Elizabeth Austin | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Why can't we all just get along nostalgically?

Put me on Team Meyerson. I thought de Vinck's vision of his own childhood was syrupy beyond redemption. (Contrast with Annie Dillard's "An American Childhood," which is far more clear-eyed and thoughtful.)

I also thought de Vinck was dismissive of today's children because their interests do not align with his highly self-edited reminiscences. "Do children these days express awe? Yep, Mr. de Vinck, they do. Maybe you should get to know a couple of kids instead of making sweeping generalizations about an entire generation.

And don't get me started on the issues of race, class, gender, etc. that are buried in this piece. I will just say that most of the pastimes he remembers have a mother at home during the day providing oversight, transportation and lunch.

But in fairness, I will say that your piece did challenge me to re-read de Vinck again, and I didn't hate it quite as much the second time around. So thanks.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elizabeth Austin on 07/16/2012 at 12:17 PM

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