Written by Great Books on Monday, September 28, 2015
Meet Piers Gelly, Amherst College Lead PA, river boatman, Edgar Allen Poe lookalike, and our first Nerd of the Month for the new season!
Name:Piers George Crampton Gelly
Current life status: I graduated from Wesleyan University two years ago and still live in Connecticut, producing radio stories freelance
Relationship to Great Books: Stanford PA for summer 2014, and Amherst Lead PA for summer 2015!
Nerdy fun fact: Canto 26 of the Inferno makes me teary whenever I read it.
Currently reading: Desperate Characters , by Paula Fox. It’s a novel about a woman who gets bit by a stray cat.
Favorite word: threnody.
Least favorite word: langour.
Which nerd in history would you most like to have a late brunch with?: My great-grandfather, the Irish essayist Hubert Butler, whose writing I love very badly but whom I never met.
Which author would you want to write your story?: When I respond very strongly to stories, I often feel like the author is already writing my story, showing me things that I never knew were true about my life. Some of the truest things I’ve read come from Marcel Proust and Annie Dillard, but I’m afraid much of the rest comes from Fyodor Dostoevsky. However, I would also like to read a story written about me by the anonymous author(s) of the Icelandic sagas. Can the movie ever be better than the book?: Yes. The Shining , for example.
Do you prefer hardcover books or paperback, and why?: Paperbacks! They’re cheaper. Though my hardcover edition of the Paradiso would be a good home defense implement if it came to that.
Who is your Lord of the Rings spirit character?: A stranger once told me I looked like “a hipster Orlando Bloom,” so probably Gollum.
What question would you like to ask the next Nerd of the Month?: What is the best tense for narration? First-person? Omniscent? Second person? First-person plural? What is your favorite story from that point of view? My favorite is first-person plural, pictured here.