So, when I sent him a copy of my paper on Kim Philby's memoir, I was not surprised to receive, in response, a brief nod of praise followed by five or six instances where he noted an inconsistency, a moment of confusion. This one, in particular, however, continues to amaze me. My paper has a long meditation on the ironies of Kim Philby taking his name from the Kipling novel, Kim. My father thought it might be worth a footnote to add:
Of course, the fictional Kim spies for crown and Empire, while Philby successfully did the reverse.When I went to add that lovely small observation in my paper, I grew self-conscious about lifting his language entire, so I momentarily put:
Of course, the fictional Kim spies for crown and Empire, while Philby worked against it.Not nearly as good, is it? My flat-footed pairing of for vs. against lacks the elegance of "did the reverse."
I can't quite figure out why his is so much better. Can you?
Needless to say, his phrasing now stands.