“It had a great feeling of unreality. I mean, I was a designer of china; I was not in the business of killing Stalin. Imagine yourself! Most of the time I did not believe that I would have an opportunity to relate this to anybody. I really did not. There was very little probability that I would live; nobody wished me well.”
In her prison memoir, the designer Eva Zeisel describes her sixteen-month imprisonment, mostly in solitary confinement, in Russia, after being caught in early Stalinist purges and accused of plotting to kill Stalin.
I was drawn again and again to those places where the city had been cracked open and had not completely healed. Some of them, like the African Burial Ground and Trinity Church, were places I had written about in my novel Open City, but at which I still had unfinished business.
Teju Cole’s photographs of Lower Manhattan document the landscape beyond the actual site of the World Trade Center attacks, and serve to explore not only the present time, but also the “deep time… historical time” that crops up while walking down Wall Street.
The Rosencrantzes present The Tragedy of King Lear With sock puppets! Jacob played the king. Leah played all the daughters but was least convincing as the nice one. Eli played everybody else and directed and collected the tickets. Seventy-five cents per bumpkin…
An excerpt from Peter Orner’s novel Love and Shame and Love, forthcoming from Little, Brown in November.