In my freshman year, when this green kid from the Midwest met Irving Howe, I told him I had read Fathers and Sons that summer and could not understand how anyone could compare Turgenev to Dostoevsky.
“You will,” he replied. At the moment, my feelings were hurt. Students were too quick to take his ironic dismissals for mere snobbery. It took a few years to realize he was also paying a compliment. In New York in the sixties, when I saw the relish with...
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