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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Tramping about, a professor stumbles over RAW and znore

Alas, the discovery of Robert Anton Wilson by Canadian English professor Tim Conley (pictured) has not propelled RAW to fame in academic circles. (Publicity photo from Brock University) 

The good news: An English professor specializing in literary modernism includes your work in his new book about James Joyce. The bad news: He puts you in the chapter about crackpots.

The Varieties of Joycean Experience is by Tim Conley, professor of English Language and Literature at Brock University, Canada, where Dr. Conley spends much of his time "tramping about" works of "international modernism and contemporary literature." The book came out in December and it's the kind of book that will set you back $40 for the Kindle. The hardcover will cost you $125.

Dr. Conley must have worked really hard on his chapter titles. Robert Anton Wilson and znore, the blogger and author,  both appear on Chapter 10, "Hysterical-Exegetical: Petitions Full of Pieces of Pottery." This is the chapter that concludes the book, a publisher's blurb explains. The chapter discusses "what makes an interpretation untenable, and why do Joyce’s works inspire far-fetched and even crackpot readings?" RAW's essay, "Coincidance," from Semiotexte, is cited as "perhaps the greatest send-up of deranged readings of Joyce." Znore's insights receive similar treatment. 

Znore chooses to be amused rather than offended. He sent me an email to call my attention to the book, writing, "We're last on a long list of oddballs and lunatics with deranged views of Joyce. The professor does sort of redeem these types of perspectives in his final paragraphs. I can't really make out if he is being generous or patronizing. He doesn't seem to entirely get it, but I can't be too sure. It's pretty fascinating, I think."

If you want more of znore's "deranged views," see his book, Death Sweat of the Cluster: Selected Essays from Groupname for Grapejuice. I bought two copies, one for me and one for a friend. (Read my review here, Professor Conley!

1 comment:

BFHN said...

This professor might want to try and wake up from the nightmare of academia.
Still, my congratulations to znore for getting noticed in these circles!