Objects and Empathy attempts to open up coherent spaces in which, to paraphrase Richard Wilbur, I try to win for once over the world's weight without sacrificing my investment in the particulars of that world-its gestures, details, peccadilloes, ambiguities, frustrations, and insistent grace. Persistent interests of mine include sports, movies, solitude and friendships (rich in both, thank you), loved ones (richer still)-the usual suspects, really. I am still having childhood experiences, frankly; "childlike" would be more forgiving, but not necessarily more accurate. As for hobbies, I am fortunate to enjoy a conspiracy of vocation and avocation. Objects and Empathy is a departure from literary criticism that allowed me to exploit the lyrical aspects of my previous writing without the ballast or occasion of the critical task. Instead of caddying for so-called creative writers, I've run onto the course with the clubs and started whacking about on my own. I'd suggest that my most worthy, coherent, and accessible self is best displayed in these essays.
Arthur Saltzman is the author of This Mad Instead: Governing Metaphors in Contemporary American Fiction, Understanding Nicholson Baker, The Novel in the Balance, Designs of Darkness in Contemporary American Fiction, Understanding Raymond Carver, and The Fiction of William Gass: The Consolation of Language. Of his literary scholarship, Irving Malin has written, "Saltzman is daring, thoughtful, and thorough: he dazzles me." And Jerome Klinkowitz has called Saltzman "one of American fiction's great discoverers, elucidators, and synthesizers."
Saltzman grew up in the Chicago area, attended the University of Illinois, and since 1981 has lived in Joplin, Missouri, where he is Professor of English at Missouri Southern State College.