Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Intellectually Impoverished Reviewers

G.W. Bowersock, "The Art of the Footnote," The American Scholar 53.1 (Winter 1984) 54-62 (at 56):
"I cannot profess myself very desirous of Mr. Davis' acquaintance," wrote Gibbon, "but if he will take the trouble of calling at my house any afternoon when I am not at home, my servant shall show him my library, which he will find tolerably well furnished with the useful authors, ancient as well as modern, ecclesiastical as well as profane, who have directly supplied me with the materials of my History." This should be the classic response to all those intellectually impoverished reviewers who can think of nothing better to do when assessing a book than to add a few missing items of bibliography.

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