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Encountering Lionel Trilling
Ben Lipson, Alum
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1951

When I entered the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, then known as the Faculty of Philosophy, I registered in Lionel Trilling's course in American Literature. And I came to read The Liberal Imagination, which was published in 1950. The possibilities for the life of the mind opened up to me in a way I could not have anticipated. Reading it and everything else of Professor Trilling's work changed not merely the way I approached literature but the connections between literature and politics, as he defined it. That influence is firmly fixed in me to this day.

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