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Check out our February feature of folktales from the Qatari oral tradition.

This Thursday: A Conversation on Miguel de Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” with translator Edith Gro

By Bud Parr

This is going to be a great event. There are few greater novels and fewer still where the translator plays such an important role. The Quixote in Spanish, in all its stories and stories within stories, is a telling of a story from one person to another in Spanish, but then from Spanish translated into Arabic, then found and retold in Spanish, and of course many of us read it then translated into English (whew, hope I got that right!). Beyond its relatively simple tale of a hapless yet romantic would-be knight, Don Quixote is full of puns and humor that make the translators' job complex, so it will be quite interesting to hear two great translators discuss this great piece of literature that has influenced writers all over the world for over 400 years and especially some of our favorite writers today. See you there!

Conversations on Great Contemporary Literature

Thursday, February 5th at 7pm

at Idlewild Books (12 W. 19th Street New York, NY)

Discussion of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote with translator Edith Grossman and Eduardo Lago.

Edith Grossman is a prize-winning translator of Latin American and Spanish literature, ranging from her acclaimed translation of "Don Quixote" and poetry of the Spanish Golden Age to contemporary works by Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Mayra Montero, and Alvaro Mutis. The recipient of Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright, and Guggenheim fellowships, in 2006 Grossman was awarded the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, and in 2007 she received an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Manhattan and has two sons, both of whom are musicians.

A resident of New York City for the last 21 years, Eduardo Lago has translated works by Henry James, Hamlin Garland, John Barth, Sylvia Plath, William Dean Howells, Christopher Isherwood, and Junot Diaz, among many other authors. He is a tenured member of the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where he has taught since 1993. The author of many articles and essays, in 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Bartolomé March Award for Excellence in Literary Criticism for a comparative study of the three existing Spanish versions of James Joyce's Ulysses. A regular contributor for El País and The Madrid Review of Books, among other publications, he has authored numerous interviews with important North American writers and critics, including Philip Roth, John Barth, David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, Jonathan Frazen, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Richard Ford, Paul Auster, Toni Morrison, Harold Bloom, Edward Said, and Norman Mailer, among many others. His books include Cuaderno de México, (Mexican Notebook), a personal memoir of a trip to Chiapas, and Cuentos Dispersos, (Scattered Tales), both published in 2000. In January 2006 Eduardo Lago was awarded the Nadal Prize, Spain's oldest and most prestigious literary award for his first novel Llámame Brooklyn (Call Me Brooklyn). Subsequently, the novel won the 2007 City of Barcelona Literary Prize for Literature, the 2007 National Critics'Award, and the 2007 Lara Foundation Award for Best Critical Reception. Llámame Brooklyn has been translated into twelve languages, including French, Italian and Hebrew, but not into English. Last October he published Ladrón de mapas (Map Thief), about which a prominent critic has said: "Normally, authors, editors and publishers will label short story collections as novels, for commercial reasons. For reasons beyond my grasp, Lago insists in defining his new novel as a collection of short stories". Eduardo Lago has been the Executive Director of Instituto Cervantes, the Spanish Cultural Center in New York since September 2006.


Published Feb 2, 2009   Copyright 2009 Bud Parr

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