Thoughts on Immortal from Lance Olsen

Lance Olsen, author of the provocative and thoughtful and formally playful Nietzsche’s Kisses, [[there. ]], Theories of Forgetting, and other books I haven’t yet read, posted these thoughts about Immortal for Quite Some Time:

:::: I happily don’t exactly know what to call Scott Abbott’s latest, Immortal for Quite Some Time — perhaps what Renee Gladman would designate a Thinking Text. Whatever the right category, it’s a wonderfully smart, brave, probing, felt collage of meditations, reminiscences, photographs, quotes, and definitions circling around Abbott’s brother’s death by AIDS at 40 in 1991; Abbott’s own education (as opposed to indoctrination) into the idea of education (often through Germanic literatures: among other things, he’s one of Peter Handke’s translators); his internal & professional battles with the Mormon church’s hypocrisies, contradictions, authoritarian hierarchies, & deployments of public shaming as a form of social control; & the problematics of pastness, simplistic gender boundaries, & that thing we used to refer to as a unified self.


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
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2 Responses to Thoughts on Immortal from Lance Olsen

  1. roughghosts says:

    Very good words there. Congratulations on all the positive feedback, Scott. I do look forward to reading it myself at some point in the new year.


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