Life & Work

Life

I was born in 1945. From 1963 to 1967 I attended the University of Oklahoma, where I studied English literature, with a minor in French language and literature. The rest is irrelevant and is gossip, and I hate gossiping about myself.

Work

Since 1981 I have been involved in a personal writing project which originated with reading the first Canto of Dante Alighieri’s Commedia  in a bilingual edition with prose translation. Once I was able to read the Italian with understanding sufficient to appreciate its profound poetic beauty, I was seized with the desire to write a verse translation and the illusion that I could do one worthy of the original poem. Twenty-five years later I completed the task, having realized along the way that all translations of this work – there are more than 250 in English, complete or partial – are failures, and that mine could not hope to be otherwise. In that time, however, I began a number of other translations, all prose, completed over relatively long periods of time, and in 2004 began self-publication through the services of Lulu. In addition, I have written three small books in this thirty-year period, and have edited a couple more, one of a Spanish text and the other of a 17th-century translation from the Spanish. A complete list of these works is printed below. They are available for purchase at www.lulu.com/spotlight/pluramon, where the interested navigator may first read samples from the books by clicking first on any title and then on the word Preview below the enlarged front-cover image that will then appear.

From 1985 to the end of 2011 I worked in Spain, where I still live, as a teacher of English as a foreign language. In this time I was necessarily a student of the hidden logic of my native tongue. Students in the strange realm of a language so different from their own, like little children learning about the world, want to know why, and how the system functions: and you’re forced to think about these questions and investigate them.

My qualifications, then, are not academic, but consist of my work(s) as a writer and a teacher over a period of more than 30 years. Experience, in a word.

WORKS (1981-2012)

          Translations

COMEDY                                                                                  Dante Alighieri

EXEMPLARY NOVELS

The Travails of PERSILES, & SIGISMUNDA                   Miguel de Cervantes

THE PRODIGIOUS MAGICIAN                                         Pedro Calderón

THREE STORIES

THE TEMPTATION OF SAINT ANTHONY

THE WEAKER SEX                                                                Gustave Flaubert

HIS ONLY SON

DOÑA BERTA. CUERVO. HOAX                                         Leopoldo Alas

TRACES OF THE ATLANTIC CIVILIZATION                  Martin Freksa    (in collaboration with the author)

Editions

Los trabajos de PERSILES, Y SIGISMUNDA

(transcription of 1617 edition, corrected and annotated)

PERSILES, Y/& SIGISMUNDA                                             Miguel de Cervantes

(bilingual edition)

FORTUNE IN HER WITS, and The Hour of All Men       Francisco Quevedo

(translation by John Stevens, 1697, revised and annotated)

 

            Other writings

DRUGS, ANYONE? & other Essays

1956: screenplay for a black-&-white film

FIXING INTERMEDIATE ENGLISH: A manual for Spanish-speakers

 

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