Susanne Fusso, Marcus L. Taft Professor of Modern Languages, professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, is the translator of the first English-language version of Sergey Gandlevsky’s novel Illegible, published by Northern Illinois University Press.
Gandlevsky (b. 1952) is widely recognized as one of the most important living Russian poets and prose writers, and has received numerous literary prizes. Illegible, published in 2002, is his only work of prose fiction to date.
The novel has a double time focus, with both the immediate experiences and retrospective meditations of Lev Krivorotov, a 20-year-old poet living in Moscow in the 1970s. As the work begins, Lev is involved in a tortured affair with an older woman and envious of his more privileged friend and fellow novice poet Nikita, one of the children of high Soviet functionaries who were known as “golden youth.” Both narratives see Lev recounting with regret and self-castigation the failure of a double infatuation-turned-love triangle. Illegible provides unparalleled access to the atmosphere of Moscow and the ethos of the late Soviet and post-Soviet era, while simultaneously demonstrating the universality of human emotion.
Illegible is the second work of Gandlevsky’s that Fusso has translated. In 2014, she published an English-language translation of his autobiographical novel, Trepanation of the Skull.
Priscilla Meyer, Katherine Lahti ’81 and Susanne Fusso celebrated their new book publications at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore on Oct. 11. (Photo by Joe Siry)
Two faculty and an alumna celebrated the publication of their new books during a gathering Oct. 11 at the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore.
All three books focus on Russian literature and culture.
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Professor Susanne Fusso received the 2017 AATSEEL Award for Excellence in Post-Secondary Teaching.
Susanne Fusso, professor of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, has been awarded the 2017 AATSEEL Award for Excellence in Post-Secondary Teaching from the American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.
Fusso, who teaches 19th- and 20th-century Russian prose and poetry as well as Russian language, was nominated for the award by her former students.
The honor was presented as part of the President’s Awards Ceremony at the AATSEEL conference held on Feb. 2 in Washington, D.C. The annual conference focuses on “the aesthetic, creative and communicative aspects of Slavic cultures” and features workshops and panel discussions with experts from around the globe.
In addition, three Wesleyan alumnae — Elizabeth Papazian ’91, Lindsay Ceballos ’07 and Emily Wang ’08 — presented scholarly papers at the conference.
AATSEEL is a major professional organization for Slavic studies in the United States. The association’s mission is “to advance the study and promote the teaching of Slavic and East European languages, literatures, and cultures on all educational levels, elementary through graduate school.”
Susanne Fusso, professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, is the translator of Sergey Gandlevsky’s autobiographical novel, Trepanation of the Skull, published in November from Northern Illinois University Press.
Sergey Gandlevsky is widely recognized as one of the leading living Russian poets and prose writers. His autobiographical novella Trepanation of the Skull is a portrait of the artist as a young late-Soviet man. At the center of the narrative are Gandlevsky’s brain tumor, surgery and recovery in the early 1990s. The story radiates out, relaying the poet’s personal history through 1994, including his unique perspective on the 1991 coup by Communist hardliners resisted by Boris Yeltsin. Gandlevsky tells wonderfully strange but true episodes from the bohemian life he and his literary companions led. He also frankly describes his epic alcoholism and his ambivalent adjustment to marriage and fatherhood.
Fusso’s translation marks the first volume in English of Sergey Gandlevsky’s prose. The book may appeal to scholars, students, and general readers of Russian literature and culture of the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods.
Fusso also is the translator and editor of Vladimir Sergeevich Trubetskoi’s A Russian Prince in the Soviet State: Hunting Stories, Letters from Exile, and Military Memoirs.
Wesleyan faculty Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock and Susanne Fusso are the co-authors of “The Confession of an Atheist Who Became a Scholar of Religion,” published in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Volume 15, Number 3, Summer 2014. The paper is based on an interview Smolkin-Rothrock completed on Russian atheist Nikolai Semenovich Gordienko.
Smolkin-Rothrock is assistant professor of history; assistant professor of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies; Faculty Fellow Center for the Humanities; and tutor in the College of Social Studies. Fusso is professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies.
Among the most prominent professors of “scientific atheism” in the Soviet Union, Gordienko also was the author of the Foundations of Scientific Atheism textbook and a consultant to the political elite on religious questions. Over the course of his life, he was connected with every institution that managed Soviet spiritual life in both its religious and atheist variants. Read the paper’s abstract online here.
Susanne Fusso, professor of Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, delivered a paper at a symposium on “Dostoevsky beyond Dostoevsky,” held at Brown University, March 15-16. Merging Darwinian theory, Romantic poetry and the complexities of human morality, the Dostoevsky symposium offered multiple perspectives on novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s work.
Fusso’s paper was titled “Prelude to a Collaboration: Dostoevsky’s Aesthetic Polemic with Mikhail Katkov.”
The conference was attended by scholars from Yale, Columbia, Duke, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, St. Petersburg State University, Brandeis, University of California – San Diego, and other institutions.