Saturday, March 12, 2016


I think that one day I shall write an essay entitled “A Short History of All the Academics who Ever Lived, even though We Wish They Hadn’t”. It will be lovelier than a tree. I probably won’t write it until after I’m dead and gone, as dead writers are known to write the shortest essays. The essay will contain only one sentence: “And now it’s time to say good-bye.” This won’t prevent people from misquoting me. They will say I wrote, “It’s never time to say good-bye,” though some will dispute that and claim it was “There’s never enough time to say good-bye.” They’re both wrong. So I want it clearly on the record now that I never said “It’s never time” or “There’s never enough time.” What I actually said (or, will say, when I write it) is “And now it’s time to say good-bye.” Of course, properly speaking, it isn’t possible to quote or misquote an essay that has not yet been written. So we, or actually I, am getting ahead of myself. That doesn’t matter. It’s never too soon to set the record straight. Essays come and essays go. Misquotations live forever. And not only misquotations, but all sorts of misrepresentations. Academics know this better than anyone. That’s why they do it. None of this, however, will be in my essay, which will be only the one sentence. I won’t repeat it. A pity that this summary of my simple essay is longer than the essay itself, but that’s to be expected from a still living writer who can’t find the time to shut up.

© 2016 Leon Zitzer

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