"That truth should be silent I had almost forgot"--Enobarbus in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, back in Rome after having been too long in Egypt.---------
Melville's PIERRE, Book 4, chapter 5: "Something ever comes of all persistent inquiry; we are not so continually curious for nothing."
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Brodhead's conscience is clear about false allegations of rape; what about his lying about me in the NY TIMES?
Brodhead's conscience is clear. Maybe that means he does not have a conscience.
This is from his interview with the Duke Chronicle:
Ten years later, President Richard
Brodhead says he has come to terms with the lacrosse case that rocked Duke’s
campus. Former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for his
handling of the Duke lacrosse case 10 years ago. Brodhead noted that Nifong’s
actions kept the case in the national spotlight.
“I am certainly at ease in my
conscience with the role that I played,” he said.
Brodhead said he does not spend much
time thinking about the incident that cast a shadow over Duke, but the
episode—and the role he played during it—have had a significant impact on his
legacy as president of the University. As the case was winding down, Brodhead
apologized for his unwillingness to defend the lacrosse players earlier in the
“The fact is that we did not get it
right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support,”
he wrote in a 2007 statement. “This was a mistake. I take
responsibility for it, and I apologize."
But what about his lies about scholars?
the early years of the 2000s leading up to these two scholarly studies of
Melville, historical and biographical scholarship was still being discounted or
ignored by living intellectual heirs of the New Criticism. Those Melville
scholars who had continued to pursue unfashionable scholarly investigations were
stunned in 2002 to see just how seriously a generation or two of professors had
taken the dismissal of biographical or historical study of Melville. In 2002,
80 years after Minnigerode printed the 1860 documents about Poems, 51 years after Leyda reprinted
and supplemented the documents, 43 years after Leyda had reprinted the Log with a Supplement, three reviewers
of the second volume of Parker's biography--a Yale dean (Richard H. Brodhead), a
Columbia professor (Andrew Delbanco), and a Kansas professor (Elizabeth Schultz)--all
denied that Melville had ever written Poems.
In doing so, they ignored all the documents quoted and analyzed in the pages of
the biography they were reviewing. Printing his accusation in the most
conspicuous place possible, the Sunday New
York Times Book Review (June 23, 2002), Brodhead declared contemptuously that
only Parker “in his black hole” had ever heard of Poems. Available online, never corrected, Brodhead’s words can mislead
any uninformed reader who encounters the review. Delbanco went so far as to
warn that because of Parker’s unfounded surmises about the existence of the
lost 1853 The Isle of the Cross and the
1860 Poems readers should regard all
of his biography as untrustworthy. Delbanco’s review also remains online.
Schultz echoed the groundless accusation that Parker had invented Poems, declaring that its existence was
only “putative.” Damage to Melville scholarship (quite aside from damage to
Parker’s reputation) has been compounded by this succession of false accusations.
Yet Brodhead, Delbanco, and Schultz in 2002, however inexcusable they were in
their denial that Melville wrote a book he called Poems, and however unfair in their assaults on Parker’s credibility
as a biographer, were not the only Melville critics to deflect attention away