Q -- Where were you born?
A -- Pittsburgh, PA.
Q -- What teachers had the greatest influence on you?
A -- Hayden White and Norman O. Brown -- in graduate school at Rochester. At Shady Side Academy, Walter Jones (who made ancient history a lot of fun) and William Keller (who attacked my style and kept a flatulent boxer named Edmund Burke in his classroom). From Harvard I remember William Langer (the great old man --terrifying).
Q -- With whom do you share a birthday?
A -- Yogi Berra, Florence Nightingale, Gabriel Fauré.
Q -- How did you get into an English Department?
A -- It's a long story. The next question may help explain it.
Q -- What books do you revere?
A -- My personal canon -- ten books that have shaped my professional life.
Erich Auerbach, Mimesis.
Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism.
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
Roland Barthes, S/Z.
Hayden White, Metahistory.
Jonathan Culler, Structuralist Poetics
Erich Heller, The Artist's Journey Into the Interior
Walter Kaufmann, Discovering the Mind, v.I.
Norman O. Brown, Love's Body.
F. R. Ankersmit, Narrative Logic