What little I know of Aleppo is that it is mentioned in Othello: “And say besides, that in Aleppo once / Where a malignant and turban’d Turk / Beat a Venetian and traduc’d the state / I took by the throat the circumcized dog, / And smote him thus.” And even that I remember mostly via Nabokov’s “That in Aleppo Once,” which is a great line among many to lift for a short-story title. In the former, Othello is going on about the time he killed a man, all because now he’s about to kill himself for also having killed his wife. In the latter, one of Nabokov’s typically dyspeptic protagonists warns jokingly that “it all may end in Aleppo if I’m not careful,” alluding that maybe there is some suicide ahead here, too. All this to wonder idiotically: Aleppo is actually a place? That makes sense.