Uncle Otto plays chess late afternoons on Wednesdays and Fridays till almost midnight and sometimes even after.  His chess partner, his neighbor Gyuri, speaks Romanian with a thick Hungarian accent that seems to come out of his even thicker mustache.  Uncle Otto knows only several Hungarian words, but maybe out of deference for his guest insists on using them with a frequency that makes Aunt Rajssa roll her eyes and give me conspiratorial glances.  “Nem szabad! (Don’t!)…Piros tojás (Red egg)…Te vagy (You are) a dangerous fellow.”

The Jerusalem File


A late Southern writer used to lecture his students to “never compete with the camera.” Discuss.

The relationship between film and fiction is a complex one. If you happen to be a fiction writer, sooner or later, civilians will ask you when you are going to pen a screenplay (which is a little like asking a painter when he or she plans to take up sculpture). Still, the common engine of novels and movies is the simple act of storytelling, and the best examples are a cross-pollination of the two.