Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

My Favorite Solitary Subway Ride

with one comment

by Luce

I was just reading a (good) New York Review of Books review of Janet Malcolm’s latest book, Iphigenia in Forest Hills, which is about the trial of a woman for the murder of her estranged husband, both members of the tight-knit Jewish Bukharin community in Queens. Then I was reminded that I’d read the New Yorker article that preceded the book about a year ago.

I remember being in New York when I read the article. It lasted me at least two subway rides, and I’m nearly positive one of them was on the F-train. In fact I’m sure of it. I was leaning against a post at the 2nd avenue stop– had bought myself a New Yorker because it seemed like it might be a long wait, and started with Malcolm’s article because I was struck by the picture of Mazoltuv Borukhova’s headpiece. I was probably headed to Park Slope. When I picked it up again, I think I was going uptown on the A-train. Most NY subway rides are memorable to me only because of a bizarre event, or for the person I was with. These two rides should have been no different than the hundreds of others I’ve taken alone, except that Malcolm’s piece was the most enthralling article I’d ever read.

I realize now that Malcolm’s original article may have formed some of the thinking I had when I went into my own open-and-shut trial as a jury member, which I then wrote about here. And now I’ve realized I should start sitting in on more of these trials and writing about them. Court room dynamics can be incredible things.

So in my second impulsive “generals buy” of the last two days, I’ve ordered Malcolm’s book and should have it in a couple of days. Between that and my new juicer, I think I’ll have this qualifying exams thing under control by April 21st. I’m hoping to review at least one of these recent purchases at PhD Octopus soon after.


Written by Kristen Loveland

April 13, 2011 at 22:23

Posted in Law

One Response

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  1. Good luck, Luce!! My impulsive comps buy was Terry Castle’s The Professor, after I read the n+1 article “why bother?” last night.


    April 15, 2011 at 11:39

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