Once upon a time (that probably did not happen) Thomas Bailey Aldrich, editor of Atlantic Monthly, held a monthly public discussion with noted authors of the period. The series of discussions was called "Who Still... more »

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July 19, 2011

"Some say, sir, that you are often misunderstood."

"But, I would venture to say that..."

"...your opening line from the novel, Moby Dick, and Dickens' opening line from A Tale Of Two Cities..."

"...will come to be remembered among the most iconic lines..."

"...in all of nineteenth century literature, Ishmael."

"My name is not Ishmael."

"I'm sorry?"

"Do not call me Ishmael."

"Since when?"

"Since always."



"...you could have stated that much sooner."

"Do not call me Ishmael."

" I heard you the first time, sir!"



(A Herman Melville kind of pause.)

(A Thomas Bailey Aldrich kind of pause.)

"Yes, well anyway, that's all we have time for this week."