diary / by Edward Mullany


In college I took a course with an English professor who, among the faculty in his department, was regarded as an expert on Shakespeare, whose plays he’d have us read, and, each meeting, would lecture about with passion and insight, and a breadth of knowledge that was remarkable for how far it could digress from the subject without seeming to lose its relevance, although, what I most remember now, having obtained my degree and moved to a city and found employment in a career that seems to me about as removed from the humanities as one can get, work-wise, without delivering one’s self entirely from the order of social interactions…yes, what I most remember now are not the plays, or what we learned from them, though we might have learned a lot, but a moment of levity toward the end of the semester, when this professor told us, while leaning against his desk, pulling at his beard, and talking more casually than he tended to, that he didn’t, in fact, enjoy teaching Shakespeare, because doing so reminded him of how vast was the gulf that separated him, in terms of achievement, from the bard himself.