As it is designed to do, my Impromptus column today offers a smorgasbord, including Hong Kong, Notre-Dame de Paris, Game of Thrones, WFB, Tiger Woods, and more. Toward the end is a note about Paul Hollander, who passed away earlier this month.
I would like to publish a note from a reader, who writes,
I was greatly saddened to learn of the loss of the great Mr. Hollander. Not only did his book Political Pilgrims have an impact on me almost as great as Elie Wiesel’s Night, but his 1994 cover story for National Review, “The Holocaust We Excused,” is one of the finest pieces your magazine has ever published. Let us all salute a man who called out apologists for evil no matter who they were or whom they defended.
That piece is found in a Hollander anthology, Discontents, published in 2002. The piece is about Nazism and Communism, and why the latter has tended to be let off the hook. In my review of Discontents, I said of this piece, “Little more about this vexing subject need be said.”
A few weeks ago, I had a piece called “A Name of One’s Own.” Prompted by “Beto,” it’s about being called what you want to be called: the name you like, in the pronunciation you like. I got many responses to this piece, many of them interesting or delightful or both, and I would like to publish one that is both:
Good evening, Jay,
… here is my name story.
In first grade, I lived in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. My teacher was teaching us about syllables. After explaining the concept, she went around the room and had each of us clap to the syllables in our first name. My name is Lynne. You might think that Lynne merited one clap. My teacher certainly did.
However, being born and bred in the Atlanta suburbs, with parents from North Carolina … let’s just say that the five letters in my name merited more than one clap!
“Lee-un,” I said, clapping the two syllables. My teacher tried to correct me: “Lynne” (just one syllable, one clap). I remember thinking she did not understand, so I helpfully clapped the two syllables of my name again. She did not approve.
It is possible I corrected her again. She said, “No,” and clapped my name with one syllable, before moving on to the next student. I went home and told my parents, and that is how I learned about accents. …
Thank you so much! Happy writing!
Lynne, a.k.a. Lee-un
What a country. Wonderful.