I’ve decided to read Brendan Gill’s Here at the New Yorker in order to avoid grading. I got it as a gift from someone who got it from a pile at an antique store for almost nothing, and have been letting it sit for at least five years. I realized that was a mistake when I hit this quote on page four:
“In my youth, having gained a little fame by publishing some short stories in the New Yorker, I was invited to give a talk about the magazine at Indiana University, and it turned out to be a nightmare, because the audience was academic. I didn’t know then what I know now – that college professors like a talk to last at least an hour, with everything being said at least three times. The third time they hear a thing, they feel that famous shock of recognition, and a please smile begins to play over their faces. Well, in my ignorance on that occasion, I simply got up and talked, and having told them everything I knew about my assigned topic, I found that I had only consumed ten minutes. I then went nattering on, in greater and greater panic, about metalinguistics, pendentive arches, and the decline of materialism in third-century Greece. Oh God! That took ten minutes more. All I could think of was to sit down, and I did.”
Sounds like my first college lecture, but I think I made it to half an hour..