Wednesday, August 21, 2013

1909

In the basement stacks, I chance upon Jillian Weise's The Amputee's Guide to Sex and the first poem I turn to, "The Scar On Her Neck," mentions the year 1909 in its fourth two-line stanza: "Appolinaire was held captive/ in 1909, on suspicions he stole/ the Mona Lisa."

I don't recall F. D. Reeve mentioning this tidbit in his 1909 course, but I'm sure he would have appreciated it.

Anyway, I was down there, at the bottom of Cooper Library where literature is known to dwell, trying to hunt down some of Reeve's writing as well as the Harry Mathews novel he'd recommended to me twenty-two years ago. As it turned out, Clemson doesn't own a copy of The Sinking of Odradek Stadium or the Reeve I was most interested in, his Robert Frost in Russia, but I did find a Reeve edited Great Soviet Short Stories as well as Harry Mathews's far more recent My Life in CIA. It all came full circle when it turned out the only slim volume of Harry Mathews criticism on the shelf had as it series editor Clemson's own Frank Day, a professor whose status was "emeritus" when I shared an office with him for half a semester during in the spring of 2008, my second semester in the South.

Alas, now it's time to leave poetry and fiction writing and get back to the basic business of business writing. My life in general ed. . .

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