Friday, February 19, 2016

Fragment: To get on in the profession

From: MacNeice, Louis. The Strings Are Flase: An Unfinished Autobiography. London: Faber and Faber, 1965.
If I wanted to get on in the profession, Dodds told me, I must do some research. Edit a Greek play perhaps. He recognized that much of the 'research' done at universities was done merely from careerist motives, and much of it was a waste of time.  Pun provided you had a critical faculty, provided you had you had imagination and provided you did some work you might contribute something to Scholarship. Scholarship for Dodds was a living and humane activity, an antidote to sentimentality,  to our more muddled or trumpery brands of civilization...
page 137

Fragment: A Time of sadness

From: Evans, Joan. Prelude and Fugue: An Autobiography. London: Museum Press Limited, 1964.
The autumn of 1914 was in any case inevitably a time of sadness. The friendliest of my nephews, who under the compulsion of a premonition of war had given up scientific work to join the Royal Fusiliers a year or two before, was killed in France early in the term; a friend whom I might well have married was killed a few days later; and I felt the senseless destruction of Rheims as an acute personal loss. Morover I was the only woman working in archaeology, my sole companion being an Australian undergraduate - Gordon Childe - whom I hardly knew to speak to, and I did not make friends so easily as I might have done had I belonged to a more popular "school"...
page 72