Princeton Salutatorian Wrote Thesis on Waugh

Princeton University’s salutatorian this year is Esther Kim. She will deliver a Latin oration at next week’s graduation ceremony. According to a Princeton press release, she is an English major and wrote her senior thesis on a topic that included Evelyn Waugh’s novel A Handful of Dust:

While in London [in her junior year], Kim … took the “Junior Seminar in Critical Writing” with Maria di Battista, the Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English and professor of English and comparative literature…The seminar introduced Kim to modernist literature and led to her senior thesis topic, which focuses on faith and the fantastic in three 20th-century novels: G.K. Chesterton’s “The Man Who Was Thursday,” Evelyn Waugh’s “A Handful of Dust” and Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory.” Di Battista noted Kim’s “quick but never showy critical intelligence, [and] a shrewd understanding of how poems and narratives work and what they can teach us, particularly about the spiritual life.”

The press release does not indicate whether access to Kim’s thesis is available in an online archive. Anyone reading this who may have information about such access is invited to comment as provided below.

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