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/

Clouds

My friend and colleague Jenna Nigro alerted me to the fact (reported in The New York Times Magazine, July 23, 2017) that Elvis Presley, while driving some associates through Arizona, saw the face of Joseph Stalin in a cloud. That … Continue reading

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Dental Saga: Part Two

On April 4, I went to the dentist for a root canal after intense pain all weekend. After 30 minutes of drilling and grinding the dentist stopped and sat me up and said he was having trouble finding one canal. I … Continue reading

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Alex Caldiero: Astrophysicist at Large

This morning I began reading a manuscript Alex gave me last week. He has been reproducing his notebooks, most recently the three-volume set from 2005: “It rains even on who’s wet.” I posted photos of several earlier reproductions here. This, however, … Continue reading

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Žarko Radaković: Art Critic and Photographer

I wrote earlier about notebooks, specifically about the notebooks of Peter Handke, Žarko Radaković, and Alex Caldiero — three writers whose work I admire and for whose friendship I am grateful. 107 images cut from Handke’s notebooks — cut out … Continue reading

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Gravity is not just a good idea, it’s the law

This last week I read Maximilian Werner’s Gravity Hill (University of Utah Press, 2013). I’m glad I did. Although there are plenty of stories in the book about a young man growing up in Salt Lake City with other young people … Continue reading

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For Who Knows Where the Time Goes

This thin cloud above a heavy mass of clouds that adds a final range to the mountains that alternate with basins across Utah and Nevada, tickled my fancy. Clouds have distinct forms, as Luke Howard knew when he named them … Continue reading

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pisspooppatriots

Today began early as pink skies lured me out of bed. I brewed coffee and sat on the deck with a cup. Early morning light. Good hot bitter coffee. The day ahead. I left the house for a long walk … Continue reading

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. . . evenly knotted barbed wire fences

A couple of weeks ago John Fowles, a former student of mine when I was teaching in the BYU Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages, wrote me from China, where he was on business. “I’ve been reading your ‘non-memoir’ Immortal for … Continue reading

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Freedom

I was visiting a friend in Salt Lake’s Intermountain LDS Hospital yesterday. Despite his chemotherapy and despite the tubes attached to him, we had a good conversation about poetry and clouds and food and other things. Leaving the hospital, I … Continue reading

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The Perfect Fence / Intimate Fences

I’ve been thinking about this photo for several years as we have written about the meanings of barbed wire. Our original title was Intimate Fences, borrowed from a haunting story by Annie Proulx. The story is about an old man who … Continue reading

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