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

per-sonal effects…Alex Caldiero’s latest book

“You don’t have anything to worry about, if you have a sound mind.” Thus ends one of the prose poems that make up this new book, a poem that begins with the conclusion “I need to die.” Who of us … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

First Lines

The first lines of some of the books I have read this year: . . . I know, I understand, I shouldn’t have done it. The skeletons mutiny and push all the pussycats overboard. I sing the city. Fucking city. … Continue reading

More Galleries | 2 Comments

Christ Child with Walking Frame / Christ Carrying the Cross

Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. I spend hours in the large room that displays eight or ten of Breugel’s best known paintings (The Peasant Wedding, Saul on the Road to Damascus, Hunters in the Snow, Peasant Dance, and so on), reading … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment


Friday evening, a week before the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s retrospective exhibition of Alex’s work closes, I spend an hour in the Street Gallery with time to reflect on what I am experiencing. Standing at the door leading into … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ivo Andrić Prize

In May, Peter Handke was awarded the “Ivo Andrić Prize” by the Andrić Institute in Višegrad for the best book published in Serbia or the Republic of Srpska during 2020. The award was for the novel “The Second Sword: May … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ERA…The end of a friendship that continues

An email today from Zarko: Dear Scott, I am shaken by the death of my friend Era. This man may have been the most important person in my life. . . . Everything I know and am related to art … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

BAGGAGE: Alex Caldiero in Retrospect

These images are from the catalogue for the exhibition just mounted by the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City. The exhibition will be open until June. As you can see, the catalogue is a brilliant expansion and … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Richard Long in Woodland Hills?

I was walking past our neighbor’s alfalfa field yesterday and saw this: Richard Long has been visiting our town! That was my immediate conclusion. He makes or witnesses lines in natural settings, like this one from his book “Mountains and … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments


Several times a week I walk up and down the foothills our town of Woodland Hills perches on. Santaquin Peak and Tower Mountain rise above us to the southeast and east, Utah Valley stretches away to the north. I carry … Continue reading

More Galleries | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Respect: Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman

While holding congressional hearings aimed at terminating treaty rights of various Native American tribes, Senator Arthur K. Watkins, Utah, wrote to leaders of the LDS church (13 April 1954):  The more I go into this Indian problem the more I … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment