- By Jim Hicks
On Thursday, September 23, the founding editor of the Massachusetts Review, Jules Chametzky, died in Amherst, at the age of ninety-three. To commemorate his passing, and to offer his friends an opportunity for reflection and remembrance, we offer here a small gathering of memories, collected from a few of his friends.
I myself only really got to know Jules during the dozen years I’ve been working at the Mass Review, yet it is important to acknowledge just how formative he remained, and will remain, in the direction this magazine has taken. Early on, without any real training or experience in publishing, I desperately needed schooling, so I’d go over to visit Jules every few weeks or so. He was always a generous host and patient teacher, and he had an inexhaustible supply of anecdotes, a response to every possible question I posed. He also pushed us to invent new solutions and dream of novel possibilities for the magazine he had created. His was also always the first congratulatory email I’d receive after each new issue came out, and Jules even, after his lifetime of service (longer than many of our lives), agreed to join our Board of Directors, during his final years, as an ex officio member, never missing a meeting.
I shouldn’t and won’t go on further, since this is a time for those who have known Jules Chametzky much longer than I to offer their portraits of the man, and of the lessons he leaves us. For everyone at MR, it goes without saying, the heavens today are darker than they were just over a week ago. But we know where our North Star is, and it will continue to guide us.
Jim Hicks is Executive Editor of the Massachusetts Review.
Sabine Broeck, "in honor of garlic cloves. . ."
Lee Edwards, "Our Rabbi"
Bruce Laurie, "Remembering Jules"
Werner Sollors, "Broadening the Canon"
Ilan Stavans, "My American Father"
Esther Terry, "For Jules, In Appreciation"