A tomb for the muses…

A tomb for the muses:world to the first speaker and hearer.The etymologist finds the deadest to have been once a brilliant picture. Language is fossil poetry.” (From the Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress, the conclusion of the Emerson-Thoreau Medal lecture, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1969). We discovered this text, Marius Stan and I, while doing research at LoC, in January 2016, on our various book projects.

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The lecture starts addressing Lionel Trilling, the great literary critic and Columbia University professor, at that moment a fellow of the academy who read the argument for the philosopher to receive the medal.

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