Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Infecting Academia

We all know that Andrew Ferguson is doing perhaps the largest part to bring Lafferty’s work to the attention of the academic world. Here’s the part I’ve played so far in that same struggle:

Arrive at Easterwine: In college, back in the mid ‘80s I took a modern literature class. It was an excellent class--if I remember correctly, we read Dostoyevski’s Notes from the Underground, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Camus’ The Stranger, Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. I wrote my term paper on Arrive at Easterwine forcing a copy of the book into the professor’s hands along with the paper. My paper focused on the stream-of-consciousness elements in the book. He gave me a B or B- on the paper, which I initially blamed on him not liking the fact that it was an SF book and not real “Literature.” However, I really suspect the grade was because I didn’t understand the book very well. It took three readings to really get a handle on it, and that was in the last year (look at my review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Arrive-Easterwine-autobiography-ktistec-machine/dp/068412341X).

Okla Hannali: I’ve ordered evaluation copies from University of Oklahoma Press ($5.00 apiece, including shipping) sent to the teachers in charge of the American Studies programs at the two high schools my children have attended.

Space Chantey: My daughter’s class is studying the Odyssey this year (really a hell of a good 9th-grade English class, their reading list includes Ray Bradbury, Shakespeare, Sophocles, the Odyssey, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time). After much discussion with the teacher, I am lending her my copies of Space Chantey and “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” which ought to cause an enjoyable bit of cognitive dissonance.

The Flame is Green and The Fall of Rome: After a conversation with the head of the History department at my kids’ school, I am loaning my copy of The Flame is Green and The Fall of Rome to him. I’d love to see Lafferty’s point of view on the relationship between Alaric, Stilicho, and Theodosius get some consideration in a standard world-history class. 

I’d love to hear stories from anyone else who has spread the word to the academic world about Lafferty.