Remembering Irving Howe

Remembering Irving Howe

Once I had met Irving, I never visited New York without calling on him. Unfortunately, I respected him to excess. Foolishly, I never stayed very long, not wanting to tie up his valuable time. I now nurse the futile belief that, had I been bolder, we would have become real friends.

Not that he ever in the least encouraged my reluctance to disturb him. He had the gift of welcome. He was always immediately warmly engaged and full of questions, as though gaps of months or years did not exist. I invariably felt that we were instantly on the same wavelength across the many topics on which we touched, from gossip about mutual friends (which I am glad to say he much enjoyed) to the latest turn in international politics. I would seek and follow his advice about what was best among what had lately been published. He would never fail to urge me to write for Dissent.

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Lima