Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fragment: Isn't he sweet?

From Bowra, Cecil Maurice. Memories: 1898-1939. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1966.
When he [Gilbert Murray] was eighty-seven he sent me a postcard on a point of scholarship, and after dealing with it, added a postscript 'I'm getting terribly old, but don't tell anyone.' On his ninetieth birthday some of his old pupils gave him a lunch. I had written about him as a teacher in the Oxford Mail, and in proposing his health Dodds told of his own debt to Murray and how Murray had tamed him in his youth. Murray in his answer said, 'I think that, as Bowra says, I was a good teacher, and I think that I tamed Professor Dodds, for a young lady said to me the other day, "Isn't he sweet?"'
p. 227

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fragment: venomous dislike of certain of his archaeological colleagues

From: Caton-Thompson, Gertrude. Mixed Memoirs. Gateshead, Tyne & Ware: Paradigm Press, 1983.
'The Prof' greeted me with a low bow and showed my my tent. His over-courteous manner was rather irritating and obscured depths of venomous dislike of certain of his archaeological colleagues. His distinguished appearance deserves a word. At 73 he was aging but still indefatigable. His splendid head well-carried, with aquiline features, very wide apart eyes of penetrating quality, and plentiful silky grey hair and beard was off-set by a loosely-framed body with an ungainly stride. His contempt for reasonably good living was proverbial. Food and drink to him were an unfortunate necessity to be endured as swiftly and cheaply as possible; a raw carrot was a meal. His mode of life was aided by a devoted wife, who would have been conspicuously good-looking if given the chance. She supported her husband in his economies with sometimes unforseen results from the long-suffering students. One day the frequent herring was served out of the tin. One of the young men delayed clearance of the plates by fiddling with his fish. Mrs. Petrie said impatiently "Mr. Walker hurry up, we are waiting." To which he replied "I am trying to take the skin off without breaking it. I thought you like to return it to the makers to be refilled!"
p. 83

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fragment: "pretty self-explanatory"

Fragment from: Katz, Karl. The Exhibitionist: Living Museums, Loving Museums. New York: The Overlook Press, 2016.
Based on my brief visit [to Israel] in 1950, I thought I knew what to expect. True, I'd never done archaeological fieldwork, but digging things up seemed pretty self-explanatory. During my stopover in London, en route to Israel, I went to Picadilly Circus and bought the perfunctory archaeologist outfit at Lilywhites: boots, khakis, a hat with a peak, shirts with at least twelve pockets. Armed with the proper uniform, I boarded a plane to Tel Aviv via Cyprus, ready to start digging up Israel's past.
The Rabiowitz Fellowship would hold many twists and turns - excavating on secret air bases, sneaking into Egypt, accidentally getting engaged to an Iranian. But the biggest surprise of all was that along with my excavations into Israel's long history, very soon I would start building its future.
p. 27