NOSTALGIA: U.S.A. by R.L. Duffus


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The three segments of autobiography which the New York Times' R.L. Duffus has written have inevitably been labelled ""nostalgic"". Therein lay much of their somewhat wistful charm, as he reviewed days of his youth and early newspaper expirience. So now he poses the question to himself. Is he embroidering the old days with memory -- or perhaps has 1963 something better to offer? So he turns back the pages to the New England folkways of his boyhood, circa 1900, from the current vantage point of an East Side apartment, circa the Nuclear Era. He finds he still prefers the blue-tinted meadows of Vermont to the hoopla of machine-mad Manhattan. There's his mother's parlor organ, his father's dinner pail lunch hour, the Town Hall minstrels and the spelling bees, the confab at the barber shop or general store. He ""remembers quiet times and places"" and ""his heart aches for them"". He acknowledge that our 60-year urban drive has increased equality- but reduced freedom. The Government won't let us alone. The atom is an ever present menace. With back porch mellowness he muses over the long-gone days, picking up odds and ends that were half forgotten in Willramstown Branch. A nodding-by-the-fire gem.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1962
Publisher: Norton