Essays in Honor of Sandy Petrey
Edited By Robert Harvey and Patrice Nganang
Preface: For Sandy…
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ROBERT HARVEY & PATRICE NGANANG
The intellectual legacy of Donald Petrey—“Sandy” to the scores of graduate students he trained and regaled with his captivatingly enthusiastic knowledge of literature and theory and to his many colleagues who miss him sorely, now that he has retired from active duty at the university—is the object of this Festschrift.
Fueled by his encyclopedic knowledge, his insatiable appetite for novels, propelled by bold interpretations couched in the most straightforward no-nonsense discourse, Sandy Petrey created and occupied such an important place in literary studies for himself that students were magnetically drawn to him. At the same time, his peers both at Stony Brook and across the continent, turned to his unique perspective on realism, on speech act theory, on the impact of the French Revolution on Europe and the world at large to advance their own research.
Sandy retired from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2012 after forty-three years. Forty-three years during which he never once had a day of absence except in those months when he fought and beat cancer—twice. A brilliant student of Henri Peyre (about whom Sandy says he’d “read everything and understood it”), he came to Stony Brook—“the Berkeley of the east coast”—fresh off a Ph.D. defended at Yale University in 1966 on “Zola’s Rougon-Macquart Cycle.”
True to the quip about Stony Brook being a fledgling sister to the seat...
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