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1925 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
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November 17, 2018

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Preview Entry
November 17, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
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November 4, 2018
To listen to Warner talk about literature, history, and his own varied experiences was like being washed over by a symphony of wisdom. His knowledge was immense, but his brilliance flowed out in an abiding humility, geniality, and grace that made him the most engaging teacher and mentor one could ever imagine. It was a privilege to sit in his office and talk with him, and as a teacher he was without peer. Not only were his courses magical experiences, but the time and trouble he took helping me to shape my own ideas and in commenting on my work was remarkable. He never let me get away with anything, and one of the maxims he drove into me was that imprecise writing is always the product of imprecise thought. It's no coincidence that that my first three scholarly publications were papers written for him.

All of these years later, I still channel him when teaching and advising dissertations. In emulating him, my grasp falls oceans short of my reach, but in striving toward the bar he set so high I've managed to achieve some level of success that would have been unimaginable without his example. I should also note that to this day Warner remains my ideal reader. When I work on my own scholarship, I constantly read it over with Warner in mind: what would he think of this? what criticism would he offer? and yes, what would make him wince? It's difficult to believe that he's gone because he lives so vividly in the hearts and consciousnesses of his former students.

I have never known a finer professor or scholar than Warner Berthoff. And he was an even better man that he was a teacher. I loved him very much, and I will carry that love in my heart for the rest of my life.
September 13, 2018
Warner warmly welcomed me when I came to the English Department at Harvard. He was an inspiring model of collegiality, intellectual generosity, and scholarly passion.
September 12, 2018
Warner was a scholar of the first magnitude, a teacher of an even higher order. I shall always be grateful for his guidance and example.