Haven’t I given specimen clues, if no more? At any rate I have written enough to weary myself–and I will dispatch it to the printers, and cease. But how much– how many topics, of the greatest point and cogency, I am leaving untouch’d!
–Walt Whitman, “Last Saved Items”
In January of 2002, I retired from fifty-three years of teaching, forty-six of them at the University of Chicago. For tenured professors of my time, the decision to retire is one’s own. I won’t go into the pros and cons that weighed on me for more than a year. One pro, though, was that there would no longer be the slight . . .