‘Neath the Eaves

Not a starving French artist huddled against the cold in his garret apartment underneath the eaves, but a low-budget French major bursary student, toiling away at his part-time job as “Business Manager (sic)” of Yale French Studies, that well-respected and poorly known publication of the Yale French Department, whose main offices were on the top floor of William L. Harkness Hall.  Mine was a small office, perhaps four paces square, with a sloping ceiling that bracketed the alcove—just big enough for an old wooden desk—and a leaded window that overlooked the roof of Sprague Hall and the School of Music.  Shelves on either side carried older editions of YFS; others were kept in dusty, unopened boxes on the floor, waiting to be wrapped and shipped to libraries, teachers, and students around the world who sought to reinforce their bibliographies, impress their colleagues, or perhaps even learn something.  I held that position for three years, spending an average of 8 hours a week there, IIRC.  It’s a destination of pilgrimage during every quinquennial Reunion.

Steven Wagenseil