Thursday, January 1, 2015

On Being Written About and Through

When I was in graduate school studying the English and American novel, I had a fantasy. I imagined being a novelist myself. I idolized Joyce, Dickens, Beckett, Melville, Hawthorne, and short-story writers like Poe and Flannery O'Connor. My professors, who gave access to these authors' mysteries, seemed like priests. (This was at Notre Dame, by the way.) Because of this, nothing was more ego-flattering to me than to imagine a book of mine as the subject of scholarly scrutiny, a thing deemed worthy of mention in an academic journal or book, or of critical discussion in a seminar.

And now, it has happened! Yet not, overall, in a way that fulfills my grad student dreams.

Here's the story. I was accidentally Googling my name on the Internet, when I came across two references to  my fiction. The first concerned a novel I'd written