Author Archives: Scott Abbott

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/

Teaching Hegel to Lecture

I’ve been reading the two-volume correspondence between Schiller and Goethe and realize that questions about what constitutes successful pedagogy are eternal and the possible answers infinite. Schiller himself had trouble attracting students after they learned he wasn’t going to lecture … Continue reading

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Translation

14 June 2018 Dear Žarko, I’ve just read Gabriel Josipovici’s new novel, The Cemetery in Barnes. The protagonist is a translator and as I read his descriptions of his work I thought of you sitting in your study in Cologne … Continue reading

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gow-lieders

“It was a nun they say invented barbed wire.” Line 154 of episode 8 of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the Gabler Edition serves as the epigraph for Lyn’s and my book The Perfect Fence: Untangling the Meanings of Barbed Wire. The afterword … Continue reading

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The Sonosopher

The title is “The Sonosopher.” The poem to the right of the image begins “in my mind.” The afternoon sun slanting down from a high west-facing window is an illuminating exclamation. Daily I have the pleasure of living inside the … Continue reading

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Philip Roth

I’ve spent a lot of hours with Philip Roth over the years. Sorry to see him go. When it was first published, I reviewed The Anatomy Lesson for the Sunstone Review. I compared it to Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship; wonder if … Continue reading

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Clouds

From Mark Jarman’s Epistles: 26. In the Clouds Simply by thinking I stood among the clouds. They surrounded and passed me, being and becoming. Blood released into clear water. Breath into cold air. Formlessness entering form, forced into form. . . … Continue reading

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Translation

Emily Wilson’s review of Mark Polizzotti’s Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto (in the current edition of the NYRB) makes me think about my own work as a translator. Should a translation, as Walter Benjamin argued, “be powerfully affected … Continue reading

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Mark Jarman: Devotional Poetry

A couple of years ago, poet, translator, and critic Kimberly Johnson organized a conference at Brigham Young University on Devotional Poetry. Poet Susan Howe suggested that Kimberly invite me to introduce their keynote speaker, Mark Jarman, who had been a … Continue reading

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Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight

We order our lives with barely held stories. As if we have been lost in a confusing landscape, gathering what was invisible and unspoken . . . sewing it all together in order to survive, incomplete. . . . Now … Continue reading

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Into the Unknown with Charles Bowden and Edward Abbey

Scott Carrier begins his foreword to the forthcoming reissue of Charles Bowden’s Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing with a caveat: Instead of a foreword I should start with a forewarning to those with a desire to feel safe—put this … Continue reading

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