Paul, Charles B.(1931-2016)

Paul, Charles B.(1931-2016)

Date Updated



Humanities & Art

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

U. of Calif., Berkeley, 1966 Ph.D.

Western Reserve U., Cleveland, Ohio, 1959 M.A.

Antioch College, Ohio, 1957 B.A.

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1967-1992

San Jose State University, 1964-1966

U. of New Hampshire, Keene, 1966

Antioch College, 1957-1958

Administrative and Professional Experience

Various factory and clerical jobs while attending school。

Tutor in French.

Now freelance writer and book reviewer.

Selected Publications

Book on eulogies of scientists: Science and Immortality.

Translation of a French play

Articles on Rameau, Mozart, Romantic travel, and on Wilde's debt to Musset.

Personal Commentary

I was lucky in being able to retire with the Golden Handshake in 1992 and luckier still in having been able to be a college teacher for about 30 years. I got into teaching, partly because the numerous jobs I held while going to college proved to be unrewarding, but mostly because three challenging teachers had shown me the way. One was a primary school teacher near Vichy (France), the two others were college teachers, one of whom is still teaching at Berkeley.

I was also lucky in that I was hired to teach in the Humanities Department at SJSU. All of the department chairmen I served under were conscientious and fair‑minded; nearly all my colleagues (both full‑time and part‑time) proved to be intelligent and versatile people, free of contentiousness; most importantly, the interdisciplinary nature of all courses in that department enabled me to range over all kinds of subjects, both in my teaching and my publications. For example, I was the first college teacher in California‑‑so far as I know‑‑to regularly teach an upper‑division course on travel fiction and non‑fiction. I also taught in the Tutorial Program (1967­69) and twice in the History Department. I might add that I was also fortunate in that many of the students I taught were enthusiastic, intelligent, and sometimes even devoted to a presumably "impractical" major like Humanities.

To people who wonder what keeps a retired person busy, my answer is that I handle that retirement as if it were an extended sabbatical leave. I am able to continue doing things I had done in the past, to learn a few new things, and to cut back on some of the physical work around the house; since my wife is also retired, we are also able to do many things together. We used to own horses and ride them; since the animals have died and we ourselves have gotten stiffer in the joints, my physical hobby now is bicycling and occasionally taking long walks. I make a little money reviewing high school world history books; I've written several articles, one of which‑­on Mozart‑‑was published recently in San Jose Studies; and I'm in the process of translating an autobiography (1995) of a woman who, unbeknownst to me, had saved my sister's and my life twice in wartime France. All this written work is made the easier in that I've just learned to use a word processor. I also do some minor volunteer work at SJSU, occasionally giving lectures in the Humanities Department, and working about three afternoons a month at the Beethoven Center.

Last‑‑but very far from the least‑‑we travel a great deal. We highly recommend spending a week here and there in an Elderhostel as we have done (in Carmel Valley, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Atlanta) and myself for two weeks in Budapest and Transylvania. We've been on two cruises: one in the Mediterranean and one on the coast of China. We've been guided, sometimes superbly and sometimes indifferently, on various tours: the U.S. Mountain States, New England and Quebec, the Atlantic South, Hawaii, twice in Mexico, eastern Europe (which is not anything like what you read in the American press) and this year we just attended music festivals in Zurich and western Austria. La dolce vita!

Date Completed: 6/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Paul, Charles B.(1931-2016)