Chronicles Magazine European Diary

The Broken Promise of American Cities

There is a saying used in California when the going gets tough: “At least we have the weather.” No matter how expensive, dangerous, unclean, and generally inhospitable the state’s cities become, “at least we have the weather,” Californians say,...

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  • European Diary

    Mnemosyne’s Tricks

    Writers incline to solipsism, and I’m no exception. To write is to presume that your words matter to others, and this places you at the center of the universe you’re describing, with its sun, its Earth—to say nothing of the small potatoes of...

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  • European Diary

    People of the Book

    Sometimes one opens the morning newspaper and, instead of fires, floods, or declarations of war, finds a parable. This one hit me with the force of a subway train back in January, and I duly rushed it off as a post on the Chronicles...

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  • European Diary

    A Thing in Itself

    My Sicilian friend Manlio has something in him of the late Curtis Cate, who was a mutual friend of mine and Tom Fleming’s and a frequent contributor to these pages. When Curtis died in 2006 aged 82, I did not think to write an obituary.

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