When the billboard of romantic fantasy falls to pieces

Here’s my essay, “Dead and Gone,” about an affair I did not have with my Wellesley College history professor: link. Although the central anecdote is about a college moment, the idea that underpins the essay is the cost of cautiousness.

To the left is the photograph of him that was printed with his 1999 obituary. To libel the dead is, I understand, impossible. Still, I have not revealed his name. (Google, you can’t find him here.)

Note: A few of you may have read an earlier version of this. Alas, this new version has been rejected by three journals, and so I have published it, for good.

3 thoughts on “When the billboard of romantic fantasy falls to pieces

  1. Thanks, R. And I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    I’m starting to worry, though, that restraint doesn’t make for a good story. Maybe I need to try getting a speeding ticket or dancing on a table to have some editor-worthy material.

  2. You’re right: in these days of the tell-all memoir, there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for understatement. Can you make up some sordid details to fit in there–a drug addiction, perhaps, or a brief stint as a Sandanista?

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