Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Novelists get the girls, scholars get the footnotes

“You,” Father said with a sad smile to his friend Israel Zarchi, “write a new novel every six months, and instantly all the pretty girls snatch you off the shelves and take you straight to bed with them, while we scholars, we wear ourselves out for years on end checking every detail, verifying every quotation, spending a week on a single footnote, and who bothers to read us? If we're lucky, two or three fellow prisoners in our own discipline read our books before they tear us to shreds. Sometimes not even that. We are simply ignored.”
Amos Oz, A Tale of Love and Darkness (Nicholas de Lange trans., 2003), p. 133.

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