20 Questions: A sketch of Centre professor of modern languages Ken Keffer

RELEASED: January 3, 2008

DANVILLE, KY—1. Position: Teacher of French, German, humanities and walking

2. Hometown: None that I recall.

3. Career Highlight: Discovery of a plot to stop Parisian scholars from working on Montaigne in 1906, traced in my book, "Rival Transcriptions of the Essays" (2001)

4. Favorite College Course: "Great Books" in the English program at UNC-Wilmington in 1968

5. Recent Presentation or Other Professional Project: An article in 2008 "Montaigne Studies" on a photograph of the blind Montaigne scholar Pierre Villey, his wife Louise and their son Daniel

6. Family: Married; two children, Kate (34) and Charly (32)

7. Hobbies: Classical guitar, walking

8. Most memorable experience of your education: Interviewing famous mathematician and encyclopedia director Raymond Queneau in Paris in 1973 and being late for the interview because I was buying Queneau's books nearby

9. Prized possession: None that I recall.

10. Favorite book: Montaigne's Essays

11. Memorable trip/vacation: Flight out West for my son's wedding; stunning views of irrigation circles, plateaus and canyons of the Colorado River

12. Favorite movie: "Sunday Afternoon in the Country," directed by Bertrand Tavernier

13. Favorite album: Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks"

14. Favorite artist (of any type): Marcel Proust, author of "In Search of Lost Time"

15. Attitude toward technology: Happy; it's all about tools—hammer, sickle or iPod.

16. Person you most admire: Plato, whose "Dialogues" are the best literature and best philosophy

17. Living figure you'd most like to meet: Alain Finkielkraut, a neo-conservative French intellectual and moderator of "Repliques," a radio show on French culture

18. Historical figure you'd most like to meet: Immanuel Kant, author of the "Critique of Judgment" (1790), so I could walk with him around Koenigsberg

19. What would you be doing if you weren't working at Centre? I'm not working at Centre, I'm playing at Centre.

20. Describe yourself in three words: success, mistakes, failure

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