Founded in 1949, Indiana University's Department of Comparative Literature is one of the oldest and most comprehensive in the United States. We have pioneered developments that have helped to move the discipline beyond its origins in European literary and intellectual traditions, and, with the cooperation of colleagues in other departments and programs, we now stand at the crossroads of the humanities, providing our students with a rich and illuminating range of approaches to literary study.
The Transatlantyk Goes to Bill Johnston
The winner of Transatlantyk Prize for 2014 was named Bill Johnston, an outstanding translator of Polish literature into English, an ambassador for Polish culture and language, and a professor of comparative literature at Indiana University in the USA, where he directed the Polish Studies Center for many years.
The sum of his translations covers several dozen works and is impressive indeed: Johnston has translated early Polish literature (The Envoys by Jan Kochanowski), the Romantics (Słowacki's Balladina), realist writers of the late 19th century (Żeromski's Coming Spring and The Faithful River, Prus's The Sins of Childhood), and many of the 20th-century classics, above all Gombrowicz (Bacacay and Polish Memories), the short stories of Herling-Grudziński, the novels of Szczypiorski, and the poetry of Baczyński and Różewicz.
The award ceremony took place on 12 June at Collegium Maius of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The award is 10,000 euro and a statuette by Łukasz Kieferling.
The Transatlantyk is a Book Institute Award for outstanding ambassadors of Polish literature abroad. Its aim is to promote Polish literature in the world, and to integrate the communities of those working to promote Polish literature (translators, literary critics, literary historians, cultural animators).
Eugenio Montale, the Fascist Storm, and the Jewish Sunflower covers one of the great hidden sagas of modern literature. During Italy’s fascist period, Eugenio Montale – winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Literature and one of the greatest modern poets in any language – fell in love with Irma Brandeis, a glamorous and beautiful Dante scholar and an American Jew. While their romance would fall apart, it would have literary repercussions that extended throughout the poet’s career: Montale’s works abound with secret codes that speak to a lost lover and muse.
Image and description courtesy of University of Toronto Press
May 2014 Undergraduate Miranda Caudell wins Palmer-Brandon Prize!
"Mark Twain on Spain" in theHoagy Carmichael Room, Morrison Hall April 10th, 2014. Professor Rolena Adorno a guest from Yale University with David Hertz, Manuela Carvalho, Rosemarie McGerr and Paul Losensky
Dramatic Experiments offers a comprehensive study of Denis Diderot, one of the key figures of European modernity. Diderot was a French Enlightenment philosopher, dramatist, art critic, and editor of the first major modern encyclopedia. He is known for having made lasting contributions to a number of fields, but his body of work is considered too dispersed and multiform to be unified. Eyal Peretz locates the unity of Diderot’s thinking in his complication of two concepts in modern philosophy: drama and the image. Diderot’s philosophical theater challenged the work of Plato and Aristotle, inaugurating a line of drama theorists that culminated in the twentieth century with Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud. His interest in the artistic image turned him into the first great modern theorist of painting and perhaps the most influential art critic of modernity. With these innovations, Diderot provokes a rethinking of major philosophical problems relating to life, the senses, history, and appearance and reality, and more broadly a rethinking of the relation between philosophy and the arts. Peretz shows Diderot to be a radical thinker well ahead of his time, whose philosophical effort bears comparison to projects such as Gilles Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism, Martin Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction, and Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalysis.