In Memory of Professor OM Brack

O M BrackEmeritus Professor O M Brack, Jr. passed away on Thursday, November 8, 2012. A small memorial service is planned for family. Cynthia Brack would prefer notes at this time and would welcome phone calls after this week in the coming weeks. We offer our deepest sympathy for his loss.

Professor Brack taught courses in the English Department at Arizona State University in Restoration and eighteenth-century English literature, bibliography and research methods, textual criticism, textual editing, and the history of the book. He directed thirty-six dissertations and twenty-seven MA theses to completion. He was a much beloved teacher and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students who gave him top marks and glowing comments for his clarity, helpfulness, knowledge, and caring. In 1991 he received the prestigious ASU Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award, and in 2000 the ASU Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award. For both of these honors he was nominated by his students, and for Professor Brack that fact meant a great deal.

An eminent scholar, Professor Brack was an authority on the life and writings of Samuel Johnson. On the tercentenary of Johnson’s birth in 2009, he was been asked to arrange an exhibition, “Samuel Johnson, Professional Author,” for the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California that ran throughout the summer of that year. He also authored a catalogue for the exhibition. As part of the tercentenary celebration he also critically edited, and provided an introduction and historical annotations, for Sir John Hawkins, "The Life of Samuel Johnson," LL.D. (1787), the first full-length biography of Johnson, which was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2009.

Since 1977 he has been He became a member of the Editorial Committee of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson in 1977, a position he held for over three decades. He published three pieces in this edition "A Commentary on Mr. Pope’s Principles of Morality," "Essay on Man" (2004), and, "Biographical Writings" (2010). For the same series he critically edited the text of the three-volumes of "Debates in the Senate of Magna Lilliputia," with introduction and annotations by Thomas Kaminski and Benjamin B. Hoover. He has co-authored "The Early Biographers of Samuel Johnson" (1971) and co-edited "The Early Biographies of Samuel Johnson" (1974), both with Robert E. Kelley. He has critically edited "Journal Narrative Relative to Dr. Johnson's Last Illness, Three Weeks before his Death, Kept by John Hoole" (1972), and written "Samuel Johnson in New Albion. A Descriptive Census of Rare and Useful Johnson Books and Manuscripts and Johnsoniana Now Located in California" (1997). His "The Macaroni Parson and the Concentrated Mind: Samuel Johnson’s Writings for the Reverend William Dodd" appeared in 2004. He has also written more than thirty essays on Johnson for scholarly journal, or for keepsakes for The Johnsonians and the Samuel Johnson Society of Southern California.

Brack was Founding Editor for the "Works of Tobias Smollett," University of Georgia Press. He served as Textual Editor for this edition and critically edited the texts for "The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom" (1988), "The History and Adventures of an Atom" (1989), "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker" (1990), "Poems Plays" and “The Briton” (1993), "The Adventures of Telemachus, the Son of Ulysses" (1997), "The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote" (2003), and "The Adventures of Roderick Random" and "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle" (2009). He also critically edited "The Devil upon Crutches" (2005), and "The Adventures of Gil Blas," and, with Leslie A. Chilton, provided an introduction and historical annotations. He also edited a collection of essays, "Tobias Smollett, Scotland’s First Novelist: New Critical Essays In Memory of Paul Gabriel Boucé" (2007), which includes his essay on Smollett’s authorship of “The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality” in Peregrine Pickle that for the first time clearly established the authorship.

Maureen Daly Goggin, Chair
Professor, Rhetoric