Tag Archive for romance languages

Curran Elected Fellow by N.Y. Academy of Medicine

In July 2010, the board of the New York Academy of Medicine elected Andrew Curran, professor of French, Department of Romance Languages, a Fellow of the Academy in the history of medicine. Curran had previously received the Paul Klemperer fellowship in the history of medicine at the Academy and had given a lecture there on “natural history and slavery.” While at the Academy, Curran finished a book on 18th-century life sciences, The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Era of Enlightenment (Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming 2011).

Shapiro Honored by French Minister of Culture and Communication

Norman Shapiro

Norm Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, was decorated as Officier de Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture and Communication in France on April 23.

France has a long history of official government distinctions for exceptional achievement. The “Order of Arts and Letters” was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists, writers and people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.

Shapiro is the author of dozens of books on French culture, literature and poetry. Many are award-winning.

The Order of Arts and Letters is given out twice annually to only a few hundred people worldwide. Robert Paxton, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep are among the Americans who are recipients of the medal.

Recipients of this decoration are entitled to wear the lapel rosette and the medal, insignia of this order.

Paige Receives Gordon Award for Flash Fiction

Paula Paige

Paula Paige, adjunct professor of romance languages emerita, won the online Gordon Award for Flash Fiction, sponsored by Our Stories Literary Magazine, for a story titled “Moshiach is Here.”

Although she’s been writing fiction for a long time, this is her first publication.  She was long-listed for the Fish International Fiction Prize, and received Honorable Mentions in the “New Millennium Writings” winter competition of 2009 and in the 2010 Richard Bausch Short Story Prize. She was Writer in Residence at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, in 1991.

A segment of the story follows: “The garage on 87th disgorged a big black SUV, which zoomed so close it brushed her skirt; a little boy in the back seat stuck out his tongue at her.  She stuck out hers back, and the father in his yarmulke turned and glowered at her over his shoulder, almost hitting a passing taxi.  Serves you right, she thought:  if you want to live in the city, why don’t you walk?  Isn’t it the Sabbath, anyhow?”

18 Students Inducted into French National Honor Society

At left, Catherine Poisson, chair and associate professor of romance languages and literatures; and Jeff Rider, professor of romance languages and literatures, chair of the Medieval Studies Program, welcome Aurora Margarita Goldkamp '10 to Wesleyan's French National Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi. Eighteen students joined the society during the ceremony, held April 28.

Shapiro Translates, Schorr Illustrates French Book of Poems

Book by Shapiro and Schorr

Book translated by Norman Shapiro and illustratd by David Schorr.

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literature, translated Jean de La Fontaine’s poems in La Fontaine’s Bawdy, Revised Edition: Of Libertines, Louts, and Lechers. The 273-page book was published by Black Widow Press/Commonwealth Books, Inc. in Boston, Mass. on Jan. 16.

David Schorr, professor of art, illustrated the book.

The Contes et nouvelles en vers of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) were published at various times throughout his life, often these works threatened to get him in trouble with both Church and Academie. This translation covers the entire corpus in all their variety. The mildly suggestive mingle with the frankly bawdy rendered in the spirit they were written in and scrupulously faithful to one of France’s greatest poets.

Shapiro Awarded 2009 Translation Award for French Women Poets Anthology

Norman Shapiro

Norman Shapiro

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) has presented the 2009 National Translation Award to Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures,  for French Women Poets of Nine Centuries: The Distaff and the Pen (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).

The prize was announced on Nov. 12 at the organization’s annual conference in Pasadena, Calif. Shapiro has been one of the foremost translators of French literature for almost four decades. Also a writer-in-residence at Adams House, Harvard University, he has translated numerous works of fiction, theater, and poetry, including Four Farces by Georges Feydeau, which was nominated for the National Book Award for Translation, and One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine, which won the Scaglione Translation Prize from the Modern Language Association.

His recent volume The Complete Fables of Jean de La Fontaine was recipient of the MLA’s Lewis Galantière Award. Shapiro noted that “translation is a perfect compromise between total freedom and total responsibility: with none of the angst of the blank page [when one writes creatively], and yet with an almost limitless choice within the givens of the text.”

In reflecting on his selection as this year’s NTA recipient, he added that “since literary translation is basically a solitary pursuit–something we (or at least I ) do

Shapiro’s Comical One-Act Adaptations Published

shapiroNorm Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, is the author and translator of the book Labiche & Co: Fourteen One-Acts by a French Comic Master, published by Performing Books.

The book will be released in December 2009. Among the plays included are Bosom Friends, The Brat, A Bee or Not a Bee, It’s All Relative, The Unshakeable Suitor, A Nest-Egg Well Scrambled, and A Slap in the Farce, which is currently being performed at Harvard University.

In addition, Yale University Press has accepted Shapiro’s recent collection of translations from the poetry of French Romantic poet Théophile Gautier to appear in their prestigious Megellos World Republic of Letters series. It is expected to appear in 2010.

Shapiro Translates Book of French Poems

Norman Shapiro's translations.

Norman Shapiro's translations.

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literature, translated the book To Speak, to Tell, by Sabine Sicaud (1913-1928). The book was published by Black Widow Press in April 2009. The 175-page book features Sicaud’s original French poems side by side with Shapiro’s English translations.

Shapiro Wins 2 American Publishers Awards

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, has won the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division 2008 award for the best single-volume reference work in the humanities and social sciences. The award was for his 1,200-page collection of translations, French Women Poets of Nine Centuries, published by Johns Hopkins, 2008.

The AAP awards prizes in several categories, ranging from the humanities and social sciences to life sciences, physical sciences, and medicine. Shapiro’s winning single-volume work, competing against multi-volume works, went on to win as well the overall Award for Excellence in Reference Works.

Lowrie Author of Book on Mirrors in French Literature

Book by Joyce Lowrie.

Book by Joyce Lowrie.

Joyce Lowrie, professor of romance languages and literatures, emerita, is the author of Sightings: Mirrors in Texts – Texts in Mirrors, published by Rodopi in December 2008.

This book analyzes mirror imagery, scenes, and characters in French prose texts, in chronological order, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It does so in light of literal, metaphoric and rhetorical structures. Works analyzed in the traditional French canon, written by such writers as Laclos, Lafayette, and Balzac, are extended by studies of texts composed by Barbey d’Aurevilly, Georges Rodenbach, Jean Lorrain and Pieyre de Mandiargues.

This work offers appeal to readers interested in linguistics, French history, psychology, art, and material culture. It invites analyses of historical and ideological contexts, rhetorical strategies, symmetry and asymmetry.

Meyer Author of Russian, French Literature Book

Meyer book

Priscilla Meyer, professor of Russian language and literature, is the author of How the Russians Read the French: Lermontov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, published in January 2009 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

In How the Russians Read the French, Meyer shows how Mikhail Lermontov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Lev Tolstoy engaged with French literature and culture to define their own positions as Russian writers with specifically Russian aesthetics and moral values. Rejecting French sensationalism and what they perceived as a lack of spirituality among Westerners, these three writers created moral and philosophical works of art that answered French decadence and “desacralization” with countertexts drawn from Russian literature and the Gospels.

Meyer argues that each of these great Russian authors takes the French tradition as a thesis, proposes his own antithesis, and creates in his novel a genuinely Russian synthesis rather than an imitation of Western models.

Shapiro Honored for Verse Translations

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, received the Lewis Galantière Award, given biennially by the American Translators Association (ATA) for a distinguished book-length literary translation into English. Shapiro was honored for his volume of critically-praised verse translations, The Complete Fables of Jean de La Fontaine (Illinois, 2008). The wisdom, wit, and elegance of La Fontaine (1621-1695), the preeminent fable-writer since Aesop, made him the universally admired master of the genre.

This prestigious award honors one of the ATA’s founding members, Lewis Galantière (1894-1977), celebrated for his translations from French drama, fiction, and poetry during the middle decades of the 20th century and still widely read.