Over at my other blog, Finite Eyes (about academic subjects, and things related to my job as Interim Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State), I've got a few new posts, including one on the pricing of academic books, which might be of at least vague interest to Mumpsimus readers.
My mother died on November 3, 2018. She was, in so many ways, my first reader and my first editor. Five days before her death, she asked me to write her something to read. I went home that night and wrote the following essay. I brought it to her the next day. Her eyesight had weakened, and she didn't have a lot of stamina, but she was able to read a couple paragraphs of it. It turned out to be the last thing I wrote while my mother was alive. I read it at her memorial service, and numerous people asked to have a copy of it, so I am posting it here for all who are interested.
by Matthew Cheney
A reader of horror stories, and a fan of horror movies, I am familiar with ghosts and hauntings. As I’ve grown older, though, it seems strange to me that ghosts are typically represented as frightening, that being haunted is considered undesireable.
Certainly, screaming banshees flying through the ruins of gothic mansions at midnight aren’t exactly comforting. But I’m thinking of a dif…
Nathan Alling Long is the author of the flash-fiction collection The Origin of Doubt, recently published by Press 53. Timothy Liu said of the collection, "He blurs the lines between flash fictions and prose poems. All of a sudden, genre distinctions start to give way, and what we thought we thought we knew is altered, transformed. These stories span the gamut from traditional to queer trans-genre forms, marvelous to behold in times like these when political discourses and abuses of language have sunk to unforeseen lows."
Nathan's writings have appeared in a wide range of publications and venues, including Glimmer Train,Tin House, The Sun, Story Quarterly, Strange Tales V, and NPR. He has taught at various schools; currently, he teaches creative writing, literature, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stockton University. Though he has lived all around the country, and traveled all over the world, he now lives in Philadelphia.
I've mostly neglected The Mumpsimus this summer because I've been working on other things, including another blog, one related to and in support of my new job as Interim Director of Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State University: a blog called Finite Eyes.
I have drafts of a couple of uncompleted blog posts for this site, and I do hope to get around to finishing them, but I'm not sure when, as the busy-ness of learning a rather big new job does not leave lots of time for extra reading and writing. I'm also trying to turn my dissertation into a book worthy of proposing to a publisher, and this process has proved immensely time consuming and slow. So not a lot going on here, Mumpsimus readers, and not likely to be a lot for the foreseeable future. (Though there will be some, I'm sure, now and then.)
I haven't published a lot over the last few years, not from lack of writing, but, as I noted in June, more from working on longer projects. Thus, I'm pleased to be able to note here some upcoming publications.
The biggest is my book Modernist Crisis and the Pedagogy of Form: Woolf, Delany, and Coetzee at the Limits of Fiction. The (expensive) hardcover will be out in January, and a (less expensive) paperback will follow about a year later. I certainly wish that Bloomsbury did like other academic publishers and released the hardcover and paperback at the same time (and/or provided an inexpensive ebook), but so it goes. It will be available at academic libraries, and interlibrary loan is a godsend. (I expect my next academic book will be open access and openly licensed.)
I also have two new stories coming out this fall: "A Liberation" in Conjunctions 73: Earth Elegies. This will be my second story in the print edition of Conjunctions (and I've had two stories on We…