I am sorry to hear of Hal's passing, and will miss his lively postings to
the Forum, of which there must be hundreds dating back to the 1990s. He was
always willing to engage in any topic. (One early posting concerned
"Imperialism and Baseball"!) Hal wrote straightforwardly and was always
generous in praising others' work, and also contributed several book
I am also a fan of Hal's edition of Twichell letters (2017, with co-eds.
Steve Courtney and Peter Messent). When I had learned from Peter at the
2016 Quarry Farm Symposium that the edition was almost complete, it struck
me how long overdue such a collection was, given that similar editions of
SLC's correspondence with his two other main friends, WDH and HHR, had been
published in the 1960s.
Apparently Hal transcribed all the letters he could find by Twichell,
beginning around 2000, and then set them aside for more than a decade (as
Hal said, "much longer than Huck Finn"), until he was joined by Steve and
Peter to complete the job.
About this, Hal wrote to me privately in 2018, in language that now seems
"So the project, all told, took a full 16-17 years to complete. It's just
a helluva lot of work and frankly, I have no intention of attempting
another edition like this, ever: at least in this life. On the other hand,
it is gratifying to know there are younger scholars who will be reading,
enjoying, and citing this collection long after the 3 of us are across the
river, as they say."
So I have to thank Hal again for joining with Steve and Peter to complete
this project, which is indeed a kind of work of a lifetime that will remain
valuable for many years (in addition to his many other works which I am
sadly less familiar with).
Thank you, Hal!