Sunday, June 08, 2008

Paul Ward English, RIP

Well. For once in her life, Pretty Lady's Googling habits have failed her.

For despite the fact that, once every few years, she Googles everyone she can ever remember meeting, somehow she forgot to Google dear Dr. English. And she finds, to her sadness and shame, that the good Dr. passed away in Anno Domini 2000. Gracious, and woe.

Dr. English's many and distinguished accomplishments are too well-known to require repetition or comment. His effect on Pretty Lady's life, however, has never been told; for, during the Shakespeare at Oxford trip during the summer of 1987, or perhaps in the months afterward, she mentioned to this erstwhile mentor her intention of joining the Foreign Service. Dr. English remarked, "It's the artists who are remembered far beyond their own generation, not the politicians or the diplomats."

Dr. English often magnified his psychic perceptions far beyond reality, but sometimes he got it right. Thank you, sir, and may you continue your travels through all eternity.




4 comments:

jSinSaTx said...

Hmm not in any way to diminish the impact this gentlemen had on your life, but do you think his statement is true? In some cultures we obviously seem to strictly have the creations of craftsmen (though not every pot was art)... but in many societies it is the kings and warriors who are remembered... the leaders (not certain if all of them would be viewed as politicians in our sense of the word)... Which names do you think rings out from Roman history the most for example... Augustus, Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Cicero, Virgil... frankly, try to find the name of many of the artists from that period at all... and their subjects? The politicians, leaders, warriors who funded them... not a knock on them... just seems to fly into the face of the comment.

Pretty Lady said...

Whether it is true or not is beside the point. What I understood even then, and after 20 years I see no reason to change my opinion, was that he had perceived that I desperately wanted and needed to become an artist, but was holding back out of fear that this was not an acceptable or worthy goal. It was his way of telling me, "It's okay to be yourself."

Plus, we may know the names of the politicians and warriors, but we look at the statues and mosaics and buildings the artists left behind, and are moved by them.

jSinSaTx said...

I guess the only point of the question was to ascertain whether you thought it was a true statement... like I said had nothing to do with him at all... or at least my question did not... but from the second part it seems is your answer...

Anonymous said...

I, too, was a fan/follower of Dr. English some years ago. I wasn't a geography or Middle Eastern studies major at UT (I chose Anthropology), but I took a few classes of his and enjoyed every moment of them. He truly made me excited about learning and gave me some wonderful advice that I cherish to this day. May he rest in peace....