Mazzeno, Laurence W. 1946- (Larry Mazzeno, Laurence W. Mazzeno, III)

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Mazzeno, Laurence W. 1946- (Larry Mazzeno, Laurence W. Mazzeno, III)


Born October 15, 1946, in New Orleans, LA; son of Laurence W., Jr. (a research chemist and educator) and Gloria (a homemaker) Mazzeno; married Cynthia Casey (an educator and administrator), May 4, 1968; children: William Paul and Stephen David. Education: Loyola University, B.A., 1968; Tulane University, M.A., 1974, Ph.D., 1978. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking and travel.


Home—Weems, VA. E-mail—[email protected]


Academic and military officer. U.S. Army, 1968-89, platoon leader/executive officer for various air defense artillery units in Europe, 1968-70; U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, staff officer for the advisory team, 1971, became Lieutenant Colonel; U.S. Military Academy, instructor/assistant professor, 1974-77; U.S. Military Personnel Service Company, Germany, executive officer/data processing systems officer, 1977-78, commander, 1978-79, personal staff officer for the deputy chief of staff, 1979-1980; U.S. Naval Academy, assistant professor of English, 1980-82, executive assistant of the Division of English & History, 1982-84, chair of English department, 1986-89; Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, deputy director of internal public relations, 1984-86; Mesa State College, Grand Junction, CO, dean of Humanities & Fine Arts, 1989-1992, dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences, 1990-91, dean of Business, 1991-92, acting associate vice president for academic affairs, 1991-92; Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, OH, vice president for academic affairs, 1992-95, chief operating officer of the college, 1995-96, interim president, 1996-97; Alvernia College, Reading, PA, president, 1997-2005, president emeritus, 2005—. Chair of chief academic officers committee for the Northeast Ohio Council of Higher Education, 1994-96; trustee for the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, 1994-97; director of the Berks Business Education Council, 1999-2005. Boy scout leader, 1977-1992; Caron Foundation, program committee member, 1997-2005; director of the United Way of Berks County, 1999-2005. Military service: Received Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, and two Army Commendation Medals.


Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (chair, 2001-05), St. Joseph Regional Health Network (vice chair for Pennsylvania, 2001-05), American Red Cross (Berks County chapter board member, 1999-2004), Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania.


Education award, Caron Foundation, 2004; President's award, Reading Area Community College, 2005; Junior Achievement of Berks County Outstanding Educator, 2005.


(Editor) Liberal Learning in a Technical Curriculum: Proceedings of the Conference at the U.S. Naval Academy, 18 March 1982, U.S. Naval Academy Press (Annapolis, MD), 1982.

The Victorian Novel: An Annotated Bibliography, Salem Press (Pasadena, CA), 1989.

Herman Wouk, Twayne (New York, NY), 1994.

Victorian Poetry: An Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1995.

(Consulting editor) Masterplots: 1,801 Plot Stories and Critical Evaluations of the World's Finest Literature, revised 2nd edition, edited by Dayton Kohler, Salem Press (Pasadena, CA), 1996.

The British Novel, 1680-1832: An Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 1997.

Matthew Arnold: The Critical Legacy, Camden House (Rochester, NY), 1999.

Alfred Tennyson: The Critical Legacy, Camden House (Rochester, NY), 2004.

The Dickens Industry: Critical Perspectives 1835-2005, Camden House (Rochester, NY), 2008.

Contributor of chapters to various books. Contributor of articles to various academic journals and periodicals. Contributing editor for Pleasant Living. Managing editor (1980-82, 1986-87) and book review editor (1982-84) for the Arnoldian. Editorial consultant for Victorians Institute Journal, 1984-90.


When asked why he writes, Laurence W. Mazzeno once told CA: "Perhaps I should say I am ‘compelled’ to write, casting myself as the frustrated artist who uses writing as a means of self-expression. Perhaps I should offer a Cartesian response: ‘I write, therefore I am.’ Perhaps, in this postmodern world where the author is dead, I should consider myself the unlucky ‘writing subject’—little more than a medium organizing symbols that take on a self-referential life of their own once I put a manuscript into the post-office box—or more likely, press the SEND button on my computer's e-mail function. All of these answers would seem most acceptable to so many people who, since the dawn of Romanticism more than two centuries ago, have privileged the writer as someone who, in Coleridge's words, ‘on honey dew hath fed And drunk the milk of paradise.’ No such luck. I write for the same reason editors accept or reject manuscripts: because I can. Not only can I write—I like to write, and I believe I can contribute something to others by my writing. I hope that doesn't sound either pretentious or hokey.

"I take great pleasure in shaping arguments, and in distilling large bodies of information into syntheses that make sense to others. I suspect this stems from my natural proclivity as a teacher, a profession I practiced with great relish for three decades. I have always found convincing the point made by T.S. Eliot that there are various kinds of ‘intelligences’ and that the kind of writing one does reflects the kind of ‘intelligence’ one possesses. Although I have published a handful of short stories and poems, I suspect I am a bit short on creative intelligence. I believe I possess a reasonably good critical intelligence, but I must qualify even this comment. In my years as an educator and writer, I've discovered two strands of critical intelligence, which I'll call ‘analytical’ and ‘synthetic’ as a means of distinguishing them. The critics who gain notoriety are those who possess the former—the ability to expand the frontiers of knowledge with their insights into literature, art, history, politics, etc. But those of us who possess ‘synthetic’ intelligence have a key role to play in society as well. We are the people who read both creative work and cutting-edge criticism, distill it, and pass on succinct summaries and explanations to those just starting their intellectual journey. In sum, the best writing I have done has been targeted at students—whether those are individuals in schools, or people curious to learn about subjects of which they know little. I see my writing as a means of extending my teaching vocation.

"As to how I write, there is no simple answer. When I write book reviews, I read the book, jotting notes along the way, then bang out a draft as soon as possible after closing the covers. One revision is usually sufficient before I'm comfortable sending the materials to the publisher. When I write reference articles, I gather some research materials, read and take notes, play around with paragraphs, and assemble these jottings into what I hope will be a coherent, well-argued piece that helps others understand my subject. I have always tried to follow the guidance I received from someone long ago—guidance that has certainly been passed on to authors from sages who've really succeeded in this writing game—and that is to write something every day. While I am not maniacal about actually sitting down at the computer or jotting notes longhand every day, I do try to do some work daily on one or more of the projects I have going simultaneously. (As I write this note, I'm working on two books, a special edition of a scholarly journal, and four reference articles.) I may read. I may do research in the Internet—a godsend to contemporary research writers!—or I may pound away on the keyboard. What I try not to do is ‘take a day off’ too frequently. Work will languish quite well if left alone.

"As to why I write what I do, certainly my preparation as a scholar and teacher suggests I'm best suited to write scholarly books and reference work. Like anyone who's majored in English and taught great literature—and who's seen the kind of money to be made by the likes of John Updike, Danielle Steele, and J.K. Rowling—I harbor a secret desire to write a critically acclaimed and best-selling novel. I would probably settle for either option—if I could ever finish a long creative work and get it off to a publisher. There's one in the drawer (150 pages to date), but I keep finding myself setting it aside to work on reference materials and scholarship. No doubt I am subconsciously putting off what I fear will be the inevitable rejection notice. On the other hand, I think my thirty-five-year career as a scholar teacher who produces work people use suggests I am making a contribution to the next generation of readers and thinkers. That's motivation enough."



Booklist, November 1, 1993, John Mort, review of Herman Wouk, p. 499.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, December, 1995, J.R. Luttrell, review of Victorian Poetry: An Annotated Bibliography, p. 596.

English Language Notes, March, 2001, Bruce Bashford, review of Matthew Arnold: The Critical Legacy, p. 96.

Nineteenth-Century Literature, March, 1996, review of Victorian Poetry, p. 555; December, 2000, review of Matthew Arnold, p. 437.

Reference & Research Book News, April, 1990, review of The Victorian Novel: An Annotated Bibliography, p. 29; November, 1997, review of The British Novel, 1680-1832: An Annotated Bibliography, p. 152.

Review of English Studies, November, 2001, Nick Kneale, review of Matthew Arnold, p. 600.

Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, summer, 1998, Donna Landry, review of The British Novel, 1680-1832.

Tennyson Research Bulletin, summer, 2005, Marian Shaw, review of Alfred Tennyson: The Critical Legacy.

Times Literary Supplement, March 25, 2005, John Morton, review of Alfred Tennyson.

Victorian Studies, summer, 2001, Christopher Lane, review of Matthew Arnold; autumn, 2005, Kathryn Ledbetter, review of Alfred Tennyson, pp. 192-193.


Education Development Center Inc., Center for College Health & Safety Web site, (December 12, 2007), author profile.