Letter: Park Honan brought American literature to existence

As a outcome of Park Honan’s inspirational teaching of American literature, I went to the University of Sussex to do a Master’s in American scientific studies.

I nevertheless have vivid recollections of Honan’s lecture on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, delivered in the style of a Hollywood movie producer assessing the possibilities of creating a film of the novel. It was a brilliant efficiency, and one that actually engaged his students.

In seminars, he had the satisfied knack of enabling the conversation to ramble along, and then, with one particular or two adroit interventions, lifting the understanding to a much more fulfilling level.

For some purpose he would usually flip to me when the discussion was flagging, and in the kindest tone say: “Well, Turner, what d’you think?” Ultimately I would ready myself for his query, the end result getting I grew to become better ready for his seminars than I may possibly have been.

To me, he was a breath of fresh air in the lecture hall, and there was constantly intellectual rigour in seminar and tutorial. What a combination!

I feel very privileged to have been taught by him.

Leave a Reply