Monday, September 29, 2014

D. G. Myers

I was saddened to learn that D. G. Myers has recently died. He wrote at "A Commonplace Blog" and has an excellent book on the history of creative writing programs (which I have on my shelves and have read more than once), The Elephants Teach.

You can listen to David talk about dealing with cancer at EconTalk:

D.G. Myers, literary critic and cancer patient, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he has learned from receiving a cancer diagnosis six years ago. Myers emphasizes the importance of dealing with cancer honestly and using it as a way to focus attention on what matters in life. The conversation illuminates the essence of opportunity cost and the importance of allocating our time, perhaps our scarcest resource, wisely. The last part of the conversation discusses a number of literary issues including the role of English literature and creative writing in American universities.

And you can also read a reflection on the subject from June of this year, The Mercy of Sickness Before Dying.

David had a knack for finding the complacent certainties people had about literature and pressing on them -- sometimes hard -- with a bit of critical thought. I've linked to a number of his discussions over the years. Some of my favorites:

Plot and Thought
Influence and Literary History
On Satire
Jewish sin and repentance
Literary Fiction: An Autopsy
Reading the Holocaust

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