A written tribute from a former student.
Estzer Szalcer, PhD, 1997
February 24, 2012
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That Professor Gerould deeply touched the lives of those who were fortunate enough to study at the Graduate Center under his mentorship is evident to all. It is also clear that his life’s work will continue to inspire generations of students, scholars, and artists to come. Here I would like to share a personal memory to illustrate the immense generosity of his ever-nurturing spirit. When I was struggling to write one of my first articles on Strindberg in English, which is not my first language, Dan told me in a conversation: “You should write like Strindberg!” I laughed and thought, “Thank you very much. This is very helpful.” But he wasn’t joking. I can still see the enigmatic smile on his face as he put out the challenge without any further explanation. For years I was trying to figure out what he meant. “How did Strindberg write?” – was even the subject of my first book. It was only then, working on that book, that I began to understand not only what Dan meant, but also how he worked, as a writer, scholar, and teacher. And that is that all that matters is giving yourself completely to writing; being invested more than a hundred percent in what you do. Is this a cliché? Easily done? I don’t think so. Professor Gerould gave me a task that I spend my life to strive for.
Estzer Szalcer, PhD, 1997, “Eszter Szalczer,” The Daniel Gerould Archives, accessed July 12, 2020, http://danielgerouldarchives.org/items/show/137.