A. Walton Litz

A. Walton Litz, the Holmes Professor of Belles Lettres, Emeritus, and professor of English, emeritus, passed away June 4, 2014.

3 thoughts on “A. Walton Litz

  1. Lee Van Valkenburgh

    Around the turn of the year 1969 Walt Litz, the primary reader on my hypothetical dissertation, said in his genial, conversational voice, “I’d really like to see a chapter in about two weeks. Just write it, and let’s see what we have.” He had watched patiently as I rummaged about in Firestone Library for six months or so, trying and failing to narrow the topic to a manageable size. But he knew when it was time to step in and push me forward. He did it in such a gentlemanly fashion, as was his wont, that I emerged from McCosh feeling encouraged rather than alarmed, as if he were my colleague and not just my mentor.

    So I remember Walt for his thoughtfulness, his perceptiveness and his encouragement, as well as for his scholarship and critical insight, and I am saddened to learn of his passing.

  2. Victory Van Dyck Chase *77

    Walt was the best – always engaged, always supportive, always trying to help you make your professional hopes come true. He was smart, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and funny. Plus he liked my work on Pound, so how could I not like him back? Whatever his demons, Walt was always on the side of the angels. Rest in peace, Professor Litz. (cue meaningful quote from TS Eliot…)

  3. Daniel

    I never actually studied with Walt Litz, but of course I enjoyed the Joyce volume he edited and introduced with Scholes; I saw him around the Bread Loaf Mountain campus of the School of English when I was a student there, and of course, his reputation as a scholar was formidable. A few years after completing my MA in English at Middlebury College I found myself working for Princeton University, and in the hall near the English Department there I introduced myself, to which he graciously replied, “Congratulations on your graduation from Bread Loaf.” His words struck exactly the right note.
    Dan ’92

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