Sic transit gloria

There’s a story I remember from my schooldays that may actually be true: that whenever a Roman general entered the city in triumph, there was always a slave placed nearby to remind him, “Remember master, you are mortal!”

After looking at this list of Pulitzer Prize-winning novels that are now pretty much forgotten, I think maybe every novelist who wins a Pulitzer should be assigned an assistant who tells him, “Remember James Gould Cozzens!”     

Of course, Cozzens wasn’t forgotten so much as terminated with extreme prejudice by Dwight MacDonald, whose famous essay “By Cozzens Possessed” tipped a dump truck-load of ridicule over Cozzens’ reputation and then drove back and forth to tamp everything down.

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2 thoughts on “Sic transit gloria

  1. Joseph Zitt says:

    My own memento mori was seeing a copy of “Surprise Me With Beauty” is a $1 bin. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you may be remaindered.

  2. […] Steven Hart tries to remember the forgotten Pulitzer novelists. […]

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