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“I feel my typewriters, my table, my chair to have that assurance of a solid world, where things take up space, where there is not the endless emptiness of insubstantial thought that leads to nowhere but itself.” – page 207


Find a photo of the newspapers that filled the rooms of the real Collyer house. How does Doctorow interpret this image? Why does Langley’s “Theory of Replacements” (p. 48) cause him to collect all the daily papers?

Try this:

Search in Google Images or other search engines for “collyer brothers” or “homer and langley” to find a variety of photographs from the 1940s. Share the images that you find with us here.


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