I just recently got a copy of M.L. West’s Teubner Odyssea and it put me in mind of finally looking up his obituary. This one in The Guardian did the job nicely and confirmed the long held suspicion that his idiosyncratic writing style was only a watered down version of his speech.
Martin was a notoriously difficult conversationalist. Speaking only when he considered he had something worth saying, he often launched shafts of wit so perfectly formulated that it was hard to respond to them. To a colleague who had just returned from lecturing on a subject on which he was no expert: “Fallible, but not wholly fallacious. Unlike the Pope, who is the opposite.” To an awestruck young scholar at a conference who hailed him as a “god”: “No, not a god. But I am a creature of legend.”