As a professor of comparative literature and German for 40 years, I have heard (and given) countless lectures about literature. But the lectures of A. Walton Litz ’51 in the course “Modern Literature,” held in McCosh 50 in the spring of 1970, still stand out for me. He commanded the room, containing a full audience, including a small sprinkling of females, during that first year of coeducation.
I would never have imagined that one could give an entire lecture on a single poem, but Professor Litz achieved this masterfully, holding us rapt. He was just as adept at lecturing on an author’s life or on a novel. The texts and authors in that course are for me still, more than 50 years later, bound up with the memory of A. Walton Litz and of that venerable lecture hall.