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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Proof I can still find things at the library



We independent types have to be resourceful. Sometimes that means driving 50 miles to the nearest research library, and then figuring out where they keep the good stuff. Here's something fine from the Winter 1964 issue of Studies in Short Fiction, a note on "The Lightning-Rod Man" as generic salesman's story by a promising young assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Once we establish the genre of "The Lightning-Rod Man," neither its imagery nor its style needs apology. It is time that we frankly commend and enjoy this "devastating little parable" (Leyda, p. xxvi) whose allegorized folklore proved both metaphysical and magazinish and must have encouraged Melville to make extended allegorical use of demonology and folklore in The Confidence-Man.  --Hershel Parker
Truth be told I was making a virtue of necessity, being more or less forced back into the stacks after my allotted computer time ran out. Of course there were empty stations everywhere. Smart students with smart phones don't need them or the library. But the University of Minnesota shows independent scholars no love.



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