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This article was prepared for the November 15, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

Our election week began with the November 8 cover image

still rattling around in our brain: Richard Serra’s monumental sculpture,

"The Hedgehog and the Fox," being dedicated on the campus

of Princeton University.

Shortly after publication of Pat Summers’ article and interview with

the artist, we received an E-mail from Thomas H. Wright, vice president

and secretary at Princeton University. "What a lovely article

you wrote," Wright said. "Today, when the sculpture is dedicated,

I will be giving Richard Serra and his wife, Clara, a half-dozen copies

of U.S. 1, and I am certain that he will be immensely pleased by the

richly appreciative way that you have covered this installation.

"Certainly I am pleased — and grateful! Many thanks for your

thoroughness, carefulness, sensitivity — and generosity."

That appreciative note encouraged our editor, Richard K. Rein, to

venture from his cubicle and attend the dedication. Rein had been

a teaching assistant at the university in the spring of 1972 and a

student in the class was Peter Joseph ’72, the alumnus who commissioned

the sculpture and donated it to Princeton shortly before his death

from cancer.

Rein was able to visit with several of Joseph’s half dozen siblings,

share memories from 1972, and bestow more copies of the U.S. 1 article

upon the visitors to the dedication, and return with the program from

the ceremony.

That document provided additional detail on the origins of the sculpture’s

title. In U.S. 1 last week we had noted that the title, "The Hedgehog

and the Fox," is from an old proverb that has come down to us

from the Greeks: "The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows

one great thing."

In the program notes prepared for the dedication ceremony Hal Foster,

a Princeton professor of art and archaeology, elaborated: "Serra

has titled his sculpture `The Hedgehog and the Fox,’ an allusion to

an old proverb about different ways of life: there are those who follow

one principle in all they do (the hedgehogs) and those who look to

different approaches at the same time (the foxes). The suggestion

is that students might negotiate a balance between these two ways.

Serra is also interested in balance: his sculpture is a fox in the

complexity of experience that it affords, and a hedgehog in the commitment

to integrity that it demonstrates."

That was Friday afternoon. By that evening Stan Kephart had prepared

a cover image for this week’s issue and we were ready for a day off.

But then we got a call from Doug Dixon: Rebecca Mercuri would be speaking

at the Sarnoff Corporation on Thursday, November 16, and her subject

would be the technology of recording and tabulating election ballots.

Hold the presses! Dixon could get an interview and he could have a

story submitted to us by Monday.

So we asked Kephart to return for another cover session and we remade

our pages to accommodate the story that begins on page 46 of this

issue. We hope you will find it informative. As for us, we are going

to read it once more, counting the foxes and the hedgehogs of the

American political process. We have a feeling we will find far more

of the former than the latter. We do not expect to need a recount.


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