When some years ago I was the editor of an intellectual quarterly, I had in the hopper an essay by my friend Edward Shils on Karl Mannheim that, owing to its length, I could not run, as I had hoped to do, in what was to be our next issue. I called Edward to tell him that I would have to hold back the essay for the following issue. He was then in his eighties and had cancer of the liver. “My dear Joseph,” he said, “not to worry. When I die, which may be soon, and should I happen to go to heaven, which I strongly doubt, I shall be so happy there that what will it possibly matter to me that I have had another essay in The American Scholar? If, on the other hand, as seems more likely, I go to hell, such will be my misery that having had my essay in your magazine also won’t help. And if, as just now seems to me most likely of all, neither heaven nor hell but oblivion awaits, being in your magazine won’t matter a great deal in...


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