Cheever’s ‘The Swimmer’ Focus of WT’s Great Books Series in September – The PRAIRIE


Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]

CANYON, Texas — A classic tale with a puzzling ending will be in the spotlight for the September edition of West Texas A&M University’s Great Books series.

Dr. Eric Meljac, assistant professor of English, will lead the discussion on “The Swimmer” by John Cheever at 7 p.m. on September 13 via Zoom.

The discussion series – sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages ​​- is open to those who have or have not read the book, said Dr Daniel Bloom, organizer of Great Books and associate professor of philosophy.

Meljac said “The Swimmer” appealed to him because he enjoys stories that don’t follow traditional narrative trajectories.

“In many ways, ‘The Swimmer’ reminds me of David Lynch movies, which start seemingly normally but end with a completely confusing conclusion,” Meljac said. “Whenever Lynch is asked why his work doesn’t have meaning, his response goes along the lines of ‘I don’t know why people want art to have meaning when life itself doesn’t ‘doesn’t make sense.’ That’s how Cheever’s story seems to me.

“It’s about a lifetime,” continued Meljac. “But in a way it doesn’t make much immediate sense. I love such challenging art – art that forces us to situate ourselves in a sense of discomfort and forces us to consider what he might be trying to tell us.

WT professors and guest speakers host monthly great book discussions.

The series began in 2011 and is traditionally held on the second Tuesday of the month; a return to in-person meetings at Burrowing Owl Books, 7406 SW 34th Ave., Suite 2B, in Amarillo, is scheduled to take place in January.

To register for the September discussion, email Dr. Patricia Tyrer at [email protected].

The series is a means by which WT serves the region by providing engagement with a variety of literary and philosophical texts. Being a learner-centred university is a key principle of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From begging to the world.

This plan is fueled by the historic amount of $125 million one west huge fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which launched publicly on September 23 — has raised more than $110 million.


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