Update from Erika
I received an e-mail from Erika this morning, which was erudite, entertaining, and informative, just as all of her messages tend to be -- and as I am sure her future posts to this blog will likewise be. (Among other things, she wrote of an experience she had while reading T. S. Eliot on a train between Helsinki and Tampere, which led me to wonder how many young people ever read Eliot at all -- but here was a young student in Finland, of all places, doing just that, and evidently for recreation to boot.) She expressed a wish that she could be "more active," but said most of her waking hours these days are consumed by a paper she has to finish for a seminar to be held on March 21. She added that once the seminar is over, she expects to be a regular contributor to this blog, which is something we can all look forward to with eager anticipation. I mention this to all of you so that you can remember to keep Erika in your thoughts and prayers, as the seminar paper is very important to her. Speaking for myself, I am confident that she will do just fine, and I can't wait to learn of the result of her efforts. (Her topic, by the way, is a treatment of Dante's Vita Nuova in a sort of vacuum -- that is to say, as a work by itself, without taking into account such later works as Convivio and the Divine Comedy. Most of the Dante commentators with whom I am familiar seem unable to do that, so I hope Erika can plow some new ground with this project.)
She also thanked me for inserting that special link just for her. I sort of chuckled as I added it to my link field, partly because of the realization of just how useless it would be to the rest of us. Check it out, if you haven't already, and you'll see what I mean! :-)
I also need to correct something I said in my previous post introducing Erika. She is not the youngest member of this blog after all. I realized later that evening that this particular distinction actually belongs to Jed Madsen, who is about one month her junior.