James M. Morrison


JAMES MADISON MORRISON June 28, 1940 Virginia, USA – June 11, 2013 Thailand
James Madison Morrison was a writer who traveled frequently and described in situ the countries that he visited. He was engaged in a life-long project, the 26-volume universal epic, Sentence of the Gods. He imitated his favorite poet, Homer, in the Second Volume, O; his favorite novelist, Cervantes, he has troped in Possibly. His work was autobiographical, but impersonally so, as in his favorite book, The Education of Henry Adams.

He grew up in North American cities, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago, where his father worked as a sales executive for US Steel. By the summer of 1960, he had studied enough Russian to sing folk songs in the Yale Russian Chorus and tour the then Soviet Union, arguing politics in public places with its citizens after impromptu concerts. In 1961 he graduated from Yale. In 1962, he received a master’s degree, in 1969, a doctorate from Harvard, in British and American Literature.

He taught for The University of Maryland on military bases in Germany (at Spangdahlem, Rhein-Main and Darmstadt), in France (at Garches and St. Germain, in the environs of Paris), again in Germany (at Kaiserslautern, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden) and, finally, in Greece (at Iraklion). Married in 1963, he spent the summers with his wife at her parents’ retirement home in Brittany, France. He was the father of two darling boys.

After completing his degrees, he accepted a professorship at the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK) where he taught a variety of British and American Literature courses for 23 years. He was a professor at Thammasat University in Bankok for a year and for 10 years at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

He began his capstone project in the mid-1970s and finished Sentence of the Gods’ 26 volumes more than 30 years later. It has been analyzed, surveyed and commented on in a variety of media.

During his life he became quite fluent in German, French and Chinese. He could converse in Russian, read Italian and Latin and, though his Thai and Indian Lectures were translated, developed the ability to understand and speak in daily usage, Hindi and Thai. He spent his last few years in travelling between Thailand, India and Indonesia giving lectures.

He died during an afternoon outing, wherein he was struck by a motorist after suffering a heart attack while navigating the city on his motorbike.

He was predeceased by his parents, James Gholson and Martha Brown Morrison, and a son, John Morrison. He is survived by his sister, a son and his wife, and two granddaughters.

His ashes were scattered at sea; specifically the South China Sea

His Find a Grave location is https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112736291/james-%20madison-morrison