Posted 24 August 2007 - 04:10 AM
What a Mensch she was. I LOVED her stories -- only 45 of them in her whole life, but CHOICE. You could feel the quality of her mind from the way she left stuff out -- the way she could "skip steps" (as we used to say in geometry class) and get to the QED had the electricity of real wit.
Very much her own person, and yet very much a voice of her community -- I'm not Jewish, so it's not my own native lore, but I hear the music in those locutions and recognize the use to which they're put from my own family, especially my basque relatives. the way she used private jokes, family lore, the rituals that people share and give them a sense of having SOME security in hte world because if all else fails, YOU will recognize the reference and smile with recognition, which creates community, keeps bringing it into being.
Her work was full of these little recognitions, and the focus was so good that a very small thing became a very big thing indeed.