Rest in Peace, TJ

09Aug10

We had the kind of crushes on him that you have on brilliant, English Professors.

I heard from a friend last year that one of my favorite professors of my college career, Tony Judt, had ALS-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gherig’s disease. I felt terrible at the news, but didn’t know what I could do, as far as reaching out to him went, that wouldn’t be morbid. I just read today that he passed away on friday. He was brilliant. Brilliant! I took a course with him based on his book, Postwar, about Europe after World War II, as represented through cinema. We watched a film every week, from Roberto Rosellinni’s Rome, Open City to François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun to Wolfgang Becker’s Goodbye Lenin! I’ll have to find my film list for the class…he really opened up my eyes to the possibilities of watching movies. He let me write a paper about horror movies–Spanish horror movies. We didn’t talk much about Spain but I did ok and he gave me a B+. I liked him very much. I am very sad.

His son and a former student spearheaded a bike ride and fundraiser for ALS research. Saul Goldberg wrote this eulogy.

Tony Judt on Fresh Air . So moving. Horror, intellect, so pragmatic and wise.

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