"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
And, oh, what sharp edges Richard John Neuhaus had. He wrote and wrote and wrote--a discipline of writing that almost every other writer I know has told me feels almost like an indictment: 30 books, and innumerable essays, and all those talks he flew around to give. And, just as an incidental, 12,000 words a month poured out in the column, The Public Square, that anchored every issue of First Things, the magazine he founded...
I remember him, sitting on the couch, taking me through the argument of a book he had just finished reading--and making the argument clearer than the author had ever managed. I remember his puffing on his cigars, and his constant jaywalking across the streets of Manhattan in utter confidence that the cars would stop, and his Lutheran-style preaching, and his bad coffee. I remember the way he would tilt his head when he smiled, and the way he used his hands when he talked, and the brilliant conversation about a book only a month back.
Only a month. But in that time, for those who knew him, the world has been inverted. Present still are all the noise and bustle of New York, the work in the office, the ringing phones, the demands for attention. But they all seem weak and gray and ghostly. Only his absence now is real.