Even if it is in David Mamet’s sense of a “lapsed Talmudist,” my method of reading is Talmudic. When I read, I ask myself, and the text in hand, endless questions, questions that often engage with the various texts I’ve read over the years. This hypertextual mess sometimes clogs up the margins of my books and slows down my writing, particularly when I want to speak clearly to a general audience, as I often do as editor of JBooks.com.
Over the course of this series, I will apply this type of reading to something other than my own work. The columns will consider material from or referred to by Josh Lambert’s “American Jewish Fiction.” The first installment was about novelist Nathanael West, this one looks at Delmore Schwartz through the iconic opening to his classic short story (and eponymous collection) “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.”
Ken Gordon is the editor of JBooks.com.