John-Stahl-Obituary

John Daniel Stahl

New River Valley, Virginia

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Stahl's enthusiasm for the Stith Thompson's Folklore Motif Index is needed today to dice and slice the motifs won in the media by the old Marionette programming that Mengele of all people turned into Monarch Programming. So much was possible, right or wrong. good or bad, from what Professor Rogan Taylor gleaned from Mircea Eliade's life's work here in England, all a derivation Stahl must have forseen but lacked in translation.

J. D. Stahl was a man of profound impact and friendships. Several times during my college years he provided guiding contexts and advice. Memories of certain moments shared with him are as sharp to me now as if they had happened only yesterday.

I was fortunate to have taken classes with Dr. Stahl and am grateful to him for his insight. He will be missed.

I did not get to take J.D.'s classes, but I heard wonderful things and was moved by his readings in the Hollins Room. He will be missed.

Dr. Stahl was one of my favorite professors at Virginia Tech. I was just sharing with a colleague who recent went back for his PhD in English the insightful analysis Dr. Stahl laid out for us in World Literature in his unmistakeably unique reading voice that was quite, yet commanded attention. I often joked - half serious - that if and when I write a book, I must get Dr. Stahl to read for the audio version. I may never get my wish, but nonetheless, his memory will live on.

We first met JD when he attended Uli's NEH seminar here in Princeton. We remember him as a kind, generous, and gentle man. Uli was particularly delighted to have someone in the group whose knowledge of German fairy tales and German literature was so deep and extensive. In the many years that passed since then, JD and Uli continued to meet at sundry conferences. JD's contributions to the field of children's literature have already had and will continue to have a profound impact. We shall miss...

I met JD at a New Year's Eve party in the early '80's when I was suffering from moving from Southern Africa where I had taught to my native USA. Without fuss or pretension, he befriended me.

I always appreciated his good-heart and acumen in things literary. He was one person who could drive me to a dictionary. I still recall some words he used--peripatetic, laggardly, magnanimity, poltroon.

Also he had remarkable breadth in music tastes. Once, I said that I had heard...

My deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of this amazing man.

J.D. was a gentleman -- he was unfailingly kind, patient helpful, sympathetic, encouraging -- and he was a true scholar/teacher. His classes were wonderful because we all wanted to be like him, so we were stellar. He elicited our best. I feel a great loss, like I have lost a primary cheerleader and yet our relationship was transient. My heart goes out to those closest to him, those he dearly loved. Sarah, Daniel, Hans, and Rachel, I pray for comfort and for wisdom in the challenging days...

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