Author Archives: Scott Abbott

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


A beautiful new book of Peter Handke’s drawings arrived in the mail this week. The drawings are from his notebooks, most of them small, all of them of things he sees while walking or traveling. They are visual notes, like … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Homage to Toni Morrison

  Toni Morrison is gone. Her work remains to provoke and inspire us. As part of my book on the metaphor of standing, one essay looks at the metaphor she contrasts with Faulkner’s. Here the abstract: As I Stood Fighting … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy Irvine Loves Ed Abbey

This my response to Tonya Audyn Stiles’ July 30, 2019 “Response to Amy Irvine’s “Desert Cabal” in “The Canyon Country Zephyr,” of which she is the co-publisher: “Edward Abbey Needs No Defense” — I couldn’t agree more; Ed Abbey’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Once Again For The United States of America

My friend and co-author Zarko Radakovic has just finished a new translation into Serbo-Croatian of Peter Handke’s book of short essays written while traveling in the former Yugoslavia, France, and Japan. The book, Once again for Thukydides, was published in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Walk with Frank

A couple of weeks ago Sam Rushforth handed me his red hat. For you, he said. That’s your favorite hat, I said. Part of my ongoing attempt to keep you from looking like a total dork, he said. Thank you, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

After the Fire

Last September’s fire changed the face of our mountain (Santaquin Peak). Walking on the mountainside this morning, I could still smell smoke at times and ashes were so thick in some places that nothing had yet grown through. For Nature, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reviews of The Perfect Fence

What a pleasure to have thoughtful readers. These two reviews have just been published in the June numbers of The Journal of American History and the American Historical Review. Many thanks to Michael L. Johnson and John Bezis-Selfa. Bezis-Selfa writes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alex Caldiero on Fame, Anonymity, Oblivion

Image | Posted on | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


[The title of this blog, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, is Michael Roloff’s translation of the title of Peter Handke’s novel Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter. Our correspondence over two decades consisted in large part of responses … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments