms reached out, hoarded nickels rang on the counter—and to buy not just Partisan but also Commentary, the Kenyon Review, and the Journal of the History of Ideas. Eventually, students and readers grew up. They became writers. Often they started out by playing both roles at once, as reviewers. Wilson in the twenties, McCarthy and Kazin in the thirties, Sontag in the sixties: Each in turn left the Kindertisch, joined

Journal

boundary 2: an international journal of literature and cultureDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2001

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