Thursday, May 07, 2009
RIP Alfred Appel Jr.
One of the first courses I took at Northwestern was Appel's "Introduction to Contemporary American Literature," in which he taught his own book, The Annotated Lolita. (The annotations were his; the book was of course Nabokov's.) Twenty-six years later, I still have that book, and I still refer to it. And I remember with pleasure many wonderful lectures he gave on that and other classics, his screenings of adaptations like The Killers (1946), and his stories of brushes with greatness with the likes of Nabokov, Hemingway, Gary Cooper, and Lee Marvin. An inspiring professor and a nice guy, too, who I always enjoyed chatting with between classes; looks like I'll be picking up his 1991 revision of The Annotated Lolita to see what he added.