'Because It Is My Calling'

If the verbal visionaries of Cornell’s nearly 105-year history of writing stood on each other’s shoulders; Nabokov as a base, cursing in Russian, Vonnegut next to him, muttering to himself about the absurdity of it, Pynchon above them, with a foot on each deltoid, shakily supporting Morrison, and so on — you’d have a ladder of literary giants to rival the clock tower. Even then, despite this towering tradition, the adrenaline-and-laughter inducing irreverence and innovation of Junot Díaz, MFA ’95, displayed to the delight of many in the Cornell community last week, would be enough, sure as Ithaca is cold, to make Uncle Ezra roll over in his grave and call for a pen. The Dominican-born author returned to campus Feb.