Thursday September 2nd, 2010

Something Must Be Wrong

At the magazine of Wabash College, Jason Boog writes about losing his job and finding some measure of solace in the work of 1930s novelists. It begins:

I lost my job in December 2008, unemployed at the beginning of the longest, coldest winter I can remember in New York City.

Up until then, everything had been going swimmingly: I was a staff writer at an investigative reporting publication, taught an undergraduate journalism class, and proposed to my girlfriend in a fairytale forest along the Hudson River. Suddenly, I had to tell my friends, relatives, and students how I had failed.

Out of everything I read during those gloomy months, I found the most comfort in Maxwell Bodenheim—an author who lost everything during the Great Depression. In 1934, he wrote: “There’s something wrong with this world all right, but I can’t put my finger on it. . . . Something must be wrong when a fellow can’t get a decent wage, can’t tell when he’s going to be fired, can’t look forward to any promise of happiness. Something is rotten somewhere.”

(Via Macy Halford at The Book Bench)