“Yes, you assistant professor, of all the loathsome inhumans the most loathsome….”
“A ludicrous sullenness and paragraph-pomposity that give an assistant professor a remarkable likeness to a Holberg bookkeeper are called earnestness by assistant professors….”
“When an assistant professor, every time his coattails reminds him to say something, says de omnibus dubitandum est [everything must be doubted] and briskly writes away on a system in which there is sufficient internal evidence in every other sentence that the man has never doubted anything-he is not considered lunatic.”
But the presence of irony does not necessarily mean that earnestness is excluded. Only assistant professors assume that.
“There is nothing at all for assistant professors to do. The assistance of these gentlemen is needed here no more than than a maiden needs a barber to shave her beard and no more than a bald man needs a barber to ‘style’ his hair.”
“It can be assumed that in the present generation every tenth person is an assistant professor….”