Lindon’s Agora

Lindon Barrett was a beloved friend and mentor whose life was tragically ended in July 2008.  I had the honor and pleasure of working closely with him as his “advisee” on my honors thesis.  I’m neither articulate nor eloquent enough to describe the brilliant mind he possessed or his beautiful spirit. . .

Yesterday I attended a Lecture Series, “Lindon’s Agora,” at UC Riverside.  John Rowe, a professor at USC and Lindon’s friend and colleague of many years, discussed Lindon’s manuscript and plans for publication of the book he was finishing when he died.

There were probably 40 people or so in attendance.  I saw some of his old students from UC Irvine in the crowd, as well as many current UC Riverside graduate students and faculty.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been away from academia for so many years (I find it a bit ironic that I work at the university), or maybe it’s because I never really understood much of the literary criticism/theories in the first place – I had difficulty understanding about 90% of what was said during the discussion portion:

Hegel, philosophical traditions

sexual politics

Western modernity



binomial being


What in the world were these people talking about?  And why do all of the graduate students speak with British accents?

Luckily I had two former English graduate students with me to help break down the discussion and define “big words” like “posthumous.”  I wondered why they kept using that word.

I also learned that I am a crepuscular driver.  I like to drive at dusk; apparently there’s a word for people like me.

And I’ve decided to never pursue graduate studies in English.  Or the Humanities.  Ever.

I am considering investing in word-of-the-day toilet paper.


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