University of Montana Western logo.
Apply Visit More Info

Experiencing Norman Maclean.

September 8, 2016

An English professor at Montana Western since 1991, Weltzien has researched, taught and written extensively on Maclean’s works, including publishing “The Norman Maclean Reader.”   

The novella, “A River Runs Through It,” is a  semi-autobiographical account of Norman Maclean and his brother Paul. It takes place in and around the “Big Blackfoot River,” or Blackfoot River and tells the story of the two, fly fishing-obsessed young Montanans.  

“Young Men and Fire” recounts the haunting true story of the fire that killed 13 elite smokejumpers in Mann Gulch, just outside of Helena, Mont. in 1949. The book is Maclean’s attempt to deconstruct what exactly took place on that day.

Weltzien and his class will take guided tours of both areas in the coming weeks.  

Watch Weltzien explain the significance of his students experiencing Maclean’s classics here: