This is a great honor and an enormous pleasure. . . .
I'd like to quote a few lines from the work of one of our most distinguished members, and then to hurry back to my chair to look at my medal. The lines are from Henry James. They are spoken by Dencombe, an aging novelist, in the James story "The Middle Years," They furnish the most telling description of the literary vocation that I know of. Dencombe says, "We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art." Thank you.