In Memoriam: Allan Pasco (1937–2021)

Corry Cropper
Brigham Young University

Lingua Romana fondly remembers the life and contributions of Allan Pasco who passed away last October. He had served on our editorial board since the journal’s founding.

I had known Allan since I began my career, first meeting him at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies colloquium in Athens, GA in 1997. He was a towering figure, both physically and professionally. And yet he was always encouraging and supportive: offering feedback, contacting me with questions about authors I worked on, visiting our Provo campus to participate in a journée d’étude. He took the time to read the entire manuscript of my first book and gave me helpful feedback that was key to getting it published. So, in a very real sense, he helped make my career. And he did the same for many others in my field.

When Scott Sprenger founded Lingua Romana in 2002, it was an obvious choice to ask Allan to join the editorial board. His presence gave the journal immediate credibility. And his continuing generous support for the journal – including authoring the article “Occulting Balzac’s Catherine and the Nature of Novels” (Lingua Romana, vol. 8, issue 1) and reviewing Andrew Watt’s Preserving the Provinces (Lingua Romana, vol. 7, issue 1) – proved invaluable.

His research on Balzac, regularly presented at the NCFS colloquium, and published, notably, in his books Balzacian Montage (1991) and Balzac, Literary Sociologist (2016), marked his career and our field. His book Sick Heroes (1997), one of my favorites, remains a model for literary scholarship that is at once groundbreaking and readable. His anthology of French short stories (first edition 2006; reviewed in Lingua Romana, vol. 5, issue 1), did much to rehabilitate Rachilde’s short stories and led to a renewed interest in her work. His last book, The Nineteenth-Century French Short Story (2019; also reviewed in Lingua Romana, vol. 15, issue 1) stands as a fitting conclusion to his œuvre: Allan returned to the short story many times over the course of his career, refining its definition, studying the genre’s impact, and analyzing classic and lesser-known texts as only he could.

His books and essays outlive him, of course, and his ideas will continue to inspire his colleagues and remind us of his intelligence and his generosity.

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