Bob Hollander ’55 (In Memoriam, June issue) was a powerfully lucid teacher, a glorious man who brought the whole of his passionate sophistication to bear on mentorship and on translating Dante’s Comedia. I was a student in R.P. Blackmur’s seminar on Dante, Montaigne, and Pascal in the fall of 1962 when Bob joined that intellectual adventure. He was a new instructor.
We became friends who, afterward, revisited those amazing seminars with wine or scotch. He regaled me with stories of his enormous good luck meeting his brilliant, beautiful wife, Jean, walking across the Campidoglio in Rome; expressing his zeal (not unlike mine) for Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley; and celebrating the endless intrigue of Dante’s universe. I doubt Princeton ever had such a profoundly learned professor so deeply engaged with the whole of campus life and the well-being of its students. Bob Hollander was one for the ages. His impact — luminous, unique, and affable — may never be equaled.