At a party last night, Upper West Side-y gathering. Great fun, nice people, lots of interesting folks to talk to. But one of those scenes where once you find out what someone does you can't help but think that you know a good deal about who he or she is. The architect who really turned out to be very much the kind of person who is an architect. A photographer with, in other ways too, a very good eye. A guy who, when he gives you his email address, you realize has his own domain name ([his-last-name].org) who turns out of course to be a technology entrepreneur. And I the Ivy League professor? The others, this morning upon arising, if they think of me at all, will think, That guy surely was the Ivy League professor he told us he was.
In part this is obvious, this is tautology. A photographer is, after all, a photographer. And is likely to seem so generally.
No sooner do I decide that there is nothing profound about any of this, I happen to re-read Lydia Davis's fabulous prose-poem or short-short short story titled "A Position at the University." It was published in a book of such pieces, called Almost No Memory in 1997. The text is below, and the recording of Davis herself reading the piece is in PennSound.