On Beauty

Daniel Mendelsohn: I never really entertained the idea until I was 3/4 way through grad school that I would be a working writer. But I never saw why being a scholar should or would restrict you. I was interested in all kinds of things. Not least, to the great embarrassment of many of my colleagues, design—I was very interested in design. And so I used to get W and Vogue and Architectural Digest and they would say, ‘Oh how could you waste your time with that?” But it’s beauty. Beauty is beauty. It’s a chorus by Aeschylus and it’s a Saarinen Womb Chair or a Dorothy Thorpe candelabrum.I never felt, even when I was training myself for academia, that there was this high/low divide. And I’m against this notion—ironically—because of my training in the classics.

Daniel Mendelsohn in Book Forum. (Thanks Casey!) 

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