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English is a well-known subject, but what most

people don’t know is that English scholars do a lot

of different things. One of these scholars is Dr. Gary

Hentzi, whose interest in culture dates from a very

early age. “I guess I always knew that I was interested

in the arts and culture. I started out more interested in

music than anything else, but it quickly branched out

into an interest in literature,” he says.

As a young professor, he specialized in one of the

founders of the novel as a literary genre in the early

18th century: Daniel Defoe. This English trader, writer,

journalist, pamphleteer and spy became most famous

for his novel Robinson Crusoe. “Defoe certainly

is one of the founders of the novel as a genre in the

sense that his books are among the prose narratives

from that period that continue to interest us, especially

in retrospect. In part, it’s because we’ve had almost

300 years of the novel after him,” says Hentzi.


This work was originally published in College Talk.



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