There are 28 sheets in this funny little collection of ~ 4” x 6” illustrations by prolific and celebrated American author Paul Horgan. Dedicated to a friend (“to amuse Bud Crampton intermittently, Autumn, 1969”) Horgan combines hand drawn and inked caricatures with typewritten captions to poke fun at some of the characters haunting the campus grounds where he worked at the time, Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut. It’s unclear how many of the characters are of real teachers, faculty and students at Wesleyan, and which are more general archetypes and tropes present there, but in either case his odd descriptive insights into the workings of these folks and their illustrated gestures make for some good ol’ tongue in cheek jabs at academia. Included are such characters as “EBAN GLENN HICKRY, professor of Bio-Chemistry, who hates to think that genes have some relation to student activism,” “HANNIBAL LESTER, ex-70, who has broken with CORE to found his new movement, IFW, Integration for Whites,” “ASSISTANT LINE COACH CLENDENNING (“DENNIE”) O’MAGGERTY, who has been taking “work” toward his M.A. in Phys. Ed. For 11 years,” and “TEETEE JEFFERS, to be admitted at mid-term, thinks the best maker of new friends is grass. (She used to prefer absinthe).”
Paul Horgan (1903 – 1995) was an American author of fiction and non-fiction, winning the Pulitzer Prize for History twice in his career, in 1955 and again in 1976, each time for groundbreaking writings on the history of New Mexico. His 1951 work which won him the prize, Great River, is considered a classic in the historical literature of the American southwest. Earlier in his life, he befriended J. Robert Oppenheimer (one of the fathers of the atomic bomb), and was the first set designer of an opera department at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, which soon became the professional American Opera Company. At the time this collection was created, he was a Fellow in the Center for Advanced Studies and an adjunct Professor of English at Wesleyan. He published 40 books and received 19 honorary degrees from universities in the United States, and received a papal knighthood from Pope Pius XII.