Excerpt from Immortal for Quite Some Time in 15 Bytes, Artists of Utah

SUNDAY BLOG READ: Scott Abbott
by DAVID G. PACE
SUNDAY BLOG READ is your glimpse into the working minds and hearts of Utah’s literary writers. At least once a month, 15 Bytes offers works-in-progress and / or recently published work by some of the state’s most celebrated and promising writers of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction and memoir.

Today, 15 Bytes features Utah Valley University writer and professor Scott Abbott who here favors us with an excerpt from his Immortal for Quite Some Time, due out this month from the University of Utah Press. Of this non-fiction work which Scott bills a “fraternal meditation,” he writes, “My brother John died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 40. The most surprising thing I learned as I began to write about him was that you can’t describe your brother without describing yourself. And that can be uncomfortable, especially if you are a heterosexual, practicing Mormon.

“[Here, i]n fits and starts I sketch my versions of a lonely, funny, talented, hard-luck, bisexual, ex-Mormon and his ostensibly more stable brother. The former has no choice but to suffer this outing at the hands of his brother. And the latter, although he can choose what he discloses about himself, risks radical redefinition of a self constructed according to LDS guidelines by devout LDS parents.

“Wary of triumphant narratives that celebrate a writer’s courageous escape from a repressive culture, I add to my first-person account a critical female voice that questions my assertions and ridicules my rhetoric. Missing my brother, I move from the cold vision of autopsy to direct conversation during the book’s final sections.”

So curl up with your favorite cup of joe, and enjoy Scott Abbott’s work!

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For the section “Incalculable Territory,” click HERE

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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