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Thx! Following up:

Our Mentors May be Monsters

30 Rock's Tracy, to Kenneth: I just wanted u 2 know that I’ve loved being your mentor.And it’s been an honor having u be my manatee

But in the academy we may not get Tracy Jordan as advisor. It could be Sedlmayr, Gildersleeve 1/
Berve, Joseph Vogt (how many of our mentors contributed to his gargantuan festschrift before Konigs provided details of his activities 1933-45 (not to mention his suspiciously instant denazification postwar, and the unavailability of his docs), or many others; or Irmscher who 2/
seems to have worked for the Stasi in EBerlin? Heidegger? Carl Schmitt?

One bitter truth is that some of these people were very very good at what they did. What stands out -- what we often must concede -- is their technical acumen. That was true in Gildersleeve's case, 3/
Sedlmayr's, and Berve's. Finley, Schapiro and others saw that, while emphasizing these men's maimed morality: but utilized their work when it proved valuable.

I'd be a happier manatee if mentors weren't monsters. But they sometimes are, which presents 4/
the moral dilemma: whom to use? In my case, adopting the claims of some second-rater who doesn't know Greek over Gildersleeve, would amount to professional betrayal: I'd be conveying misinformation. What disclaimer to attach (e.g. "Of course I don't join 5/
Gildersleeve in supporting slavery" every time I cite him on a Greek particle?) will hinge on the situation.

Sometimes these are hard choices, but we'll all confront them.

I'm not here criticizing or mentioning any colleague: these are just my reflections. 6/
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