Sunday, September 28
I'm sure there will be a flood of eulogies with more insightful surveys of his work (and no doubt some critics, given his political stances.) But I think it's worth saying something here that I've said about Said for more than ten years now: on his best days, he was the most charismatic man I've ever met in my life -- handsome, stylish, impossibly articulate, and surprisingly willing to take a joke at his own expense. (I used to tease him about his being indirectly responsible for unleashing Butler on the world.) I remember vividly one early spring afternoon, sitting through a seminar he was teaching on public intellectuals, in a room overlooking the Columbia campus and the sun setting over Riverside Park, and thinking to myself: there's literally nowhere else I'd rather be right now. I'm sure there are thousands of his students out there sifting through similar memories today. "
If I ever felt that way about graduate school the memory has long since fled.