Saturday, December 29, 2007

every trifle means so much



Another triumphant reissue from the NYRB press. Alexander Berkman, filled with the lofty ideals of philosophic anarchism, was so distressed by the events at Homestead, PA that he walked into Henry Clay Frick's office and pumped him full of lead. Frick survived, and Berkman was sent to the Western Penitentiary of Pennsylvania. His memoir ranks as the best of its kind since Dostoevsky's, and charts his growing humanity under the most dire suppression.

It was a pleasure to revisit Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist at the holiday season. And to think about how little has changed since the days of attentats faded away.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I just read the graphic novel-style biography of Emma Goldman, which of course talks about Berkman, the shooting, the imprisonment, and their relationship. I need graphic-ized versions of everything, I think. - Emily

Nyarlathotep said...

Throughout his prison memoir, Berkman calls Emma "the Girl."

There are three or four drawings in the book, but it's unsatisfactorily graphic-ized.

sarajkramer said...

Thanks for all the shouts-out to the NYRB Classics series. We've been neglecting our own blog of late, but that should change with the new year. Check out http://nyrb.typepad.com/classics/ for news, gossip, and items of interest.