Kasa Cotugno's Reviews > The Memory Chalet

The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt
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's review
Dec 06, 11

bookshelves: genre-biography-memoir, genre-essay, location-europe-britain-scotland
Read on December 05, 2011

This book, like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, is an unusual memoir written by a man of accomplishment who has been felled by disease, in this case, ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Tony Judt had written many books establishing him as an intellectual of powerful talent, when he wrote what he calls these essays fueled by memory. He gives the best account of life in post WWII London I've read in a long time, but I was particularly taken with his rumination on train travel and his love of going off by himself by rail even at a young age. His experiences as a young man on a kibbutz were fascinating, but he really hits his stride in discussions of what it means to be Jewish, even as a secular Jew. As he put it, he always seems to inhabit cities when they are in the twilight of their heyday, from London to Paris to New York. Most interesting is his intellectual curiosity toward Czechoslovakia in particular, and the life changes brought about by that pursuit,
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