Ida Fink — the Polish author who died last month in Tel Aviv at the age of 89 — was a master at infusing moments and gestures with the looming violence and death of the Holocaust. Her largely autobiographical fiction focused of the lives of Jews in small Polish towns before, during and after Nazi occupation. In her typically very short stories we are presented with mere shards of experience in which the horror to come is seldom presented directly. Instead, prosaic objects and words become filled with meaning: A book that will never finish being read. A loud man who suddenly whispers. Fruits eaten well before they are ripe.
The grim tale of the Boston Red Sox’s trade of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees and Boston’s subsequent 80-plus-year World Series drought has been told so many times as to become almost apocryphal. Indeed, the Curse of the Bambino has come to define the Red Sox nation — we are perennial also-rans and pessimists, living in the shadow