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Tuesday, March 04, 2003
Where's William Shawn when you need him, or... More Nit-picking

In the most recent New Yorker, Simon Schama describes Charles Dickens' trip to the United States, writing that "Decades before Joseph Conrad steamed his way upstream into the heart of imperial darkness, Dickens, travelling from Cincinnati downstream to Cairo, Illinois (reversing Mrs. Trollope’s route), experienced the Mississippi as a septic ooze, a turbid soup of animal and vegetable muck."

Of course, Dickens wouldn't have experienced the Mississippi River until after arriving in Cairo. As he was "travelling from Cincinnati downstream to Cario" he would have experienced the Ohio River.

Schama's article is about European attitudes towards the United States. Step one (for both us and them) probably is getting our geography down.

(And, the New Yorker is an American, not a European, publication. Don't know what to say about that.)

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