The City, by Julius Horwitz
In Julius Horwitz’s book of essays and stories about New York, the city finally escapes both from the disdain of urban sophisticates like F. Scott Fitzgerald and John O’Hara and the feverish nostalgia of Thomas Wolfe and Alfred Kazin. Mr. Horwitz is as excited by New York as the latter two, but his own style is prosaic and unliterary, and he always runs up against a city dressed in shirtsleeves instead of a cloak of imperial splendor. When he passes, a junior editor will be nibbling on her salami sandwich behind the 42nd Street Library while recordings of Heifetz fill the air, telling her boy friend, “Do you know what they get for this? 65¢, with a couple of french fried potatoes added, a thin slice of pickle!”; a boy in Central Park will rouse his mother from her New Yorker to show her a dead fish; a man lunching near the Stock Exchange will admit that he cannot teach his son how to be gregarious. In each case, Horwitz settles for the incidental rather than the significant passage of conversation, for the curious rather than the symptomatic fact, and it is this that allows him to make so much of brief encounters.
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