Thursday, September 24, 2009

Frank Pajares

For years, Frank Pajares of Emory University maintained the best unofficial William James site on the web. And so it comes as a huge sadness to learn, belatedly, that Professor Pajares passed away earlier this year. I never met him in person, though he was kind enough to post news of my James book's publication a few years ago. His whimsical personality was evident. Like me, he loved Calvin and Hobbes. Like me, he would have appreciated someone observing in connection with his own passing what James observed of Emerson's:

The pathos of death is this, that when the days of one's life are ended, those days that were so crowded with business and felt so heavy in their passing, what remains of one in memory should usually be so slight a thing. The phantom of an attitude, the echo of a certain mode of thought, a few pages of print, some invention, or some victory we gained in a brief critical hour, are all that can survive the best of us. It is as if the whole of a man's significance had now shrunk...into a mere musical note or phrase suggestive of his singularity — happy are those whose singularity gives a note so clear as to be victorious over the inevitable pity of such a diminution and abridgement.

Good-bye, Professor. Thank you.

1 comment:

mary said...

your will be able to hear the "note" that frank left loud and clear on the facebook page dedicated to him. this page is about to be "archived" so make sure to read it before it disappears from sight. mary emerson-smith

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