Archive for the 'academia' Category

The Real Deal

October 5, 2011

“Without the help of my authentic husband, Chandler Davis, this history of an imposter-spouse could never have existed.”

– Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (1983)


Pretty Unimpressed

October 4, 2011

We started this blog while one of us was studying for comprehensive exams, a process that teaches one to consume scholarly literature like a hobo getting his first hot meal in days–ie fast enough to make you sick. One friend compares it to doing a keg-stand. It’s a good way to survey the general field of acknowledgments, as did a friend-of-a-friend in the following email, names redacted to protect the unimpressed.

From: [redacted doctoral student]
Date: Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM
Subject: Acknowledgements
To: [other doctoral students]

After having consumed about 100 books in the last few weeks, all replete with acknowledgments sections detailing extraordinarily profuse declarations of love and gratitude to the authors’ husband/wife/cat/God, I just came across the lamest, most equivocal thank you yet, this one from Allen Wood’s Kantian Ethics:

“My wife Rega Wood was supportive and helpful in many ways.”

What, did they get divorced or something?! If, after putting up with my partner spending eight years of his/her life consumed by writing one book, that’s all the thanks I got, I’d be somewhat unimpressed.

P.S. Having now written out this email, I see that it is probably of no interest to anyone except those who have just consumed 3-4 books a day for the last 40 or so days.

Tend your own garden

January 28, 2010

“Finally, I must acknowledge my greatest debt: to Rolf Soellner, the man à la mode, with whom I have shared a garden of love and a garden of friendship. Gratitude, as Dr. Johnson says, is a fruit of great cultivation; may he meanwhile accept this modest blossom as a symbol of what I owe him.”

Elise Goodman, Rubens: The Garden of Love as Conversatie à la Mode (1992)

Of Limited Assistance

January 15, 2010

“Since I consulted the wealth of material assembled by Ludwig Burchard after I was already far along in my own research, the amount of basic new material I found in his documentation was limited. However, the comfort of finding my own discoveries corroborated or, alternatively, being forced to reconsider my solutions to problems in the face of differing interpretations played a significant role in the preparation of this book. And for many individual points, in particular concerning the history of the sketches for the series, I am indebted to the Burchard files.”

Svetlana Alpers, The Decoration of the Torre de la Parada (1971)

I Just Like the Names

January 15, 2010

“In Sens, Lydwine Saulnier-Pernuit and Bernard Brousse not only gave me access to the museum collections and the archives of the Société archéologique but also produced, at a moment’s notice, the key to the chapel of Sainte-Colombe in the cathedral of Saint-Étienne–this so that I could have access to Guillaume II Coustou’s Mausoleum of the Dauphin and the Dauphine.”

Erika Naginski, Sculpture and Enlightenment (2009)

Perfect Timing

January 13, 2010

“Finally, I must also include my feline companions, Percy and Alma, who always knew just when to sit on my manuscript.”

Laurinda S. Dixon, Perilous Chastity: Women and Illness in Pre-Enlightenment Art and Medicine (1995)

Hear! Hear!

January 11, 2010

“To the Monday-night club: libations for all!”

G. Gabrielle Starr, Lyric Generations: Poetry and the Novel in the Long Eighteenth Century (2004)

Small Audience

January 10, 2010

“During the book’s long gestation I have incurred many debts.  My doctoral supervisors, Éva H. Balázs in Budapest and Hugh Trevor Roper in Oxford, took good care of me.  Aldadár Madarász has been the sole person in Hungary to appreciate and understand my work, starting with the doctoral thesis.”

Istvan Hont, Jealousy of Trade: International Competition and the Nation-State in Historical Perspective (2005)

A Marriage Portrait

January 8, 2010

“My deepest gratitude, finally, is to Estelle Lingo, my companion in life and in the life of the mind. Her conversation, her example, her love and inspiration, lie behind every page of what follows. It is to her that I dedicate this book.”

Stuart Lingo, Federico Barocci: Allure and Devotion in Late Renaissance Painting (2008)

“Finally, my husband, Stuart Lingo, has been my companion on this journey in every possible sense. I dedicate this book to him, with love and no more words.”

Estelle Lingo, François Duquesnoy and the Greek Ideal (2007)

Feast of St. Michael and All Angels

January 7, 2010

“To my father, Leander, who fostered my intellectual curiosity. To my mother, Janice, who read my first homework assignments but who can no longer read or write. To my brother, Stephen, who has always been a guardian angel to me. To my wife, Karin Lindt Gollin, whose love surpasses the ardor of the seraphim, and to our new daughter, Olivia Susanna, who is now one year and a day old. Let me give thanks.”

– David Keck, Angels & Angelology in the Middle Ages (1998)