Notes in Three Languages on Immortal for Quite Some Time

Flowerville has written about the book in her usual brilliant fashion, so brilliant, in fact, that I’m left wishing she had written the book. Her blog post HERE

And a couple of citations from her thoughts:

this is not a memoir the book is prefaced. which implicates a ‘don’t fence me in’, it seems consequent that abbott writes another book about barbed wire. the book is of a different genre, a fraternal meditation, abbott called it, you’d like to call it the longlasting living question genre of books and the question that is living in this book is: Are we friends, my brother?

goodness is possible outside a religious framework. that feels like an immense discovery in the context of the religious constraints imposed. the breaking up of binary structures.
one can still be good for other reasons. any reasons. but that still one wants to be a better person than one is (239), all of this is ongoing and unfinished, immortal, maybe, too. immortal questions, immortal unfinished answers… who are you? who do you think you are. and who are you really. one doesn’t always get it right. mr abbott’s answer is here: That we are seldom at our best doesn’t invalidate our attempts to be whole. (255)

Besides languages and literatures, she’s a photographer. Her photogram, for instance, here on the cover of a beautiful little book:


Many thanks — for reading, for writing, for helping me see the book more clearly.

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
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Notes in Three Languages on Immortal for Quite Some Time

  1. II. says:

    you’re very generous mr abbott. this is another feature of your book i forgot to describe. and you’re a photographer too, in the constable way….
    ‘That we are seldom at our best doesn’t invalidate our attempts to be whole.’ is my favourite sentence of the whole book.


    • Scott Abbott says:

      you once said there were photographers who look at clouds and those who looked at other things. i claimed, at the time, to do both. you were right. the sky is what i see best. and constable is perfect here. just read a book about Luke Hamiliton called The Invention of Clouds. good Goethe connections


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s