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Ogden, Chabon, and the Doctor

April 2, 2009

I’m in Ogden, Utah with three students for the National Undergraduate Literature Conference. We flew in today, drove here from Salt Lake City, and then went to the opening banquet. My students (Kayla, Scott, and Rachel) present at evenly spaced times over Friday and Saturday. So far, it’s been a smooth trip. I regret not bringing my camera, because the Rocky Mountains are truly glorious.
One big bonus for me is that the keynote speaker for this conference is one of my favorite writers, Michael Chabon. He spoke tonight–or rather read. He read an essay on geekdom and family and fear of failure that was funny and profound in the spirit of most of his writing, particularly the recent essay collection Maps and Legends. Part of the talk had to do with raising a family of geeks–he and his four kids are all lovers of the new Dr. Who. Gwyn and I are embarassingly obessed fans of the show as well. So, during the book signing I asked Chabon, who was busily signing my copy of Maps and Legends, what he thought about the way they brought Rose back onto the show at the end of season 4. He instantly began talking about the merits of Russell T. Davies as a writer and we talked about our mutual excitement that Stephen Moffat will be taking over the show starting in the new season. He agrees with me that storylines seem to be getting recycled, and I agreed that Davies’ strengths are depicting characters and relationships, while Moffat is much more adept at plotting.

Five minutes of talking about Dr. Who with Michael Chabon. That’s the happiest geek moment of my year so far.

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