Ivan Kulikov, Painting of Russian writer Evgeny Chirikov,  1904, Oil on canvas, Gemäldegalerie der Stadt Murom

Editor’s note: “The long, shining table: writers in Eastern Europe” by Hortense Calisher appeared in the January issue of The New Criterion. What follows is one of four observations on some of the issues raised in Miss Calisher’s essay.

I happened on Hortense Calisher’s record of a journey just after returning myself from some literary encounters abroad: at the long, shining table of the Rockefeller Foundation’s conference center in...

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