Friday, April 29, 2011

talbot: a letter of admiration

last semester, i took british poetry from mr. john talbot.  words cannot adequately describe the experience.  once i went to speak to him during office hours.  i found him leaning back with his feet on his desk, watching an italian game show.  he invited me in to have a seat...and then we watched through the end of the game show together.

this is his face (via the english department's website):

he wears a collared shirt, tie, sweater vest, and blazer every day (which he "doffs" or "dons", depending on the temperature of the classroom) and pronounces cafe "cuh-FAY", email "e-MAIL", issue "ISS-you", leisure "LEH-zhur", and my favorite: for instance as "frINstance".

and now, the highlights reel i've been compiling all semester.  the best of talbot's quotes, ponderings, and other such amusing anecdotes:

"he had very good scarves, you know."
"i was sitting in my accustomed cafe this morning, you know, reading the Times---not the New York Times, a contemptible newspaper--no, the London Times of course."
"if you wanted a kind of brisk vertiginous thill (pronounced with a rolling "rrr", you may want to find the book."
"you have to just believe the original Latin is this shimmering piece of brilliance, a robe you put on in the evening to dazzle people, while the translated prose socks."
"i was sashaying my way through the library........"
"it could be a large mechanical fly...and for about 7 seconds, i thought it was the most interesting the world."
"I'm sorry, I need the consolation of wearing the same clothes day after day."
"do you mind if i doff my jacket?  it's a bit stuffy in here, no?  or maybe i'm feeling my own stuffiness."

for all the truly inspiring hours, from me and my colleagues, thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment