Archive - April 29, 2023

New York Times “Literary Destinations” by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

New York Times “Literary Destinations” by Paul Theroux (Malawi)

. New York Times by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) April 30, 2023   My father, like many passionate readers, was a literary pilgrim in his native Massachusetts, a state rich in destinations, hallowed by many of the greatest writers in the language. “Look, Paulie, this is the House of the Seven Gables — go on, count them!” What interested him — what interests me — was not a particular book but a literary intelligence, a Yankee sensibility enshrined in many local books. Boston does not, like Dublin, have a “Ulysses” — few cities do. The nearest novel to being essentially Bostonian might be Edwin O’Connor’s “The Last Hurrah”; its protagonist, Frank Skeffington, based on Boston’s flamboyant James Michael Curley, embodies Boston’s old political culture of blarney and bribery. Richard Henry Dana Jr. fascinated my father, not for writing about Boston but for his example as an admirable Yankee. After enduring the dangerous voyage . . .

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