Enduring academic patronage

“At that moment she realized that he had enrolled himself in the class of persons (usually but not always ex-students) who take it for granted that Vinnie will write them recommendations, give them letters of introduction to colleagues abroad, read their books and articles, and take an interest in their personal and professional happiness. Typically, the fulfillment of any such request does not discharge the obligation, but rather recharges it, just as the use of an automobile recharges its battery. The academic relation of proteger to protégé is a closed electrical circuit not subject to the law of entropy; often it sends out sparks until death.”

Page 162 of Alison Lurie’s Foreign Affairs

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