I mentioned how I wanted to write a dissertation about Byron and Scotland. Knowing you had to break new ground to get the prospectus approved, I thought this neglected topic would work out well. The trouble was a paucity of available material. I would have stubbornly stuck to it, except that Angus Fletcher said, “One day you will do justice to Byron and Scotland, but not now.” I let go. A tailor made dissertation topic, Byron’s use of sacred architecture, found me. That dissertation wrote itself.
I would not want to let anyone get me started on CUNY professors because a few of them have shaped my life, rough-hewn as it still may be. I could go on for pages about several of them, but then, among the constellations, there appeared this bright star, Angus Fletcher. People have described him as wise, kind, dedicated, far-out. Harold Bloom tops them all calling him “my critical guide and conscience.” This all leaves me thinking what a dissertation on Byron and Scotland, with Dr. Fletcher as the advisor, may have been like if there had been world enough and time to work it out. I think there would have been nothing like it.
Of course, there is no use wondering about works we all might have written when there is so much to be written right now. As for who we might have been if we didn’t live out our life where we were, there is nothing like, The Jolly Corner by Henry James. Now if there is one story I might have wanted to have authored, it might have been that one.