When S. P. ‘Pat’ Rosenbaum died in the spring of 2012 after a short illness, he left uncompleted his book on the Memoir Club. Some months earlier, I spoke to him about his plans and what he hoped to achieve, offering the same easy encouragement I had numerous times before. I was sure he would succeed, I said, even though what he proposed seemed nearly impossible. I had reason for optimism. He had done this before when composing each of his books on Bloomsbury. Pat was not just an accomplished literary historian, but a fine philosopher and literary critic. The intellectual quality I admired most in him, aside from his searing honesty, was his ability to remember. He could speak with authority on even the most disparate details of twentieth-century literature and history, marshalling the elements of many disciplines to illuminate not just a manuscript but an age. His loss was deeply felt, most especially by his family. Once the shock of Pat’s death began to ebb into grief, another loss seemed likely. The Memoir Club book, unfinished and in pieces, was surely gone as well. In this, happily, I was wrong.
KeywordsLiterary Critic Club Member Intellectual Quality Original Member Contrasting Subject
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