|Il primo numero della NYR|
"I arrived in December 1963, before the NYR had been on the newsstands a year. I was twenty-one. I’d had a similar job at the legendary literary and left-wing political quarterly Partisan Review, entering and updating subscriptions, all hundreds of them, on 3x5” index cards. Through William Phillips and Phillip Rahv, the founding rabbis of the New York intellectual press, I also knew the work (and phone numbers) of the whole Upper West Side of critics newly prominent on the writing roster of the NYR.
From Rahv, the more admired of the partners (Saul Bellow called Phillips a “devious rat”), I’d learned the most important factor in producing our line of work. “Philip,” I’d asked, “What’s the key to great critical writing?” “Sensibility, Janet,” he said. You would never guess from his jackknife prose that Philip Rahv spoke like a Russian bear schooled at City College for a Group Theater production of a Chekhov play. “Sensabitty, Janet,” was what he actually said. “Sensabitty.” nybooks.