Memento mori


Last week I got a reminder from my dermatologist that I was overdue for an examination. Because of sun damage over the years to the skin on my face and arms, these are important visits, saving me more times than I can count from the ravages of basal-cell carcinomas.

The form of the card had an especially forceful message for me because it looked exactly like a German death notice.


Any chance this was done on purpose? I’ll ask Dr. Eyre and he’ll feign surprise. But you can be sure I called an appointment today.

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 Memento mori

  1. pathalsell says:

    Heh heh, this is an example of how one can fall down the rabbit hole of the internet and discover interesting content one never knew existed. I stumbled across your blog today. I had been re-reading Robert Hass’ poem Time and Materials, thinking about cribbing his title for one of my paintings, and Googled Abstrakt Bilden (I didn’t remember it refers to Gerhard Richter’s abstract series). Up popped your blog post discussing Hass’ poem. I started poking around your blog, which led me to your post about visiting a lawyer friend with the great library in a conservative corner of the country, your comments about Gary Snyder… such interesting content. Best wishes to you and yours.


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