through the eyes and works of Dr. Kenneth Laine Ketner
His Glassy Essence:
written by Kenneth Laine Ketner
A mystery from Boston unfolds
DEAR READER: My identity is insignificant, but ultimately
of no importance. You need to understand a bit about me. I’m
known as a mystery writer by trade, but I’m an amateur by
inclination and instinct. I mean that I thrive on some childlike
qualities in my mind, and it gives me a way to live one day after another. Because of those instincts and habits, I can see things, little bits of life, that most people overlook. In that respect, my amateur lifestyle helps me write. But my dilettante ways, now that I reflect are more important to me than writing. My reasonably capable detective novels are the means to finance my status as a lifelong novice in a number of other pursuits. Writing also gives me freedom for dabbling, because, thank God, it isn’t a nine-to-five job. I can make up a new story when I feel like doing it. I get enough royalty checks to live as a member of the comfortable middle class in old Boston with Elizabeth and our poodle; I haven’t written the great
American mystery novel yet, but hope eternal springs. I might
get lucky. But I’m not breaking my neck to do it – that
would mean less time for my amateurism....
Read the rest of Chapter One HERE.
An Autobiography of Charles Sanders Peirce
Reviews of His Glassy Essence
A wonderful read, based on extensive and meticulous research--a book one finds hard to put down.
~ Ruth Anna Putnam, Wellesley College
In creating an intriguing 'scholarly' mystery as the setting for his life of Peirce, Ketner tells a story that gives a sense of excitement and satisfaction unusual for intellectual biographies, one that will convince readers that Peirce is a neglected American treasure.
~ Nathan Houser, Peirce Edition Project
Having published eight books on C.S. Peirce, the founder of American pragmatism, Ketner is an acknowledged authority on the man as well as a true believer. The collected papers of Peirce (pronounced Purse) were published in multivolume editions, but Peirce never wrote an autobiography. To make up for this omission, Ketner has begun to write one for him in the first of three planned volumes. To produce this work of literary nonfiction, Ketner has inserted imagined speeches by Peirce and passages from Peirce's letters and philosophic writings where he "waxed autobiographical." To move the story along, Ketner introduces a narrator and two other fictional characters who function as intellectual detectives, separating genuine revelations from bogus ones. Their sleuthing may be helped or hindered by the fact that the narrator believes he is possessed by the spirit of Peirce. The reader is therefore confronted by a real author (Ketner), a dead subject (Peirce), fictional characters and reconstructed and imagined events. Using this convention, Ketner is able to make Peirce more immediate, and he weaves together an impressive amount of research on Peirce's early life, connecting thoughts to the thinker....
~ Publishers Weekly