The World According to P. F. Kluge (Micronesia 1967-69)

Paul Frederick Kluge, commonly known as P. F. Kluge, is a novelist living in Gambier, Ohio. Kluge was raised in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier in 1964, then went to the University of Chicago for his Ph.D., and at the age of twenty-five he joined the Peace Corps. He wanted to be a writer and he wanted to be sent to Ethiopia or Turkey, where he thought he might soak up the culture that would make him a novelist, but as he relates in this video, the Peace Corps, in only Peace Corps logic, he was sent to Micronesia where the islands became his paradise in more ways than one. kluge

On the islands, he would write the novel The Day That I Die, published in 1976. He would next write the classic Eddie And The Cruisers in ’80; Season for War in ’84; MacArthur’s Ghost, ’85; The Edge of Paradise: America in Micronesia in ’91, and the list goes on and on.

Over the years he would return to Kenyon College to teach creative writing and to write Alma Mater: A College Homecoming which, I’m told, was met with some hostility, but then college deans began to read it and now his account of life at Kenyon is given to new students.

P.F. Kluge might be the most famous of many famous graduates of Kenyon. He continues to write and he continues to publish novels, write articles for such magazines as National Geographic, and to teach a semester a year at the College.

Recently Kenyon asked him to speak on campus, to address the students and faculty. This talk “The World According to Kluge” is now on their website. You would be wise to watch Kluge. He has a lot of wonderful things to say about  being a PCVs, writing,  living the life of a writer, and just how to live one’s life.

To watch the film, follow these steps.

  1. Go to this link:
  2. Click on the ‘On-Demand” tab on the right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Once clicked, Fred’s lecture “The World According to Kluge” will appear at the top.
  4. Click on the name of the lecture and the video will begin to play.
  5. If you’d like to skip the photo/music slideshow intro, fast forward the lecture to minute-mark eighteen (18:00).

Now pour yourself a glass of wine, settle into a comfortable chair, keep a notepad handy so you can write down some of his better lines, and listen to a wise man, a fine writer, and, like you, an RPCV.

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