The Ginsberg Variations

Speaking of Lionel Trilling, as I was some months ago, I have often thought of my omission of his most famous student, Allen Ginsberg, who was at Columbia in the mid-forties and who was also a Paterson schoolmate of mine. Over the years we spoke about five or six times, not counting the semester that […]

Morningside II: Five Great Teachers

Moving uptown from NYU’s Washington Square College in Greenwich Village to Morningside Heights and Columbia was more a matter of cultural than geographical relocation. NYU turned out to be the right place to sort out, debate, and eventually establish one’s lifelong political and philosophical leanings. This process occurred mainly in the school cafeteria, known as […]

Morningside: Some Very Odd Dust

Soon after I was admitted to the graduate school at Columbia, I rented a small room in the sixth floor apartment of Alexander Miner on West 116th Street near Riverside Drive. Mr. Miner was a tall sixtyish German refugee who went off with his wife each morning to run their baby stroller company. My room […]

The Explorer

Professional indexers do not often get a chance to index books they have written, an appealing idea I thought.  That was one of the reasons I agreed to ghostwrite a book on earth’s vanishing primitive peoples.   The author was Lewis Cotlow whose films and books included titles like Passport to Adventure, Amazon Head-Hunters,  Zanzabuku, or […]