Like my 1990 Toyota and my cardio-vascular system, my website is due for a check-up and probably a tune-up. I launched johnvfleming.com a few years ago at the urging of my “trade” publisher, the W. W. Norton Company, whose marketing experts suggested it as an appropriate way to disseminate information about my book The Anti-Communist Manifestos. It did serve that purpose admirably, before sliding into its retirement role as a redundant if convenient portal to my weekly blog Gladly Lerne, Gladly Teche
But I now have new Norton book in an advancing stage of production. You can find information on the new book here. Its title is The Dark Side of the Enlightenment--a title chosen partly for its provocative potential. Books are chiefly interesting for their content, of course, but the actual process of making a book has its own fascinations. Giving a brief summary of a wide-ranging book is not easy, but when challenged by the people who make up the Norton catalogue to say what the book is about in no more than 250 words, I came up with this. Over the coming weeks and months I shall periodically be posting a series of mini-essays that (1) introduce you to some of the book’s major ideas and characters—and I do mean characters—and (2) give some account both of the intellectual and the industrial stages of the book’s production.
Who Is John V. Fleming?
John V. Fleming hails from a farm in Baxter County, Arkansas. He graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) in 1958. He then went for three years as a Rhodes Scholar to Oxford (Arkansas and Jesus College), where he took a honours BA in English. He next spent two years at Princeton getting a Ph.D. (1963), before becoming an Instructor in English at the University of Wisconsin (1963-65). He returned to Princeton in 1965, where he taught until his retirement in 2006. During his long Princeton career he held numerous administrative positions, including the chairmanship of the English Department and the acting chairmanship of Comparative Literature He is the former Master of Wilson College, and the former Faculty Director of the Program in Freshman Seminars. Jointly appointed in the Department of Comparative Literature, Fleming published very extensively in the fields of medieval English and European literature, medieval art history, and the history of Christian thought and spirituality. He is a winner of the Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities and the President’s medal for distinguished teaching. In 2006 he received the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award.
From 1995 to 2006, he wrote a weekly opinion column in The Daily Princetonian, entitled "Gladly Lerne, Gladly Teche" which now continues in the blog associated with this site. He served for several years as a Commissioner of Higher Education of Middle States. He is active in numerous learned societies, including the Medieval Academy of America, which he served as its President, and the Guild of Scholars of the Episcopal Church.
He is married to the Rev. Joan Elizabeth Newman Fleming, rector emerita of Christ Church in New Brunswick, NJ. He is the proud father of Richard A. Fleming, Katherine E. Fleming, and Luke O. Fleming, proud father-in-law of Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, Melanie Dean, and Katie Dixon, and confused grandfather to Sophia, Lulu, Cora, John Henry, Ruby, and Hazel Elizabeth.
For more carefully organized misinformation, you may consult his Wikipedia entry.
- The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War (2009)
- 1492: An Ongoing Voyage (1992, with Ida Altman and John Hebert)
- Classical Imitation and Interpretation in Chaucer's Troilus (1990)
- Reason and the Lover (1984)
- From Bonaventure to Bellini: An Essay in Franciscan Exegesis (1982)
- An Introduction to the Franciscan Literature of the Middle Ages (1977)
- Two Poems Attributed to Joachim of Fiore, with Marjorie Reeves (1977)
- The Roman de la Rose: A Study in Allegory and Iconography (1969)
Some Princeton Links:
- "Princeton Journeys: Chaucer's Canterbury with John Fleming" (Princeton University Alumni Association)
- "Fleming honors 'Class of Destiny' at Baccalaureate" (News@Princeton, June 3, 2007)
- Full text of the 2007 Baccalaureate Address, delivered by Professor Fleming at the Princeton University Chapel on June 3, 2007
- "Dr John Fleming talks about the Middle Ages and the modern world, part 1" (Fausta's blog, March 14, 2007)
- Professor Fleming's bio at the P.U. English Department website
- "A Celebration of John Fleming’s (*63) Scholarship and Teaching in Honor of his Retirement"
Sidebar photograph: Professor John Fleming delivering the Baccalaureate Address in June 2007 in the Princeton University Chapel. He likes the celestial overtones, but he usually looks more like this: