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He liked to use contemporary texts

OK. Time to donate money to the Obama campaign again. Being abroad while all this electioneering is going on makes me feel nostalgic for, and protective of, the United States. I remember feeling the same way when I was in Germany in 2003. I keep writing emails to people saying things like “Keep Baltimore real for me,” but what I really want to say is, “Don’t let the Tea Party take over.” They’re at just under a million donors now–you can watch the counter go up.

What Would Julian Barnes Write, continued:

“Later that day—or perhaps another day—we had a double English period with Phil Dixon, a young master just down from Cambridge. He liked to use contemporary texts, and would throw out sudden challenges. “ ‘Birth, and Copulation, and Death’—that’s what T. S. Eliot says it’s all about. Any comments?” He once compared a Shakespearean hero to Kirk Douglas in Spartacus. And I remember how, when we were discussing Ted Hughes’s poetry, he put his head at a donnish slant and murmured, “Of course, we’re all wondering what will happen when he runs out of animals.” Sometimes, he addressed us as “Gentlemen.” Naturally, we adored him.”

– Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (2011)

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