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Peter Messent <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 1 Jan 2011 22:02:38 +0000
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I had an e-mail from Lou on the 20th in which he was his normal witty, humane and politically astute self. We'd been talking about politics and he ended with the words 'From my experience I wish congestive heart failure for the IMF and the World Bank.' Good on you, Lou! In an earlier e-mail he'd made it clear he was very ill . He wrote that 'my electronic life lapsed while  I was being diagnosed for congestive heart failure and undergoing some measures.  (To rework  the farmer's old saw, they didn't help as much as I expected, but as  a veteran patient by now, I didn't expect that they would.) My case is evidently quite typical.  That means I am especially beset by shortness of breath, edema, and fatigue.  But I am getting back to what really matters. ' He then gave me (excellent) feedback on an essay I'd written, and wrote too about Dos Passos's USA which we'd been discussing together. Oddly our relationship took place almost entirely by e-mail but I at least felt we'd become close and firm firends. But he was loathe to talk about himself: Very willing, rather, to talk about politics, Twain, the world, what he was reading. I am devastated to hear of his death, I don't think I've ever known a more generous, wise and witty man. And one who was the finest of scholars. He'll be enormouslty missed. PeteThis message and any attachment are intended solely for the addressee and may contain confidential information. If you have received this message in error, please send it back to me, and immediately delete it.   Please do not use, copy or disclose the information contained in this message or in any attachment.  Any views or opinions expressed by the author of this email do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nottingham.

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