In 1921,the legendary Ben Hecht began writing a daily column for the Chicago Daily News. This column named “A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago” featured fictive sketches of Chicago’s bustling urban landscape at that time. A year later, 64 of these vignettes were compiled and published as a book with the same title. Beginning Tuesday morning, this coming June 3, I will be teaching a class in the Oakton Community College Emeritus Program about Hecht and this amazing book, with its incredible stories depicting ordinary Chicagoans in ordinary situations, but in Hecht’s most extraordinary literary style. In total, there will be four classes sessions, on Tuesday mornings at the Skokie campus from 10: am until 11:30 am, concluding on June 24. For more information go to http://www.oakton.edu/conted or feel free to comment to me on this blog.
Ben Hecht’s impact on the Chicago journalistic scene was monumental. His memorable A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago columns, written in the Roaring Twenties for The Chicago Daily News, and eventually published as a book, describe ordinary Chicagoans in ordinary situations in the most extraordinary picturesque language. They were highly influential on the future style and content of Mike Royko.