2012 Guest Lecturers

All lectures were held in room 625 at 745 Commonwealth Avenue, 1:00.

January 27: Michael Henry Heim

Michael Henry Heim is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has translated contemporary and classical fiction and drama from the Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, Russian, and Serbian/Croatian. His work includes Anton Chekhov’s Life and Thought: Selected Letters, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal; My Century and Peeling the Onion by Günter Grass, Helping Verbs of the Heart, by Péter Esterházy, and Encyclopedia of the Dead by Danilo Kiš. He has recently published new translations of Chekhov’s plays (Modern Library/Random House) and Mann’s Death in Venice (Ecco/HarperCollins) and is currently working on his first translation from the Chinese. His translation of Hugo Claus’s Wonder, won the PEN Amercian Center Translation Prize for 2010. At UCLA he teaches a Workshop in Literary Translation and is the founder and adviser of the Babel Study Group for Translation Sudies.  He has been the recipient of numerous fellowships (Fulbright, Guggenheim) and translation prizes, culminating this year in the PEN American Center/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, which is awarded once every three years to a translator “whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work.” He has served on translation juries for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the PEN American Center, and the Goethe-Institut. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

February 3: David Curzon

David Curzon worked for the United Nations from 1974 to 2001, as Chief of the Programme Planning Unit, and then Chief of the Central Evaluation Unit, where his responsibilities included peace-keeping operations; Environment; Refugees; Human Rights, Disarmament, Humanitarian affairs; and Electoral Assistance. In his other life, he is a poet and literary translator. His poems have appeared in two Oxford anthologies and the twentieth century section of World Poetry (Norton, 1998.)  Poems, short essays, columns, reviews and translations have been published in other books and journals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia and elsewhere.  A translated monologue, Goethe’s “Persephone,” was produced off Broadway in 1998 at the Harold Clurman theatre.  From 2002-2007 he was Contributing Editor of the newspaper Forward. His books include: Midrashim (Cross-Cultural Communications, 1991); Modern Poems on the Bible: An Anthology (The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1994); The Gospels in Our Image: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Poetry (Harcourt, Brace, 1995); Dovchik (Penguin Books, Australia, 1995); The View From Jacob’s Ladder (The  Jewish Publication Society of America, 1996); (translator, with Katharine Washburn) “The Madness of Heracles” in David R. Slavitt and Palmer Bovie (eds) Euripides, 4 (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1999); (translator, with Jeffrey Fiskin) Eustache Deschamps: Selected Poems (Routledge, 2003); Astonishments, Selected Poems of Anna Kamienska, Edited and translated by Grazyna Drabik and David Curzon, Paraclete Press, 2007.

February 10: David Bellos

David Bellos is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where since 2007 he has directed Princeton’s Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. His principal books are: Balzac Criticism in France, 1850-1900 (Oxford UP, 1976); studies of Balzac’s Cousine Bette (Grant & Cutler, 1981) and Old Goriot (Cambridge UP, 1987); then Georges Perec. A Life in Words (Collins Harvill, 1993), Jacques Tati. His Life and Art (Harvill, 1999) and Romain Gary. A Tall Story (Harvill Secker, 2010), constituting the “French Trilogy”; and Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything, in one edition for the UK (Particular Books) and a quite separate one for the USA (Faber&Faber). He has translated the following works by Georges Perec — Life A User’s Manual (1987), W or The Memory of Childhood (1988), Things (1990, “53 Days” (1992), Thoughts of Sorts (2009) and the art&craft of approaching your head of department to submit a request for a raise (2011). By Ismail Kadare, he has translated — The Pyramid (1995), The File on H (1997), Spring Flowers, Spring Frost (2000), The Successor (2005), Agamemnon’s Daughter (2007), The Siege (2008), and Twilight of the Gods of the Steppe (forthcoming, 2012). He has also translated Romain Gary’s Hocus Bogus (2010) and The Journal of Helene Berr (2008); Fred Vargas’s  Have Mercy on Us All (2004) and Seeking Whom He May Devour (2006); Tzvetan Todorov’s Hope and Memory (2004); and Georges Ifrah’s Universal History of Numbers (1998).

February 17: Robert Hueckstedt

Robert Hueckstedt teaches Hindi and Sanskrit at the University of
Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. His previous translations from the Hindi include The Hunted by Mudra Rakshasa (Penguin, 1992); two short story collections by Uday Prakash, Rage, Revelry and Romance (Srishti, 2003) and, with Amit Tripuraneni, Short Shorts Long Shots (Katha, 2003); and The Perplexity of Hariya Hercules by Manohar Shyam Joshi (Penguin, 2009). He is currently under contract with Harvard University Press to provide a new text and translation of the seventh century Sanskrit work Harsacarita by Bāna.

February 24: David Ferry

David Ferry is most recently, in poetry, the author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press).  His translations include Gilgamesh: A New Rendering in English Verse (Farrar Straus and Giroux); the Odes of Horace (FSG), the Epistles of Horace (FSG), the Eclogues of Virgil (FSG); the Georgics of Virgil (FSG).  He is at work on a new translation of Virgil’s Aeneid.  His new book of poems, Bewilderment: Poems and Translations is forthcoming in 2012 (University of Chicago Press).  Honors include, most recently, the Ruth B. Lilly Ward, for lifetime achievement, from the Poetry Foundation; the Lenore Marshall Prize, Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize, the Library of Congress;  the Golden Rose Award, “for lifetime achievement,” New England Poetry Club; Honorary Litt.D, Amherst College.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is Sophie Chantal Hart Professor English, Emeritus, Wellesley College, and is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Suffolk University.  He has recently been a Visiting Lecturer in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Boston University.

March 2: Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. The most recent of her many books include The Greek Poets from Homer to the Present, an anthology of Greek poetry she coedited with Peter Constantine, Edmund Keeley, and Karen Van Dyck (Norton 2009); a book of poems, The Ache of Appetite (Copper Beech 2010); and a prose work Strange Relation; a Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (Paul Dry Books 2011). A new book of poems, The Golden Road, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in 2012.  Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and the O.B. Hardison Prize from the Library of Congress.

March 23: Michael C. J. Putnam

Michael C. J. Putnam is MacMillan Professor of Classics and Professor of Comparative Literature, emeritus, Brown University. His most recent books are Poetic Interplay: Catullus and Horace (2006),  (with Jan Ziolokowski) The Virgilian Tradition (2008), Jacopo Sannazaro: The Latin Poetry (2009), (with Joseph Farrell) A Companion to Virgil’s Aeneid and its Tradition (2010), The Humanness of Heroes: Studies in the Conclusion of Virgil’s Aeneid (2011). He is a past president of the American Philological Association and a Life Trustee of the American Academy in Rome from which he received the Centennial Medal in 2009. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the American Philosophical Society as well as Trustee of Bay Chamber Concerts, Rockport, Maine.

March 30: Ken Haynes

Ken Haynes is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Classics at Brown University. He has written English Literature and Ancient Languages (Oxford, 2003) and The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 4: 1790–1900 (Oxford, 2006), which he co-edited with Peter France. Other books include a translation of Heidegger (with Julian Young), an edition of Swinburne, and an historical anthology of English translations of Horace (with D. S. Carne-Ross). Over the last few years he has written articles on reception theory and classical studies, Modernism and classics, the reception of the Greek Anthology since the Renaissance, the fiction of Guy Davenport, and Virgil and the idea of the classic. He recently translated and annotated essays by Johann Georg Hamann (Cambridge, 2007) and edited the Collected Critical Writings of Geoffrey Hill (Oxford, 2008) as well as selected essays by D. S. Carne-Ross, Classics and Translation (Bucknell, 2010).
His current work includes vol. 5 (covering 1880 to 2000) of The Oxford History of the Classical Reception within English Literature, which he is editing and to which he is contributing. He is compiling “A Bibliography of Geoffrey Hill” and writing an essay on Hill’s criticism. In 2001–2002 
he was a Junior Fellow of the Humanities Foundation, Boston University. In
2005 he was Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol, U.K., and in
2005–2006 
he held a Howard Foundation Fellowship.

April 13: Victor Golyshev

Viktor Golyshev is one of Russia’s best known English-to-Russian translators. His translations include William Faulkner’s Light in August, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, Thornton Wilder’s Theophilus North, George Orwell’s 1984, Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms, William Styron’s Set This House on Fire, and others. He has won the Foreign Literature and Illuminator awards.

April 20: Margaret Michele Cook

Margaret Michèle Cook was born in Toronto, Canada and sent to French school at the age of three. She attended the University of Toronto and studied French language and literature with a minor in Russian and another minor in zoology, spending her third year abroad at the Université d’Aix-en-Provence. In 1985, after obtaining her B.A., she lived in Paris for a year and completed a Master’s thesis on the poetry of Jules Supervielle at the Sorbonne (Université de Paris IV). In 1987, Cook returned to Canada, to the University of Ottawa, where she obtained her PhD in 1992 with a doctoral thesis on the poetry of Jules Laforgue. She also taught French language, literature and creative writing part-time at the University of Ottawa from 1987 to 1998. Her first volume of poetry, Envers le jour, was published in 1994, Éditions du Nordir. Her sixth and latest volume, published in 2008, Chronos à sa table de travail, is bilingual and received the Ottawa Book Prize for 2009. She also received training in psychotherapy and counselling and since 2003 she has worked with students at the Counselling Centre of the University of Ottawa.

April 27: Wyatt Mason

Wyatt Mason is a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine and a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. His writing also appears in The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker. Modern Library publishes his translations of the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Rimbaud Complete and I Promise to be Good. A 2003 fellow of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, he received the 2005 Nona Balakian Citation from the National Book Critics Circle and a National Magazine Award in 2006. He is Senior Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College for 2010-2013.