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John Davis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 May 2011 09:25:44 -0400
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I first met Michael Kiskis in 1992 when several of us were invited to
present papers at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.  There I was in the
midst of the likes of Louis Budd, Jim Cox, Jeffrey Steinbrink, Scot
Michaelson, Kerry Driscoll, and the very up-and-coming Jim Zwick, an unknown
scholar from a small college in rural North Carolina, probably the smallest
one represented, surrounded by representatives from the University of
Virginia, Dartmouth, Duke, Princeton, and others much larger and well-known.
The symposium concluded with a roundtable discussion of all the
participants.  Michael, then an assistant dean and professor at Empire State
College, who--as is his nature--had been already been friendly to me,
further encouraged me out of any remaining timidity: "John made a good
point."  "Let's hear what John has to say."

In years since, I saw him each quadrennial I attended in Elmira and met his
smiles with small talk.  I don't know that he actually recalled that event,
me, or my name, but I remember Michael Kiskis well and fondly.  I am
saddened and, like others who have written and are yet to write or respond
in their own ways, will miss him.

On Mon, May 9, 2011 at 8:09 AM, Stephen F. Railton <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> As others have said, this is very sad news.  Michael was one of the most
> generous scholars I've ever known.  I know there are many of us who won't
> stop missing him.  Steve Railton

John H. Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Department of Language and Literature
Chowan University
Murfreesboro, North Carolina 27855