Oh yes it does too have something to do with horses!
OK, maybe Harvey Pekar doesn’t and were I the editor and not the writer of this blog, I would say to Leslie, “Leslie,” I would say, “Exactly what does Harvey Pekar, author of the American Splendor series of comics have to do with horses?” and Leslie would shamefacedly admit that Harvey Pekar has not a thing to do with horses. But when one is the editor and the writer, one is playing a game of Chinese Checkers with/against one’s own self. You can make patterns with the marbles or create elegant yet inefficient bridges for the other marbles to jump on their way to find home and win the game. Or “win” the game (notice effective usage of ironical quotation marks).
So I was following Michael Dirda’s advise to dedicated readers, that they should go into a used book store and make it a point to pick out a book by an author they had never heard of that was at least 50 years old. I went to Areopagitica on a mission of both outreach and book searching — and found Jews Without Money by Michael Gold which I can Not Put Down. My edition is an old hardcover from the late 1930s. There’s some woodcut illustrations and the thing is a wee bit mouldy so I sneeze sometimes while flipping the pages, but it’s a small price to pay for this riveting and heart-breaking story of life on the Lower East Side in the early 1900s. Things were pretty damn bad on the Lower East Side before World War I. I knew this in an abstracted sort of way, but the descriptions of life (especially for young women) are grim.