“[Jean] Lafond never held a teaching position, since he wrote but was never allowed to defend his Sorbonne dissertation.  His family controlled the newspapers in Rouen, which had editorialized for the Vichy government.  As I heard the story, which may be apocryphal, when Lafond handed in his doctoral thesis, his mentor put it on his desk where it was to remain—unread. . . . What I loved in him was his old-world graciousness and his indomitable spirit.  When I discovered that, in the face of his difficulties, he had published something every single year but one, I made that my goal.  (Well, some years it has been just a book review.)  I felt, and feel, that I somehow owed it to him for his great skill, for his unfailing kindness, and for his example.”

Meredith Parsons Lillich, “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis (1932–),” Women Medievalists and the Academy, ed. Jane Chance (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 2005), 938.

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3 thoughts on “Monday’s inspiration

  1. I have been following your writing tips and inspirations for a little while now, and I really hope you run the writing group again, as I’m a few weeks late to this party.

    Good luck, everyone!

  2. “when Lafond handed in his doctoral thesis, his mentor put it on his desk where it was to remain—unread. . . . ” = the stuff of nightmares…all that work, geez.

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