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Preeminent Publisher To Speak at Bard College on February 23

A Conversation Between Publisher and Professor: Jonathan Galassi and Joseph Luzzi to Discuss New Translation of Leopardi’s Canti

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Jonathan Galassi, president and publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, will hold a conversation with Joseph Luzzi, associate professor of Italian at Bard, about Galassi’s acclaimed new translation of Giacomo Leopardi’s Canti (2010) on Wednesday, February 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Galassi will read from his translations of Leopardi’s poetry, and Luzzi will read from the original Italian. As part of the program, Galassi and Luzzi will speak about the fascinating process of composition of the Canti as well as Leopardi’s prominence in the history of Italian and European lyric poetry. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. For more information, please contact Professor Luzzi at
Leopardi is widely considered the greatest Italian poet of the 19th century. Peter Campion writes in the New York Times: “The 41 poems in Leopardi’s collected Canti are distinct, and beautiful, for dwelling on a threshold between feeling and thought, between the sensuous world and the mind, between presence and absence. Like no other poet, Leopardi captures the subtlest sensations, just before they vanish . . . What makes Jonathan Galassi’s translation of Leopardi’s poetry so superb is that he understands, and renders, that delicate movement of thought and feeling . . . The publication, at last, of a definitive English version of the Canti should constitute an event in itself. But this book does something even greater . . . Now, he may become as important to our own literature as, say, Baudelaire or Rilke, poets of comparable genius, whose work has long been available in fine translations.”
About Jonathan Galassi
In addition to publishing two volumes of poetry, Morning Run (1998) and North Street (2000), Jonathan Galassi is an eminent translator of Italian poetry. He has spent more than 25 years studying Eugenio Montale’s poetry and has published several collections of Montale’s work, including Eugenio Montale: The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays (1982) and Collected Poems 1920–1954 (1998). Raised in southeastern Massachusetts, Galassi studied poetry at Harvard University with Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is an honorary chairman of the Academy of American Poets. In addition to acting as poetry editor of the Paris Review for 10 years, Galassi has served as a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin, and as executive editor and later president of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In 2008 he received the Maxwell E. Perkins Award, which recognizes an editor, publisher, or agent who “has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the United States.”

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This event was last updated on 02-15-2011