DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature Philip Mosley will return to campus next week to discuss his latest book.
On Wednesday, Oct. 2, the campus library will host a book reception for Mosley’s “Resuming Maurice: And Other Essays on Writers and Celebrity.” The free event will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
At the reception, Mosley will give an informal talk about the book and make time for discussion. A book table will be set up for signings.
“Jennie Knies, our head librarian, kindly offered to hold the event in the library, and I think it is an ideal venue for this event,” said Mosley, who retired from the campus’ English department in 2017.
In “Resuming Maurice’s” essays, Mosley injects elements of personal narrative into his appreciations of a diverse group of authors whose backgrounds range from English, Welsh and American, to Belgian, Danish, Mexican and Kenyan. Playing off of the growing academic subdiscipline of celebrity studies, the book’s unifying theme is celebrity and its discontents.
The “Maurice” in the title refers to Maurice Maeterlinck, the Nobel Prize-winning Belgian poet, playwright and essayist whose 1907 work, “The Intelligence of Flowers,” Mosley had previously translated from its original French.
“His literary celebrity stirred my interest, and I chose to write the main essay in the book on it,” Mosley said. “‘Resuming’ has a double meaning: a recapping of his fame, and my own attempt to restart something of a reputation that had long grown faded.”
Instead of a narrowly focused scholarly audience, Mosley decided to write the collection for the "common reader.”
“I intended from the start to write for a more general audience with interests in literary biography and the idea of cultural celebrity,” he said.
“I set out to write scholarly pieces imbued with elements of personal narrative to form a set of thematic essays accessible and entertaining also to a non-academic readership.”
A native of Norwich, England, Mosley attended Norwich School and received his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of East Anglia. He has written numerous books about literature and cinema, including 2013’s "The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers: Responsible Realism.” In 2008, he received the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s Prix de la Traduction for his translations of works by Belgian francophone authors.
The book reception marks Mosley’s second campus event this year. Back in January, he coordinated a campus screening of “Centralia: Pennsylvania’s Lost Town,” Philadelphia filmmaker Joe Sapienza’s documentary on the Centralia mine fire.
“It is very nice to return occasionally to the campus. I have good memories of my almost 30-year career at Penn State and of everyone with whom I worked: students, faculty and staff colleagues,” Mosley said.
“I'm looking forward especially to this event, which will allow me to share some of my ongoing literary interests and writing preferences. For me, an important part of my emeritus status is to retain links with the academic life of the University.”
For more information on the event, contact Jennie Knies, Penn State Scranton head librarian, at 570-963-2632 or [email protected].