Daily Dose of Immortality


Žarko’s mother feeds us chicken soup, then new potatoes and carrots and chicken with gravy. While we eat, she smokes. You remind me of Greta Garbo, I tell her. Žarko translates. She shakes her head and says: Greta Garbo with diabetes.

A parliamentary debate on the education-reform law flickers on the TV. If the reform passes, Žarko explains, university deans will be appointed by the minister of education, faculty appointments will require ministerial approval, and all faculty members will have to sign new contracts affirming their support for the new policies.

That’s how they do it where I work, I tell him. Not a healthy system, unless your main concern is to preserve an established way of thinking.

from Immortal for Quite Some Time

photo…David Albahari and Zarko Radakovic



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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