The Michigan Daily
Monday, March 30, 1987
A man for our times and others
by Sherry Lichtenwalner
Many students know professor
Bert Hornback for his rendition of
Dickens' A Christmas Carol in the
Art Museum during the holiday
season. His yearly readings of
poetry by Yeats are also always
highly attended. However, with
summer not far off, one of
Homback's most elaborate projects,
and best kept secrets, will soon be
underway. Every year this highly
energetic English professor takes
students to England and Ireland to
read literature by native authors in
their own home towns.
Hornback's yearly trips to
England and Ireland began in 1973.
At first it was a six-week program,
but now it has grown to nine. He
took twenty students the first year,
but admits it was "way too many. I
felt like I was hut mother, tour
guide, and "everything under the
sun," says Hornback. He now takes
eleven students on the trip, which
is worth eight credits. Students are
eligible after their junior year, and
are basically accepted on a first-
come, first-serve basis. Hornback
states he tries not to say much
about the trip, "otherwise I would
have a whole ton of folk wanting to
go and I can't take more than 11
The schedule for the trip to
Ireland and England begins in
Oxford; the group then spends a
week boating down the Thames
river,' "trying not to damage
ourselves or the boats or the
swans," quips Hornback. Although
no permanent damage has been done
so far, Hornback did run a boat
aground one year and had to lift it
off the sand. Never a dull moment.
Cornwall, England, is the next
stop, where the group stays in a
15th century manor house and con -
centrates their study on Hardy.
Driving through Wales to see the
castles, they head for Ireland.
Studying Joyce in Dublin and John
Synge's plays in the Aran Islands,
the group then stays for two weeks
at cottages on the Atlantic.
Finishing their studies back in
Dublin to read Heaney, the group
then has a free week in London for
Hornback's students are required
to read all the material once before
the trip, and the group meets once a
week starting in October the year
before to prepare for the expedition.
"It's hard work," says Hornback.
"We meet for class about four to
six hours a day, six days a week.
And at night, you've got a ton of
reading to do for the next day's
classes. It's fun as can be, but it's
In addition, Hornback is secretary
of the Dickens Fellowship, an
international organization head -
quartered in London. The fellowship
started out with about fifty
members, but the number has
dwindled over the years. The
fellowship gets together to discuss
novels by Dickens, or to hear a
paper on some aspect of Dickens.
Hornback hopes to increase the
number of the fellowship's
members. Interested parties should
contact Shirley Smith at the Union
or Bert Hornback at the Honors
Office in Angell Hall. "After every
meeting of the fellowship," says
Hornback, "you have to toast, and
you toast to the immortal
memory." Considering the
accomplishments of this much-
loved professor, he should be in -
cluded in this toast. To the
immortal memory, Dickens, and to
you, too, Professor Hornback.
Continued from Previous Page
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Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUC.HY
Professor Bert Hornback chats about life at the University.
The English Composition Board's
2 "USING COMPUTERS AS A
WRITING TOOL, PART II"
April is the cruelest month. Only four weeks of
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o The last Academic Writing Series workshop of
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will offer mini workshops on text block moves,
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