Saturday, November 13, 2010

Intellectual Passion

If Flaubert could read the Quixote every year, why can't we do the same with "History's Two Bodies" or Natalie Zemon Davis's Holberg acceptance speech?


Timmi Duchamp said...

What a pleasure to read "History's Two Bodies" again. The first time I read it, back in (probably) 1990, Catherine McCauley was new to me. (Since then a good deal of work on her has been published. In fact, I'm reading some of her correspondence now with Mercy Otis Warren.) I particularly love the last paragraph-- when NZD talks about choosing her own particular image of history-- as much today as I did twenty years ago. So thanks, Josh, for the nudge!

I will regretfully note, though, that the online version of the article, which must have been scanned contains numerous typographical errors, including a few that I couldn't mentally correct as I was reading. Also, the illustrations are missing. (Not surprisingly, they didn't drop the footnotes!)

Josh said...

There may be numerous typographical errors, but isn't "Macaulay" the standard spelling of her name, rather than McCauley?

Yes, that last paragraph is what inspired me to pair the talk with the Holberg acceptance speech for its inspirationality.

Timmi Duchamp said...

Yep, "Macaulay" is the standard spelling, & I cheerfully stand corrected. See, while I was writing the post, my mind went blank when I tried to recall the correct spelling of that eighteenth-century historian's name. & so, because I was in too much of a hurry to look it up, I punted. Course, that wouldn't've happened to me even twenty years ago, when my memory first began to weaken. It was all just so wonderfully effortless. Making up for that weakness not only takes extra effort, but it's time-consuming as well. (Doubting oneself, checking, even double-checking. Something I have to do constantly when I'm writing nonfiction or editing it.) Most of the time I consider it worth the time. But in this case, I punted.