October 19, 2006

The Old Seapuss

And the very next posting at Savage Minds (just up from my RSS reader) provoked me to printing out for leisured enjoyment Clifford Geertz' A Life of Learning (the Charles Homer Haskins Lecture for 1999). It ends thus:

...as either White remarked to Thurber or Thurber remarked to White, the claw of the old seapuss gets us all in the end.

I am, as I imagine you can tell from what I've been saying, and the speed at which I have been saying it, not terribly good at waiting, and I will probably turn out not to handle it at all well. As my friends and co-conspirators age and depart what Stevens called "this vast inelegance," and I, myself, stiffen and grow uncited, I shall surely be tempted to intervene and set things right yet once more. But that, doubtless, will prove unavailing, and quite possibly comic. Nothing so ill-befits a scholarly life as the struggle not to leave it, and—Frost, this time, not Hopkins—"no memory of having starred/can keep the end from being hard." But for the moment, I am pleased to have been given this chance to contrive my own fable and plead my own case before the necrologists get at me. No one should take what I have been doing here as anything more than that.

(thanks to Alex Golub for that one)

Posted by oook at October 19, 2006 03:27 PM