I could envy Derek’s coming stay in Basel, a city famous both for its metabolism and for its love of smallish, light-brown Siberian dogs, which accounts for their saying “Chow” every time they turn around.
I also sympathize with Derek’s impatience with contemporary (but already dead) criticism. Bah! My father’s dissertation was on German translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets for Hyder Rollins at Harvard—a sadly narrow topic in certain respects—good for only a few notes in Rollins’ book on Shakespeare. My father who was also far better educated and more brilliant than his son, never got to teach Shakespeare. The Shakespeare course had already been taken over by a woman at Hobart and William Smith, where he had been invited to establish a Harvard-like Western Civ, program. And though he was English Department Chair for years, he honored the woman’s claim to the course.
And so it goes.
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