Saturday, January 12, 2013

"A Rare Combination of Humor and Passion"--Surely an Original Compliment!

I thought the NEW YORKER blog for 3 January 2013 had come up with an original phrase for a superannuated Melvillean. Turns out Google has other examples of  “a rare combination of humor and passion.” Who would have thought? 

First, more recently, is this from the 2005 LOFTY DOGMAS: POETS ON POETICS, by Deborah Brown, Annie Finch, and Maxine Kumin:

Then there is this funny one:

Journal of the Florida Senate 20 March 2002
There’s one other story that exemplifies the passion that Senator
Silver has. Senator Silver and I have both been involved in the parimutuel
industry. In 1996, we passed the first major pari-mutuel legislation
in a long time. I was the House chair and Senator Roberto Casas was
the Senate chair. Gulf Stream Race Track was in my Senate district,
Hialeah Race Track was in his Senate district; Caulder Race Track
didn’t have either of the chairs there, although it does happen to be in
Senator Silver’s district. So I had come over and we had just completed
a deal wherein Gulf Stream was happy, Hialeah was happy and Caulder
was not particularly happy that we were making them send the signal.
Senator Silver, in his very quiet, calm, laid-back fashion, grabs me by my
lapels and pushes me up against the wall. I’m not a small guy, but he
lifts me onto my toes in a brief conversation in which he informs me that
he did not particularly appreciate that I was not making Caulder as
happy. I was appreciative that he was having this quiet, calm discussion
at the conclusion of which, he asked Senator Scott to have me removed
from the chamber, which by the way occurred. Thank you, Ron. You’ve
all heard how he shows this rare combination of humor and passion.
Senator, it has been a privilege to serve with you and represent essentially
the same constituency. We have the same issues; condominiums;
lottery, and pari-mutuels. We will miss you.

Here’s the NEW YORKER blog:
In his new book, Parker recalls the years he spent delving into archives to piece together the life and literature of his subject. This wide-ranging new book is a recollection of Parker’s own intellectual project, woven together with a history of Melville scholarship and reflections on the state of literary criticism and the nature of the biographer’s project. Parker writes with a rare combination of humor and passion that hooks the reader into this potentially arcane subject.

Best thing anyone ever said about me!

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