Legendary Novelist Tom Robbins To Lecture at Doane
Legendary American novelist Tom Robbins will speak and take questions from the audience to entertain and inform, or as he likes to say "to bewilder, mystify, rankle, delude, foil, swindle and corrupt," Thursday evening, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Heckman Auditorium on Doane College's Crete campus.
His talk, this year’s lecture in the Lucille Cobb Lecture Series sponsored by the English department, is entitled “Language Is Not the Frosting, It’s the Cake.” It is free and open to the public.
An expatriated Southerner living in the Pacific Northwest for over 40 years, Tom Robbins has published nine best-selling novels worldwide and shorter works in Esquire, Harpers, and other national and international magazines. Erroneously labeled (or libeled?) a 1960s counterculture writer, Robbins examines, through his major works of fiction, many themes fundamental to the new liberal philosophical thinking given voice in the '60s and since then by significant changes affecting the contemporary American cultural landscape. What constitutes authenticity, what constitutes power, and what constitutes the real are just a few of the many questions addressed in all of his works by some of the most imaginatively and creatively comic characters and situations to be found in all of contemporary American literature.
His first two books, Another Roadside Attraction (1971) and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976), earned him nothing less than cult status as an American writer in the '70s. Publication of his next four novels, Still Life With Woodpecker (1980), Jitterbug Perfume (1984), Skinny Legs and All (1990) and Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (1994), resulted in a worldwide following, which to this day continues to grow in number almost exponentially. (He was recently mobbed, much to his editor’s delight, by young women in Tokyo and Sydney, Australia.)
Robbins’s last three novels, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (2000), Villa Incognito (2003) and B Is for Beer (2009), reveal a renewed, vigorous interest in returning to many of the aesthetic and philosophical issues dealt with in his earlier works, and included in his early study of technique and perspective in the visual art of 20th century abstract expressionists in general, and in the works of Jackson Pollock and Chaim Soutine in particular.
“Language Is Not the Frosting, It’s the Cake” promises to offer everyone the rare opportunity of hearing and meeting one of 20th century American literature’s most comically serious and seriously comic voices—the very same voice that, over 30 years ago, gave verbal shape to the idea of the mind that is truly healthy when it coined the phrase—it’s time to call in well.