Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Tablet Original Fiction: Berel Lang's 'When All the World Was America'

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Tablet Original Fiction: Berel Lang's 'When All the World Was America'

Article excerpt

"It is a harmless vanity," Robert told himself, comparing it to a number of less harmless ones he recognized in himself, even mentioning it on occasion, diffidently, to one or another of his friends. When he walked into a library he had not visited before, he would stop first at the now antiquated but still preserved card catalogue; in the series of curves between the last of the "M's" and the beginning of the "N's," he would look for his own name and the books he had written. By now he was familiar with the neighboring writers on his two sides. There were almost always a number of "Muller's," some with umlauts, some without (this didn't seem to count alphabetically); or, if he turned too far ahead in the cards, a number of "Na's"-"Nabokov," "Nachamkin," "Narodnik": his Russian Connection, he mused. Then, at the boundary between the "M's" and the "N's," if he appeared at all, the "Mundheim, Robert Allan" that stared back at him familiarly, repeating the author's name knowingly, informatively, even when the viewer was Mundheim himself. …

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