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Essayist Patrick Madden on Monday's Access Utah


In his new collection of essays “Sublime Physick,” Patrick Madden seeks what is common and ennobling among seemingly disparate, even divisive, subjects, ruminating on midlife, time, family, forgiveness, loss, originality, a Canadian rock band, and more, discerning the ways in which the natural world transcends and joins the realm of ideas (sublime) through the application of a meditative mind.



In twelve essays that straddle the classical and the contemporary, Madden transmutes the ruder world into a finer one, articulating with subtle humor and playfulness how science and experience abut and intersect with spirituality and everyday life.



Patrick Madden began Quotidiana in 2005 as a repository for his professional work. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio University in 2004, where he studied, taught, and wrote personal essays, a practice he continues today as an assistant professor of English at Brigham Young University. Around the turn of the century, he discovered the word quotidian, which he had longed for since learning and falling in love with cotidiano/a in Spanish years earlier when he lived in Uruguay and worked as a missionary for the Mormon Church. He hoped for such a strange and beautifully complex, ornate, Latinate word in English because it seems antithetical to its meaning: "common, mundane, everyday..." But he was looking in the Cs of the dictionary. One day, by glorious chance, he stumbled across quotidian, with a Q. This was one of the best days of his life.