If you become a teacher you will yearn for a teacher of your own. Long before death stole Irving from us this irony of academia hit me when, through his open classroom door, I caught snatches of Professor Howe’s brilliant lectures on Dickens or Twain. Irving’s occasional public lectures also left me with a craving for more of his tough-minded insights on politics and the arts. Why then, over coffee in the cafeteria of the City University Graduate Center, would he persist in asking me for my opinions? Did he not know that what I most wanted were more of his ideas and his opinions? And often his most precious lessons came indirectly, from the books by others whom he most deeply admired.