30 August 2020

The Importance of Nativity

"Dr [X] looked out of the window. 'There is my dullest pupil just ringing the bell, ' he said. 'I must go to the study, and listen to an essay on Swift beginning 'Swift was born.'"

Which fictional don (i.e. 'Dr X') said this?


Oliver Nicholson said...

Dr. Dimble of Bracton College, Edgestow

Jhayes said...

Dr. Dimble iin C. S. Lewis, "That Hideous Strength"

Stephen Barber said...

I am pretty sure this is by C. S. Lewis, possibly about one of the fictional dons in That Hideous Strength.

Sue Sims said...

Oo, please sir me sir I know!!!

Dr Dimble, from Lewis's That Hideous Strength, page 35 (1st edition). But Dr D is clearly channelling Lewis. I used to quote this sentence to my A-Level groups to try and discourage that type of essay.

Sprouting Thomas said...

This was in "That Hideous Strength", wasn't it? The old professor at the other, smaller college - oh, what was his name, now?

The Dimbles! Is that it?

Grant Milburn said...

Me: What would Wikipedia do?

Wikipedia: Jonathan Swift was born on 30 November 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. He was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift (1640–1667) and his wife Abigail Erick (or Herrick) of Frisby on the Wreake. (Me: Frisby on the Wreake is a wonderful name for a village.)

Of course, the Wikipedia article does not start like that. It begins:

Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, hence his common sobriquet, "Dean Swift".

And these days teachers have to make sure students have not simply copied and pasted from Wikipedia as I just did.