Fiction | September 01, 1984

Set at a university in the Deep South, Hyman and Hymenoptera explores the return South of Hyman Glover, a southern-born, half-Jewish, Yale-educated entomologist of once great promise.  Glover’s obsession with his own southern heritage and his growing fear of insects has caused him to fall into a kind of intellectual madness (he writes articles which interpret human behavior in terms of insects-e.g. “Molting and the Vulnerable Self”-and at other moments of trauma spontaneously adopts a backwoods southern accent).  Other characters in this excerpt are Mrs. Boon, Glover’s landlady and President of the Pickens County Literary Conclave, and Joel Kaplan, Glover’s friend, a New Yorker and complete ironist who has lost his job as a teaching psychologist because he has perversely adopted a therapeutic technique based on the Medieval theory of humors.


“There’s a touch of spring in the air!” Mrs. Boon cried to Glover as she got out of the Volvo.

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