Monthly Archives: February 1980

STORYTELLING AND MYTHMAKING: IMAGES FROM FILM AND LITERATURE (a previously unpublished book review)

This intemperate outburst — possibly written at some point during my stint at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the mid-80s, but far more likely written closer to the book’s publication date (1979), perhaps when I was still living in San Diego — was wisely and tactfully rejected by Chick (Ernest) Callenbach when I submitted it to Film Quarterly. (He added, as I recall, by way of explanation, that Film Quarterly tended to be a “friendly” publication.) Had I written it while I was at Santa Barbara, it would have probably been motivated in part by the fact that the late Frank McConnell (1942-1999) was far and away the most popular English professor at the university. But I’m pretty sure that my objections to his book were textual and ideological rather than personal — even if I later grumpily reflected that his popularity at UCSB was partly predicated on his uncanny capacity to both validate and extravagantly flatter not only whatever was most popular at the time, but also (it seemed) whatever his students said during his lectures, no matter how ill-informed or inane.Read more »