I’ve dedicated a part of my life to thinking and writing about a set of matters that interest me. I have no idea why these particular matters, but they have been there for as long as I can recall—certainly since I was small.
First, I have always been fascinated by human language. There are times when I have to laugh at myself: when everyone around me has just listened to, say, a speech, and are conversing about what has been said, I am absorbed with how it was said and can’t find a place for myself in the conversation.
Too, how we make meaning in the process of reading has always fascinated me—and does so more and more. No wonder that my last two long projects have been first a book on reading myself as the reader as I read and then a book-length edition/translation of a classic book about literary reading.
I don’t see a determinant connection between language behavior and let’s call them “current events,” but the latter have been my other main focus. From campus radical of the 1960’s to stereotypical “leftist intellectual/professor,” I have always been involved with the issues of the day and have not shied away from including issues of social justice, as I understand it, in my writing, my lectures and my classroom presentation. That said, I believe I come across as open and undoctrinaire—because I have always believed that the first and most important goal in any of those modalities is to achieve willing conversation. If anything, my reading of our current moment has led me to focus increasingly on that goal. To that end I have begun writing periodic posts on the online forum Medium about some of the many issues that face us today.
At this point, I am retired from the rigors of regular employment. Joyce jabsart.com and I live in the West End of Washington DC, she painting and I writing.