Nonfiction | December 01, 1996

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It’s late afternoon on a hot Friday in early June, and I’m sitting in a plaza in a close-in suburb of Washington, D.C.  I’m working, without much energy, on a typical summer project for an English profesor:  a study of the funeral elegies of Puritan New England.  I always write my scholarship in public places like this.  Writing is lonely work, even when your subject isn’t seventeenth-century funerary poems, and it’s a comfort to look up and see people going about their business.

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