One of the pleasures of reading Stephen Jay Gould (something I’m going to be doing a lot of in the next few weeks, as he’s being rather prolific for a dead guy) is the joy of going places you weren’t expecting. (Including the sheer giggly glee of SJG asking himself, “Who am I, a Jewish paleontologist on a coffee break, to presume a superior knowledge of Christian tradition.” I can guarantee you he was the first person in the history of the world to conceive of that sentence.) I’d never heard of James Hampton before this, which probably tells you all you need to know about my utter lack of couth. Oh, well, all couthed now and happy.


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