Professor | Modern Languages
A California native, Dean de la Motte has degrees in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; he studied French and German at the Université de Poitiers (France) and
the Deutsche Schule of Middlebury College (Vermont), respectively.
The co-editor of Making the News: Modernity and the Mass Press in Nineteenth-Century France (with Jeannene Przyblyski) and Approaches to Teaching Stendhal’s “The Red and the Black” (with Stirling Haig), he has published a wide range of articles on nineteenth-century French literature and culture and numerous essays on the teaching of literature.
From 2000 to 2014 he worked as a chief academic officer, including eight years as the provost of Salve Regina University. He now teaches courses in French and English, including an annual seminar entitled “Scribblemania: The Brontës and the Passion of Writing.” In the fall of 2021, he was a visiting scholar in Lyon, France. Oblivion is his first novel.
Dean de la Motte
Summary: Oblivion is both a reconstruction of the life of the famous literary sisters’ often-misunderstood brother, and a sweeping portrayal of a century in rapid transition to modernity. The book traces Branwell’s meandering journey across the north of England, from the Fells of the Lake District to the ocean cliffs of Scarborough, from the smoky streets of industrial Halifax to the windswept moors above Haworth, encountering such notables as Hartley Coleridge and Franz Liszt. Through him we meet poets, sculptors, booksellers, prostitutes, publicans, railway workers, farmers, manufacturers and clergymen; through his experiences we contemplate the ineffable but fleeting ecstasy of sex, the existence of God, the effects of drugs and alcohol and the nature of addiction itself, the desire for fame, and the bitter resentment of artists and intellectuals who feel unappreciated by an increasingly materialistic, mechanized society.
Dean de la Motte, Oblivion: The Lost Diaries of Branwell Brontë, Scarborough: Valley Press, 2022
McKillop Library Main Collection: PR6110.A785 D4 2022