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John Gardner
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Author
    (July 21, 1933-September 14, 1982)
    Born in Batavia, New York
    Birth name was John Champlin Gardner Jr.
    Author of the popular Beowulf retelling, 'Grendel' (1971)
    Also wrote novels 'The Sunlight Dialogues,' 'Nickel Mountain,' 'October Light,' 'Mickelsson's Ghosts,' 'Jason and Medeia,' and 'In the Suicide Mountains'
    Other assorted literary works include 'On Moral Fiction,' 'On Becoming a Novelist,' 'Dragon, Dragon,' 'Poems,' 'The Life and Times of Geoffrey Chaucer,' 'On Writers and Writing,' and 'The Art of Fiction'
    Taught at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and later at Binghamton University
    Killed in a motorcycle accident near his home in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on September 14, 1982
    He struck some of his writing students as verbally intimidating.
    As a kid, he was involved in a farm equipment accident which took the life of his younger brother (1945).
    He married his cousin, and then left her after twenty years for one of his students.
    He then divorced his second wife after less than two years, leaving her for another student of his.
    He may have started the trend of depicting the villains of classics sympathetically by telling 'their side' ('Wicked' anyone?)
    The most widely circulated cover to his 'Grendel' novel features a drawing that looks more like Fozzie Bear than a man-eating behemoth.
    He was accused of plagiarism by several colleagues over his Geoffrey Chaucer biography.
    His debut novel was widely panned, leading Gore Vidal to dismiss him as 'late apostle to the lowbrows.'
    His fiancee admitted to police that he had been drinking the night that his Harley-Davidson crashed off of Route 92.
    Reports showed that his autopsy yielded a blood alcohol level of 0.075 (the legal limit for driving at the time was 0.08).
    He was haunted by guilt over what he believed was his role in his brother's death (it shaped a great deal of his fiction).
    'Grendel' was nominated for Best Novel at the Mythopoeic Awards (1972).
    'Sunlight Dialogues' was on the New York Times bestseller list for fourteen weeks (1973).
    'October Light' won the National Book Critics Circle Award, in 1976.
    He set off a national scandal in the literary community by daring to openly critique his literary peers in 'On Moral Fiction.'
    Specifically, he was harsh in his criticism of literary elites like Norman Mailer, John Updike, and Joseph Heller.
    His brutal honesty made him toxic to many within the publishing industry, but he continued to produce bestsellers anyway.
    He successfully underwent treatment for colon cancer.
    His fatal motorcycle wreck occurred less than three weeks before he was set to marry his third wife.
    He had once broken both of his arms in a previous motorcycle wreck.
    He admitted to basing much of the Grendel character on the personality and ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre.
    He said of Sartre: 'He's a horror intellectually, figuratively, and morally... anything he says you believe, at least for the moment, because of the way he says it... everything that Grendel says Sartre in one mood or another has said.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 251 Votes: 44.22% Annoying
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