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but that was an hilarious beginning of our personal relationship.
In 1940 another funny thing happened. We decided to do
a two-volume Aristotle for our Lifetime Library, and...
I think you may have told me about this.
Did I tell you about Richard McKeon? I don't think that
I did. No, I think that I told you about Moses Hadas and our
Modern Library Tacitus. This time we were turning our attention
to Aristotle. Whenever we were going to do a classic like that
we would investigate and get a consensus from people on who
would be the best man to edit it. In this case, there wasn't
much doubt. Professor Richard McKeon at the University of
Chicago was our man because he was the recognized Aristotle
I wrote a very dignified letter of Prof. McKeon at the
University of Chicago and got back a letter full of insults
and whatnot. It seems that we had sat next to each other at
Columbia for several years in different classes. I couldn't
believe that this was the Dick McKeon that I had caroused
The same thing happened some years later. A Trappist
monk named Thomas Merton became quite famous with a book called
The Seven Story Mountain. I guess it was the first time that
a Trappist monk became a best-seller, I needed an introduction
for some book or other (I've forgotten what it was) but I
thought that he'd be perfect for the job.
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