Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Academic Preferment

I have been following with interest the reports of Angelo Mercado (aka Sauvage Noble) on the American Philological Association (APA) meeting in Montreal. I wish him the best of luck with his job search.

Long ago I attended two APA meetings, in New York and New Orleans. No one wanted to interview me at those meetings, and I never succeeded in finding a full-time teaching position. It would have been better if someone had responded to my graduate school applications with an honest letter like T. Tetuphenay sent to Jude Fawley in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure (part II, chapter 6):
Biblioll College.

Sir,—I have read your letter with interest; and, judging from your description of yourself as a working-man, I venture to think that you will have a much better chance of success in life by remaining in your own sphere and sticking to your trade than by adopting any other course. That, therefore, is what I advise you to do.

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