Sunday, December 17, 2017


Scholarship Can Be Fun

Kathleen M. Coleman, "Cal Watkins in Monosyllables," Proceedings of the 25th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference: Los Angeles, October 25th and 26th, 2013, ed. Stephanie W. Jamison et al. (Bremen: Hempen, 2014), pp. 1-3 (at 2):
Obviously, there is a further monosyllable that defines Cal, and that is "fun." But I want to associate it not with his company over the dinner table, although of course it belongs there too, but with his scholarship. He didn't really write articles and books; he wrote detective stories. Each unpacking of an Indo-European trope was a cliffhanger, a who-dun-it, a chase through a linguistic labyrinth. And then, by the end, it all makes crystalline sense: a zigzag tour through Hittite and Gaulish and Lithuanian and Old Irish suddenly illuminates some ritual habit of our Indo-European ancestors, as though a spotlight were trained backwards through the millennia.

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