SPEAKER 1: We are now going to turn to our conversation with MH Abrams. Of course, it's a long lifetime with many episodes and we won't be able to cover everything by any means, but I wondered, could I start by asking you about one moment in your life that I haven't heard you talk about much before? In 1934, '35, I believe it was, you won a Henry fellowship to go to Cambridge to study with IA Richards. And could you say something about what it was like studying with Richards? What did you study with Richards? How did that proceed?
MH ABRAMS: It was quite wonderful. I applied for a Henry fellowship in order to go to Cambridge and study with Richards. I was examined by a committee which assayed my application. They approved it, and then sent me to Oxford.
When I objected, they reluctantly changed and sent me back to the place that I had competed for to begin with. But Richards was a wonderful, relaxed, almost languorous person, very easy to approach. And he was a constant-- the thing I noticed most about him, when I saw him weekly for a tutorial, he was in correspondence with major poets of the time, Yeats and Elliott. And they would send him copies of their new points for commentary, and he would put them on his mantelpiece. And I could go and read the poems on the mantelpiece long before they were published, often with annotations of his that went into the final copy.
And I went back to Harvard and fortunately, he followed me there. Not to stay with me, but because Harvard offered him a very special fellowship that he couldn't refuse. So I got to know him for the rest of his life.
SPEAKER 1: Could you tell us something about your coming to Cornell? Did you know anything about Cornell before you made your journey here?
MH ABRAMS: I knew one person who had gone to Cornell among my close friends. He was an engineer, so I assumed that's what Cornell did-- train engineers. Until one day, I opened up a copy of The Saturday Evening Post. I was very young. I must have been about 10 or 11 years old. The Post had just gone over to publishing full-color illustrations. That was quite new in those days.
And they had an article about Cornell. And the article began with a double-page spread of a full-color photograph of the terrace of Willard Straight Hall, that on the terrace were tables and Cinzano umbrellas. Sitting at the tables were male and female Cornell students, sipping long drinks. The camera showed this scene in the foreground, and in the background was West Hill and Cayuga Lake. And I looked at this and I said, what a magni-- is this what college is like?
Well, when I was asked to come to Cornell to look at it and to be looked at, I had this image in my mind. So I asked to see the terrace of Willard Straight Hall. No umbrellas, no tables, nothing but a gravel roof. But Cayuga Lake was still there and so was West Hill, and that was enough to get me to come to Cornell.
SPEAKER 1: So I've heard you talk before about coming to Cornell, that you really hadn't imagined leaving Harvard, but you thought you would just come for a visit. I hadn't known about the umbrellas before. What made you decide to come to Cornell? How did that work?
MH ABRAMS: Well, the lake, the hills, the delightful faculty that I met when I came for my visit. The fact that it was a great and thriving university in an open, less-than-rural environment. A combination I never dreamed I'd see, and it was irresistible. It exactly suited me.
SPEAKER 1: In something of yours I read, you said that-- you remarked on the reality of Cornell as opposed to Harvard. It was an expression I haven't quite understood. Do you remember it, recall that? Does that ring a bell for you at all? What would have been the reality of Cornell as opposed to Harvard? Did Harvard seem unreal to you at the time?
MH ABRAMS: I don't know about the reality, but my response was, when I got to Cornell, I was able to relax.
SPEAKER 1: Ah, I see. Uh-huh.
MH ABRAMS: Harvard is a tense-- oh, well, I can't speak about it now, but it was a tense place. It was highly competitive. There were friendships on the faculty, but there was also a kind of rivalry. I hate to say this now, but some people drank heavily.
Not that they didn't drink at Cornell, too. Anyway, I was able to relax and feel at home in a way.
SPEAKER 1: Able to relax. Yup, that's very good. Yes. So when you arrived at Cornell, you had an English department that was, I gather, in receivership at the time. But you had-- you quickly acquired a number-- you have a number of very eminent and interesting colleagues-- Nabokov, Morris Bishop. Could you tell us something about some of those Cornell characters whom you encountered and who you--
MH ABRAMS: Yeah.
SPEAKER 1: What about Nabokov? Can you say something about Nabokov?
MH ABRAMS: It was a very deceptive place. Then and I suppose still now, it was thought of as particularly good in sciences and engineering above all. But the humanities faculty when I went there was quite extraordinary. Full of diverse, highly diverse and innovative talents.
For example, when I was a graduate student, the big thing was history of ideas. That was the latest development, and we kept talking about ideas-- [INAUDIBLE] [? Mathison ?] in the lead. And there were three books in the history of ideas that were our bibles. One was AO Lovejoy's The Great Chain of Being. He was the inventor of the phrase "history of ideas"-- not the inventor, the promulgator of it.
But the other two books-- one was Carl Becker's The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers, another was EA Burtt's The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science. Both extremely readable books. If you read them now, you'll find them appealing and informative in surprising ways.
Well, the authors of both the latter books were at Cornell, as I discovered when I came here. Well, I suppose I'd known about it. I hadn't thought about it. And when I got here, the place was full of sometimes eccentric but sometimes very brilliant people, all of whom were quietly innovators. Shall I mention one or two?
SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] mention one or two, please. Yes.
MH ABRAMS: There was Harold Thompson. He taught courses in folk literature, but above all in the ballad. Now, interest in the ballad then, which included modern balladeers, was not exactly a central academic enterprise. He taught that course and they had the students singing these things. And the students named the course Romp and Stomp.
I remember once crossing Triphammer Bridge and a student drove up in a car, and he said he was from the University Syracuse and he had come to visit the Saturday lecture in Romp and Stomp-- where was it meeting? I was able to tell him. And Harold Thompson inaugurated, I think, the very serious academic consideration of what has become an everyday matter in academia. And he had-- he was able to commandeer visits by all the great ballads' writers and singers. I met a-- Woody Guthrie came to his course, and Pete Seeger, and many others. So that was innovative.
Another kind of [INAUDIBLE], there was Marshall Stearns, whom I'd known at Harvard as a fellow graduate student. Marshall was interested in jazz in a very serious way. Well, the only people interested jazz in a serious way were young people who danced to it, and people who played it. But it had no place in the universities that I knew of.
And Marshall brought all the great jazz musicians and their orchestras to Cornell. And he was well-enough-to-do, so he was able to entertain them all at dinner after they had played at a concert. And they were glad to come, because nobody else in universities thought of asking them. And I remember having dinner with Dizzy Gillespie and his orchestra, the great Duke himself, Duke Ellington.
SPEAKER 1: Wow.
MH ABRAMS: Duke Ellington, the most urbane and courtly man I've ever met, who immediately became the host-- displaced Marshall as host-- met us at the door, said good night to us as we left with the utmost aplomb.
Anyway, that was the kind of thing that was going on here that we sort of took for gr-- I thought all the universities did this kind of thing.
SPEAKER 1: Now, what about Nabokov, an eccentric perhaps of a different character, not so welcoming, perhaps?
MH ABRAMS: Well, yeah. I knew him about as well as anybody did, except for Morris Bishop, his closest-- you couldn't get intimate with Nabokov. Nobody but his wife was intimate with him. But I knew him quite well, talked to him almost every day, and we visited at each other's house.
SPEAKER 1: Did he argue with colleagues about the merits or demerits of great novelists? Did he tell you you should not be reading X, or you should definitely read Y?
MH ABRAMS: He taught a course that either students couldn't stand or flocked to. Some students worshiped him in 20th century novel and so on. Others couldn't take his eccentricities. But he wasn't-- looking back, I had an office at Goldwin Smith Hall. On one side of me, there was Morris Bishop, who I think wrote as good light verse as anybody ever has in America. The master of the spontaneous limerick, Morris is a major scholar in romance literature, a historian. A great man of letters. A wonderful Edwardian person with a white mustache and portly in the Edwardian fashion.
And he was on one side of me. On the other side was Vladimir Nabokov writing what later turned out to be Lolita. At the end of the hall, clicking away at the old typewriters that went clickety-clack, was David Daiches, who, with Morris Bishop, was the best after-dinner speaker I've ever heard. Great wit, a scholar who wrote learnedly books about everything ranging from Scotch whisky to the English translations of the Hebrew Bible and 30 volumes in between. And he'd be clacking away all day at his typewriter.
At the other end of the hall in a corresponsive clacking was Robert M. Adams, who also wrote as fast as he could talk, and everything he said went into print. And here was me in the middle, silent, feeling very guilty because I wasn't writing anything. And then Goldwin Smith was just full of very interesting characters and you recognize this wonderful era only in looking back. At the time, you take it for granted, of course.
SPEAKER 1: Among-- you had philosophers down the corridor. Max Black and Norman Malcolm, and Wittgenstein--
MH ABRAMS: Yes. Absolutely first-rate philosophy department--
SPEAKER 1: Wittgenstein came as well?
MH ABRAMS: --with Max Black, one of the wittiest and most general-- well, wrote widely, a very distinguished philosopher. But he was a member of a department of people who were his equals in their various ways-- a major philosophy department, which was my good fortune, because it's the department with which, outside of my own field of English I'd feel most akin to.
SPEAKER 1: I shouldn't-- I don't want to monopolize the conversation. My colleagues here should feel free to deviate from the Cornell scenarios and ask you about other things. And I will jump back in with Cornell questions later.
SPEAKER 2: Well, if I could just continue the Cornell story for a little bit, because there's a section of Cornell history that's always fascinated me, not having been here at the time. But you had to move from a milieu in which you had Nabokov and Robert Martin Adams and Morris Bishop and Max Black as your peers to a different era in the 1970s, when the energies of theory seemed to converge on Cornell for a while through the journal Diacritics and through some very powerful faculty appointments.
You had to contend in a very direct and personal way with the challenge offered to literary study by deconstruction and other modes of thought. Would you tell me about that era, and what kind of changes it produced in the atmosphere here?
MH ABRAMS: Well, I suppose I have gathered over the years the reputation of being something of a curmudgeon who's had negative things to say about every major new movement and criticism--
But I didn't feel that way at all. I'm very much in favor of novelty and innovation in literary studies. And the pattern innovation has taken is repetitive. You see it all the time. There's a special interest developed in a neglected concept or field or set of concepts. It is taken over and made into the key concept of all literary studies and claims are made for it. This has to be the foundation of all literary studies, or-- Northrop Frye's archetypal theory, he claimed this was the scientific basis on which all literary theories must be based and so on.
And I've always had a skeptical turn about those things. And so I've always said, but wait a minute, and offered some objections. But in every case, what guided me, I think, was the thing I learned from Coleridge. And that is that you don't simply oppose something which has aspects that you don't approve of theoretically, you ask what it is that made it plausible to people at least as intelligent and learned as you are, and what it is that may endure after the super claims for it as a master theory have gone by. And I've always realized that aspect of these things.
So when I stood up against deconstruction-- we have here one of the most distinguished representatives of deconstruction in his time. But I stood up against it. It wasn't that I thought it was a bad thing to happen in literary studies, it meant that literary studies were alive, that things were happening that were going-- innovations were occurring. But let's be careful not to make it a master theory rather than a speculative instrument, to use a phrase of Coleridge's-- a term of Coleridge's.
Anyway, I'm glad all these things happened. I'm glad I asked questions about them. And all of them have gone-- their apex have passed, but they've all left important things behind them because they had important things to say.
SPEAKER 2: Derrida gave a very influential and widely noticed lecture called "The University in the Eyes of its Pupils," about Cornell. What was the subtitle of that, Johnathan, do you remember?
SPEAKER 1: Reason in the--
SPEAKER 2: All right.
SPEAKER 1: Yeah. Sorry.
SPEAKER 2: That moment has passed, I guess.
SPEAKER 1: "University in the Eye"-- it has a subtitle beyond "University in the Eyes of its Pupils"?
SPEAKER 2: Now, did you know Derrida? What did you make of him personally?
MH ABRAMS: Oh, not nearly as well as some of my friends here. But I only talked to him a half dozen times, and then not very profoundly. He was a nice man. He was a genial, urbane, very cosmopolitan person. And I enjoyed meeting him very much. And he knew that I didn't thoroughly approve of everything he claimed. And he was a little guarded in speaking to me, but we were always on friendly, good terms, and I liked him as a person.
SPEAKER 2: I'll ask one more question that directly concerns me before giving the floor to Don. Not many people know of you-- since you've been so adroit at avoiding administration-- not many people know of you as a great institution builder. But you are one of the three people who founded-- is acknowledged to be the founders of the National Humanities Center, which remains the only International Institute for Advanced Study devoted to the humanities. It's a magnificent accomplishment. Could you tell people how the idea for that came about?
MH ABRAMS: It was a copycat thing. [CHUCKLES] There was established at Palo Alto the Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, and they brought scholars in from various places to work together, or pursue their own work and then confer together and socialize together. And they always had-- for window dressing, they always had a couple of humanists invited. I used to call us lace-curtain behaviorists.
I was fortunate enough to be one of these lace-curtain behaviorists at the same time that a friend of mine-- oh, the philosopher, what's his name?
SPEAKER 1: Morton Bloomfield?
SPEAKER 2: Morton Bloomfield? Gregory Vlastos?
MH ABRAMS: Well, Morton Bloomfield was there in--
SPEAKER 2: Gregory Vlastos?
SPEAKER 1: --literary studies, and Vlastos-- Gregory Vlastos. The three of us were there together. And we started to talk and said, why should the behaviorists have this sort of thing and not the humanists? But like other academic conversation, it died out, until one day, I got a phone call from Morton Bloomfield of Harvard, and said he and Gregory had been talking and they wanted to pursue this possibility. Why don't we have a humanities center equivalent to the behavioral science center?
And I jumped at the notion then, and the three of us soon began immediately to add other names to the committee. And to our own total astonishment, it took off. It was founded. Because most academic ideas live nine months and then die-- the reverse of human genetics. This is going stronger than ever under your great leadership.
SPEAKER 3: Jeffrey, picking up on that, I was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study many years after visiting this lace-curtain behavioral scientists. I wasn't even a lace curtain. I think it was an act of revenge by some Norton authors who wanted me out of their hair, parked out there in Palo Alto. But a very interesting thing has developed. It's true that the National Humanities Center was modeled after the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences.
But when, I think seven, eight years ago, when CASBS decided to have a fundraising campaign, they turned to the Fellows who were-- many of them were economists, Nobel-winning economists, political scientists, and others-- almost all who enjoyed far more income than the lace-curtain types that Mike and Maynard Mack and others represented. And they discovered a fascinating thing-- that these well-heeled social scientists, economists and all, were the most meager contributors. And those who were philosophers, and professors of literature, and so on, were the most generous. Those who had the least to give, gave the most.
And so, Jeff, you're a lucky man to be head of that flourishing institution. I'd like to ask, Mike, when you signed on to become general editor of this anthology, did you realize you were getting a life sentence? And that the first edition would be merely the precursor to others? What did you do when you were faced with the prospect of a second, third, fourth, and so on?
MH ABRAMS: I took it one at a time and didn't worry about the next one. No. When I undertook the job, I thought it would be the work of a year. I knew it would be difficult with an able set of a collaborative editors. I thought we'd work on it a year and that would be it, and it would have a lifetime of perhaps five or six years, and that would be it. Well, it took us four or five or six years to accomplish. And it turned out to be-- well, I suppose it's going to live forever. I mean, it shows no signs of weakening.
If I'd known that I was signing myself up for a lifetime of repeated work on new editions, I would have thought twice about it and said yes.
SPEAKER 3: But there was also the matter of-- I've mentioned the physical format of the book. And Mike, you kept on saying, now, we should put whole works in wherever possible. But some of those whole works-- for example, I think Dickens' Hard Times came up-- would have required a massive change in the format. And so how did you get around this matter of whole works as opposed to selections of works?
MH ABRAMS: Well, the hard work of compromise-- painful compromises constantly-- is it better to do this or that? More short works or less short works? Anyway, we answered those questions as well as we could and I finally thought of this solace for people who have to make these decisions. In the long run, it doesn't really matter because they're both good. How can you go wrong when these are all masterpieces?
So the thing-- we learned not to-- to take this a little more lightly than we had at first and not to agonize too long over these decisions, knowing that you couldn't go wrong.
SPEAKER 3: Well, I should remark that the-- having recently read the prefaces that you wrote for each edition, that they are a parade in a way of expositions about the changing, as well as the enduring, qualities of teaching the English literature survey. And you might just mention some of the changes that were wrought by changes in the teaching of the course that were paramount in your thinking.
MH ABRAMS: Well, I think it was in the second edition that we introduced the phrase right at the beginning that we've used I think ever since. A living culture is always on the move. Yeah. And that's the fact of it. If it ceases to change, it's dead or is dying. So you have to welcome change. On the other hand, you can't welcome it without question.
There'd be no point in a new edition if you didn't incorporate changes-- changes not only in ways of dealing with literature, but in the selection of materials students are most interested in reading and teachers most interested in teaching. And we quickly got onto the notion of solving the problem by letting users of the anthology tell us what they've wanted that we didn't have. Long questionnaires with great detail that we paid-- some people refused to believe that this was anything else but a facade, a show thing.
But we always began every new edition by saying, what is the consensus here on this issue by all these people? And while the decision, the final decision was always the editor's, that was the first thing we looked to, which meant that the anthology on the whole stayed with people with the changes, with the altering generations. But let's talk about something else.
SPEAKER 1: Can I bring you back to Cornell for a minute? I'd like to ask you about 1968, a very tumultuous time in Cornell's history, when I'm sure a time very-- not at all to your liking. You've managed to [INAUDIBLE] remain on good terms with everyone in general, and people who adopt different critical views. But that was a moment when faculty were quite divided about what should be done.
Your pupil, Harold Bloom, who was here that year, turned against Cornell because of his opposition to the steps taken by the president and faculty. Can you say a word about that moment in '68 and how you lived that time at Cornell?
MH ABRAMS: It was a terrible time. It was a terrible time. I went to bed each night feeling sick over what was going on, both nationally, internationally, and specifically at Cornell. Friends of a lifetime, colleagues of a lifetime cursing each other out in the parking lots. I mean, this is what went on all the time. Having to sit fire watch in Goldwin Smith against the real threat of fire bombing of Goldwin Smith by disaffected individuals, who were not always just students. You never knew which of the faculty would suddenly turn out to be a firebrand, literally.
But, well, they're organized itself, almost without prior reflection. A group of people I used to meet-- we had a house on Highland Road with a big porch that went around two sides of it. And we began to meet every afternoon on that porch. There'd be 20 or 30 people of changing constitution. Some people came every day. Hans [INAUDIBLE] came on almost every day.
And the point of the committee was to hold things together, not to take sides or to avoid taking all but the absolutely essential sides, the side of survival, survival of honor and decency. But try to be as central attractive a group that we hoped would carry the ship, the economic ship through these terrible storms and have it survive. And it did. It did, though it looked for a while as though it might not, to be truthful about it.
SPEAKER 1: We had thought, if you're willing to go on for a few more minutes, that we might invite the audience to-- members of the audience to ask some questions, if you're willing to carry on for a little while, for a few more minutes?
MH ABRAMS: Sure.
SPEAKER 1: Yes. If people have questions they would like to put to Mike, please stand up and say your question loudly. We will repeat it into the microphone so it can be recorded, but you need to speak up so that at least we'll understand the question. Are there any-- yes, Tim, Tim Murray.
AUDIENCE: Mike, I was wondering if you would say a little bit about the founding of the Society for the Humanities, which has ended up being a tremendously important institution at Cornell, and we're indebted to you for participating. Could you just say a little bit about how that came about and who was involved?
SPEAKER 1: I will repeat it for the microphone. The question was, could Mike say something about the founding of the Society for the Humanities here at Cornell, where he played an important role.
MH ABRAMS: Well, I can tell you exactly how it began. Cornell was celebrating its centennial. And Max Black and somebody else, who I've forgotten who it was, and I were appointed a central committee to plan events to commemorate this great thing. And one of the-- I think it was Max Black who first proposed the notion of establishing, at that time, what would be a permanent center for the humanities, be part of the celebration, and would go on from then on.
And indeed, the president and the provost-- Dale Corson at that time-- approved of this, thought it was a good idea. We actually found out-- it was, again, one of these academic ideas that usually languishes after a few months, but this one took off and is going strong. And the National Humanities Center was-- we had the local one going before the National Humanities Center was conceived and inaugurated.
SPEAKER 1: Another question from the audience? Yes.
AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm so struck by your description of Eliot and Yeats sending poems to IA Richards for comment. And maybe this is too big a question, or too long, but I doubt that many contemporary poets today would send poems to, like, [INAUDIBLE] for comment, or that kind of reciprocal relationship that you describe of, between the writing poems and then writing about poems. And how about you describe what has happened from then, say, to now?
SPEAKER 1: I'll just briefly repeat the question. She was very struck by your reference to IA Richards receiving poems from Eliot and Yeats and other poets, and for not just receiving them, but being asked to comment on a sort of relationship that does not seem to obtain today between poets and critics or theorists. And wondered whether you have any comment on what happened and how we evolved out of the sort of structure and situation that obtained then.
MH ABRAMS: I don't think the changes have been all that great. IA Richards occupied a very special position in his time. But I can't think of a single literary person who is a dominant critical figure in a way that's-- it's not historically oriented, not a scholarly kind of thing, dealing with contemporary writers that has his position. And he had some very close friends, of whom TS Eliot was one. And in the mode of friendship and courtesy and requests for criticism, they would send him their works. But I don't think this went on very generally any more than it does now.
SPEAKER 1: Yes. You had a question. Yes.
AUDIENCE: One of my great joys in coming to Goldwin Smith every day is admiring the beautiful mosaic that you and your wife donated to Goldwin Smith. And I just wondered if you could just briefly mention where you found it and how it came to reside here.
SPEAKER 1: Yes. In the hallway of Goldwin Smith, there is the mosaic that you and Ruth gave to Cornell, which is one of the ornaments of this building. Would you say something about how you found it, how you came to acquire it and give it to Goldwin Smith?
MH ABRAMS: Yeah. I hope you all know about that mosaic that's on the--
SPEAKER 1: Right outside.
MH ABRAMS: Right outside here in the hall. Do have a look at it, if you haven't seen it. It's a wonderful lioness leaping upon a deer, 4th or 5th century AD, late Roman. How I got interested in this-- it's all an offshoot of my teaching. I had a student, a graduate student, who was an Iraqi by birth, who became a naturalized American citizen and a professor at the University of Nevada, of Reno, eventually. But he became a collector and he got me interested in collecting not only mosaics, but any old thing-- antiquities of all sorts.
He had a very Catholic taste, and so did I, and so we found that good things of any age went together with good things of any other age. You didn't have to homogenize your collection at all. And mosaics were one of the things he found from a dealer. He found a dealer in Beirut, Lebanon. Looking back, it must have been illegal. He'd somehow acquired--
He somehow acquired these mosaics from the 4th and 5th centuries, late Roman villas and churches, especially churches, in the Antioch area, not terribly far from Beirut. And he had sold these. When my student, Hussein [? Hadavi, ?] his name was, showed me some of these things in his house, I said, isn't this wonderful? He said, you want some? Here's some photographs. You can order some. He showed me the photographs and it was from the photos that I ordered a number, including my favorite, which is in the hall here.
But he collected, as did I, all sorts of other things. Anything that you could collect without being rich, we collected, in the way of cultural artifacts and art.
SPEAKER 1: Yes. Right there in the back?
AUDIENCE: Thank you, Mike. In another field, I served under your very aplomb chairmanship when you chaired the alumni committee to search for a new athletic director. And dealing with athletics and alumni in the same room for the same goal, and close to your heart was football. I had graduated in '77. We had the dubious distinction of being the first class never to see a winning football team. Knowing your record in home games, can you talk about your relishing that role in sending us on a new course in the physical culture that Andrew Dickson White said was so important to maintain the mental culture?
SPEAKER 1: The question-- I won't repeat the whole question. This gentleman is from the class of 1977, which was the first class not to have a winning football-- to experience a winning football team. He served with you on a committee to find a new athletic director.
MH ABRAMS: Oh, that's right.
SPEAKER 1: And could you say something about your goals in attempting to encourage Cornell athletics and the direction you wanted-- would be interested in setting for Cornell athletics?
MH ABRAMS: The goals were simple-- to win more games.
I love athletics. I'm a failed athlete myself. It's all compensatory, obviously. And I love the athletics, win or lose, but I'd rather win than lose. And yeah, I found myself, without a conscious decision on my part, becoming number one fan here. Well, I love games. I love to watch these things go on and I'd like to play them better myself, but next to that, the best thing is to see people who play them very well do it for you. And I'm much less interested in outside athletics in professional sports, professional football. I like it local and I like it amateur. And I like to know some of the people who are playing on the team.
SPEAKER 1: Well, since Mike has a strenuous day tomorrow afternoon, I think we should thank him for his patience with our questions and for his contribution to [INAUDIBLE]. Thank you very much.
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In celebration of his 100th birthday, Professor M.H. Abrams reflected on his career and the many developments he has witnessed in studies. Professor Abrams was joined by Jonathan Culler, Geoffrey Harpham, and Donald Lamm at the Cornell University event on July 21, 2012.