Back in 2003, Mark Liberman recounted a line attributed to Roman Jakobson when asked if Harvard should give Vladimir Nabokov a faculty position:
I do respect very much the elephant, but would you give him the chair of Zoology?
And in 2006, I mentioned a snippy remark that The New Republic's Martin Peretz made about Garrison Keillor, who had panned Bernard-Henri Lévy's American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville in The New York Times Book Review:
So maybe Keillor was actually an inspired choice. Why shouldn't a bird review an ornithologist?
Now the political historian Garry Wills provides another zoological analogy in his new memoir, Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer.
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