|Melville scholar to give Bastian Lecture
RELEASED: April 17, 2003
DANVILLE, KYLaurie Roberston-Lorant, a noted writer, scholar and poet, will give this year's Bastian Lecture at Centre College. The free lecture, titled "Melville's Manhattana Thumbprint, a Lock of Hair and a Roman Flea: The Importance of Archives," will take place on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Norton Center for the Arts Board Room on campus.
Herman Melville may have written Moby Dick while looking at a mountain out his window in the Berkshires, but he was born in and lived most of his life in New York City. Melville lived in New York City for the first 15 years of his life, and he later returned at age 47 and worked as a deputy inspector of customs there for 20 years.
Robertson-Lorant is the author of the highly-acclaimed Melville: A Biography, which has been called "deeply affecting." The 1996 biography "explores the forces that shaped the man: the women and children in his life, his enigmatic relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, the psychosexual tensions that informed his art, his struggles against debt, his disappointments about failing to win a popular audience for his serious work, and the alcoholism and violence that plagued his family."
Milton Reigelman, Cowan Professor of English at Centre, comments, "It's an extraordinary opportunity for our students, who are participating in a senior seminar on Melville, to have the opportunity to meet one of the world's preeminent Melville scholars."
Robertson-Lorant holds the Sidney F. Tyler Chair in creative writing at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass. She received a master's degree from Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. from New York University. Robertson-Lorant is currently teaching courses at Harvard and M.I.T.
The Bastian Lecture Series is named after Carol Bastian, Centre Emerita Professor of English. Each spring a prominent scholar in English or American literary studies is invited to present a public lecture on campus.
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