So argues Thomas Benton in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
I suspect I'll have some thoughts on this in about a month and a half's time -- but I do wonder if at this point there's any prospective Ph.D. in the world who hasn't
heard that they will supposedly have to give up all the things they like about their chosen discipline to succeed as a professor. It's sort of old news.
For me, it's strange and wonderful, after receiving tenure, to be able to rediscover my undergraduate self, to nurture in my students the motives that drew me to graduate school in the first place.
The problem is you can't get to where I am now without going through a decade or more of immersion in a highly politicized and anti-literary academic culture. You have to spend so many years conforming that, by the time freedom presents itself, you don't know why you became an English major in the first place. You might even have contempt for your seemingly naïve students, who represent the self that you had to repress in order to be a professional.