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

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!


For the section “Incalculable Territory,” click HERE

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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