Brian Doyle, Part Two of Two

A few other fragments of memories of Brian: Once, I wrote him, asking to buy a copy of one of his out-of-print books, if he had any copies around. He sent me a pdf of the book within a few hours of my writing. Once, I asked him who his favorite saints were. He listed...

Brian Doyle, Part One of Two

I wasn’t real friends with Brian Doyle. I had an active correspondence with him, but then, I bet a lot of writers did. Our e-mails stretched back maybe a decade. We met in person only once. Because Brian was so present in his writing, that didn’t seem to matter....

The Internet Will Eat Your Soul

  Dramatic, I know, but I’m at least half-serious. Part of the reason I’ve been away from this blog for months is that I’ve been re-examining my relationship with the Internet*, and the news is not pretty. I’ve had increasing trouble with engaging in any task...

Missionaries and Hedonists

My graduate school professor, Brian Wilkie, was a Romantic scholar. Each fall, he threw a big party at his house, for over a hundred of us — all of the graduate students, the faculty, and their families. He had a Steinway grand piano, which he would let us play. He...

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