I had quite a literary visit yesterday with my neighbor The Professor. I have mentioned him before...he is in his eighties, is a retired university professor of philosophy, has a house full of books (even though he has sold his 'libraries' twice), and is always seen in a freshly pressed Oxford cloth shirt and tie. I am sometimes the grateful recipient of his well-thumbed
New York Times Book Review and American Scholar journals.
He is most erudite and is very likely my smartest acquaintance.
It was an abnormally cool August day. I was sitting on my front porch in the late afternoon engrossed in So Big by Edna Ferber when I was greeted by The Professor's cheery hello. He was standing at my gate - he was on his way back from the barbershop - and was in good spirits as usual. I invited him up and we visited for 45 minutes.
In addition to a rousing report on a recent dinner party he attended with a few of his former university colleagues, our conversation ran along these lines:
Jane Austen; the Jane Austen Festival; A Jane Austen Education (which we have both read) and Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things (which neither of us has read) ; book clubs; Edna Ferber; Dr. Samuel Johnson's dislike of music (with supporting quotes); The Magic Mountain; Arthur, a mutual friend, long dead, who for years ran one of the first local bookstores; Vanity Fair; P.G. Wodehouse; a surviving independent bookstore and one that has gone away; Florence, Italy; and, the Harvard Classics.
The Professor is like ten book blogs rolled into one! A fine ending to a fine day, wouldn't you say?