May 23, 2009
Novelist Raymond Federman Honored at Washington College's 2009 Commencement, May 17
Chestertown, MD — National Public Radio's Diane Rehm, a living legend of broadcast journalism, addressed the graduates at Washington College's 2009 Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 17. Rehm received an honorary degree in addition to being guest speaker at this year's Commencement.
French-American novelist Raymond Federman received an honorary Doctor of Letters along with Rehm, and addressed the graduating class.
Raymond Federman is a French-American novelist and academic, known also for poetry, essays, translations and criticism. He held positions at the University at Buffalo from 1973 to 1999, where he is now Distinguished Emeritus Professor.
Federman is a writer in the experimental style, one that seeks to deconstruct traditional prose. This type of writing is quite prevalent in his book Double or Nothing, in which the linear narrative of the story has been broken down and restructured so as to be nearly incoherent. Words are also often arranged on pages to resemble images or to suggest repetitious themes.
Born in Montrouge, France, Federman emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. He studied at Columbia University and as a graduate at U.C.L.A., where he earned a doctorate in comparative literature on Samuel Beckett. He is also a co-founder of the Fiction Collective, a publishing house dedicated to experimental fiction and its writers.