Humboldt’s basic texts

To follow his intricate conversation you had to know his basic texts. I knew what they were: Plato’s Timaeus, Proust on Combray, Virgil on farming, Marvell on gardens, Wallace Stevens’ Caribbean poetry, and so on. One reason why Humboldt and I were so close was that I was willing to take the complete course.

— Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift

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