ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In his own words:
I was born in Texas during the Depression, and escaped as soon as I could. I eventually got a Ph.D. I am an ex-minister (TX, MS, OK, and NJ), ex-child welfare worker (OK), and ex-professor of sociology, humanities, philosophy, and literature (NJ, IL, and IN). In 1973, I moved to San Diego with my wife Stephanie. I semi-retired and have not had a full-time job since then. We took up astronomy, 3 telescopes, 2 binocs, 4 total eclipses of the sun (OR '79, Java '83, Sumatra '88, Baja '91), Comet Halley (Peru '86), and many other thrilling sights. We love to travel, here and abroad. For the past 30 years we have lived less than 3/4 of a mile from the ocean and I surf (boogieboard) as often as my strength and stamina allow. We also fell in love with the desert 90 minutes from the Pacific and have a small trailer out there. I did freelance writing, mainly popularizing science (usually astronomy), and taught English composition (research paper) part-time. I still listen to my 700 rock music (vinyl) albums. Then I fully retired in '97, and have returned to writing about literature. I finally found the words I wanted to say about Joyce's novel Ulysses, Rilke's poem Duinese Elegies, and now, still in progress, about Lytton Strachey's non-fiction prose. In recent years, I have become intensely interested in plants, especially cacti and succulents, and volunteer at the Botany Dept., Research Herbarium, of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
In the official words of his peer reviewers:
Mood, a Ph.D. in literature and philosophy, taught at the university level for ten years. He published numerous scholarly articles (PMLA, Chicago Review. Philosophy Today) on existentialism (Nietzsche, Heidegger) and literature (Beckett, Swift, Frost, Sexton). He spoke at two international Joyce symposia (Trieste, 1971; Dublin, 1973).
After leaving academia, he became a freelance writer popularizing astronomy, while continuing his literary interests, especially in Joyce and the German-language poet Rainer Maria Rilke. His book, Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties, has been in print with W. W. Norton continuously since 1975, making it the second largest selling book on Rilke in the entire English-speaking world. In 2004, he published Joyce's "Ulysses" for Everyone, Or How to Skip Reading It the First Tiime. In 2007, he published Rilke on Death and Other Oddities.