John Gardner at Home

Memories from Noam Gur

Dear John,

I wanted to tell you that the alternative event on your book, which I mentioned in my previous email, took place last week. The commentators – James Lee, Nick Sage, and Christian Witting – and I met at Queen Mary for a discussion of the book, which was followed by a dinner and drinks at a nearby pub. It was a very nice evening that gave us an opportunity to share our thoughts about, and praises for, your book, and to enjoy a very stimulating and interesting discussion of many of its main themes. Of course, the format was more low-key than what had been initially planned, but the informal settings facilitated an in-depth discussion, and we all appreciated this opportunity to pay tribute (even if a modest one) to your wonderful book.

John, I have also received the update about the decision to stop your chemotherapy. It was hard to read this message. But I also found slight comfort in reading about the spirit with which you are facing what lies ahead. John, while I am only one of many students and scholars you have inspired, influenced, and supported, I can say, from my own perspective, that you have had an enormous positive impact on my career and life. I often look back, with deep gratitude, on how, when coming to Oxford, at what was a crucial point of transition in my life, you supported and inspired me, and helped me believe in my ability to continue and pursue an academic career. And there are many magical moments that I remember very fondly, such as you and Tony Honoré discussing, under John Hicks’ portrait, at Friday JPT seminars in All Souls; running past you my bold (and probably misguided) arguments at the PFCL seminars; and many JDG evenings where your presence and input stimulated lively discussions in a great atmosphere. Those memories are strongly present in me, and will continue to be. I will keep you in my thoughts, miss you, and will be honoured to tell others, who have not had the privilege to know you, about you and your remarkable legacy as a scholar, teacher, and person.