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My
Ten
Years
with
Twin
Peaks



We
begin
this
episode
of
My
Ten
Years
with
Twin
Peaks
with
two
scenes.


Scene
One:
A
college
professor
has
just
finished
the
weekend
Grocery

shopping
at
Wal‐Mart,
When
he
hands
his
debit
card
to
the
young
man
at
the

check‐out,
he
is
taken
aback
by
the
cashier’s
excited

question:
“Are
you
the
one
who
edited
the
book
on

Twin
Peaks?"

Scene
Two:
A
"college
bowl"
tournament
at
Boston

University.
Two
teams,
one
with
a
placard
reading
"New

York
University"
on
the
table
before
them,
are

competing,
ready
to
answer
a
toss‐up
question:
"In

1995
several
American
academics
assembled
a
book
of

essays
on
the
television
series
Twin
Peaks.
For
10
points

name
the
book."
A
young
woman
on
the
NYU
team
is
the

only
one
to
ring
in
and
answers,
"Full
of
Secrets.
And
it

was
edited
by
my
father."
NYU
earns
the
ten
points.

These
are
true
stories,
as
unlikely
as
they
both
seem.
(Actually
they
aren't

entirely
true,
the
young
NYU
student,
my
daughter
Rachel,
did
not
say
"it
was
edited

by
my
father";
I
just
wish
she
had!)
Episodes
in
the
life
of
a
Twin
Peaks
scholar.
As

many
of
you
who
read
this
know,
my
book
Full
of
Secrets:
Critical
Approaches
to
Twin

Peaks,
was
published
by
Wayne
State
University
Press
in
1995,
became
the
best

selling
book
in
the
history
of
WSUP,
and
established
its
editor
as
perhaps
the
world's

most
prominent
Twin
Peaks
scholar.
(To
become
such
was
not
one
of
my
goals
when
I

earned
a
Ph.D.
in
English
many
years
ago.)
Not
surprisingly,
I
was
Invited
to
do
a

second
Twin
Peaks
for
Wayne
State,
and
this
time
I
turned
for
help
to
true
experts
on

Twin
Peaks,
Craig
Miller
and
John
Thome.
The
book
should
be
out
within
a
year.

When
Twin
Peaks
premlered
on
April
8,
1990,
I
was
watching.
My
mother
and

father‐in‐law
were
in
town,
having
descended
on
our
household
in
Memphis
from

their
retirement
home
in
Las
Vegas.
Whether
it
was
due
to
the
unpleasant
aftertaste

of
the
strange
experience
of
watching
David
Lynch
with
my
wife's
parents
or
because

of
my
own
fecklessness,
I
did
not
return
for
the
next
episode.
Sick
of
hearing
the

water‐cooler
conversation
at
the
university
(especially
since
we
didn't
even
have
a

water‐cooler),
I
did
finally
begin
to
watch
in
earnest
when
Twin
Peaks
was

The Collected Works of David Lavery 2

reincarnated
in
the
summer
reruns.
Now
completely
enthralled,
I
hosted
a
party

(cherry
pie,
joe,
etc.)
to
watch
the
premiere
episode
of
the
second
season.
By
the

time
ABC
suspended
the
series
in
February
1991,
I
had
hatched
the
scheme
to
do
a

book.

Finding
a
publisher
was
not
easy.
Scores
of
possible
venues,
both
mainstream

houses
and
university
presses,
rejected
it.
More
than
one
did
market
analyses
that

indicated
that
a
book
on
a
cult
TV
series
that
had
been
off
the
air
for
two
years

would
not
sell
500
copies.
Finally
Wayne
State
offered
me
a
contract
for
a
volume

that
would
eventually
sell
over
8,000
copies.
I
had
so
much
good
material
on
the

series
that
I
was
able
to
assemble
essays
not
included
in
Full
of
Secrets
in
a
special

issue—21.4
(1993)—of
Literature/
Film
Quarterly.
And

now,
in
a
new
century
and
a
new
millennium,
Cralg,

John,
and
I
have
assembled
enough
excellent
Twin

Peaks
scholarship,
most
already
published
elsewhere

(some
of
it
in
the
pages
of
WIPI,
to
make
another
first‐
rate
book.

Twin
Peaks
was
"supposed
to
change
TV,"
as

Howard
Rodman
would
say
in
a
buzz‐making
essay

published
before
the
series
aired.
It
certainly
changed

me.
A
film
scholar
by
training,
I
now
find
television

perhaps
more
interesting,
more
central
to
my
own

critical
imagination.
As
I
have
gone
on
to
co‐edit
other

books
on
TV
(a
too‐academic
book
on
The
X‐Files,
an
in‐development
book
on
Buffy

the
Vampire
Slayer,
and
a
notyet
published
collection
of
make‐believe
parody

reviews
of
non‐existent
books
of
television
criticism),
it
is
Twin
Peaks
that
taught
me

how
to
take
television
seriously
(and
comically).
Thanks
to
Twin
Peaks,
my
daughter

now
realizes
that
I
am
more
than
a
couch‐potato
scholar,
and
I
am
a
person
to
reckon

with
at
WalMart.


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