Tag Archive for translation

Fusso Translates Gandlevsky’s Illegible

IllegibleSusanne 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.

Wolfe ’68 Translates Ancient Greek Epitaphs

Michael Wolfe '68

Michael Wolfe ’68

In his new collection Cut These Words into My Stone: Ancient Greek Epitaphs (Johns Hopkins University Press), Michael Wolfe ’68 brings together his English translations of ancient Greek epitaphs, with a foreword by Richard Martin, a classics professor at Stanford University. Greek epitaphs, considered by some scholars to be the earliest artful writing in Western Europe, are short celebrations of the lives of a rich cross section of society that help form a vivid portrait of an ancient era.

Book by Michael Wolfe '68

Book by Michael Wolfe ’68

Wolfe divides his book into five chronological sections spanning 1,000 years, beginning with the Late Archaic and Classical periods and ending with Late Antiquity. The book also features contextual comments, notes, biographies of the poets, and a bibliography. General readers should find this well-researched scholarly endeavor accessible and entertaining, as it covers a wide variety of individuals and even some animals.

At Wesleyan, Wolfe studied classics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. While writing this book, Wolfe drew on several deep Wesleyan ties: Andy Gaus ’68, Wolfe’s classmate and friend of many years, helped review and improve many of the translations; poet Richard Wilbur, with whom Wolfe studied, wrote a comment included on the back cover of the book; and Kevin Whitfield, Wolfe’s professor of Greek, is thanked in the dedication.

Wolfe is a poet, author, and film producer who has taught writing and literature at Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of California, as well as other secondary schools and universities. An occasional speaker on Islamic issues, he and his works have received many awards.

Author website