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Some Friday Wisdom from C. Clifton Black

October 18, 2013

Today, while reading the afterword in the 2nd edition of Clifton Black’s magisterial book, The Disciples according to Mark, I came across this gem:

It is a sadly ludicrous truism that doctoral dissertations in the humanities are written for an audience of one (the student’s director), at most three to five (a committee). If the dissertation be approved, never again should an author with scholarly aspirations write for so few. Should Fortune smile and one’s dissertation be accepted for publication, the potential readership is enlarged, though the royalties thereafter are dismal reminders that a closet of regular dimensions would accomodate that audience (pp. 302-3).

I find it incredibly ironic (and soberingly confirming) that I would read this little nugget on the very same day I received the first royalty check from my most recent book. Nevertheless, I remain very thankful that I get to while away the days doing something I love and care about this much.

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