This Week in English | Nov 13 – 19, 2017

Tony Brinkley Translations of Baudelaire

Professor of English and Senior Faculty Advisor to the Franco-American Center Tony Brinkley has published translations of three poems from Charles Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal in the fall issue of the journal Metamorphoses (25.1). The three poems Baudelaire dedicated to Victor Hugo— “The Swan,” “The Seven Old Men,” and “The Little Old Women”—appear in Brinkley’s translation alongside poems by Paul Verlaine, Heinrich Heine, Luigi Pirandello, and many others. Editor Thalia Pandora writes in her introduction to the issue:

Tony Brinkley gives us three poems “to Victor Hugo” by the 19th-century poet best known for his Flours du mal (Flowers of Evil), Charles Baudelaire. Although not a few of Baudelaire’s poems are widely known and often quoted both in French and in translation, these three are less familiar, and we welcome Brinkley’s sensitive and fresh translation.

This fall Brinkley is teaching Descriptive and Narrative Writing, Nineteenth Century Romantic Poetry (with a focus on Blake and the Wordsworths), and a course connected to the Camden Film Festival.

 

Postcard from Ireland by English Major Kimberly Crowley

Kimberly Crowley writes in with this welcome update about her semester abroad in Ireland:

Hi everyone! My name is Kim Crowley and I am a third-year English major with a concentration in Professional and Technical Writing. I am currently spending my fall semester abroad, studying at University College Cork (UCC) in Cork, Ireland.

I have loved my time here so far. The city is wonderful and lively while retaining a cozy, friendly atmosphere. There is no shortage of festivals, events, and (of course) pubs to keep visiting students entertained. UCC offers an excellent selection of English courses as well as plenty of interesting courses in other departments. One of my favorites is Contemporary Irish Writing, where the professors provide a great look into selected works of modern Irish drama, poetry, and fiction.

Ireland as a whole is a beautiful place, one full of inspiration for all aspiring writers and poets. It is, after all, one of the major hearts of the literary canon. Where else can visitors explore an entire museum dedicated to James Joyce, or go on a literary pub crawl where the guides act out scenes from works like Waiting for Godot?         

For any English students who are considering studying abroad, I would recommend looking into Cork as an option. If anyone is interested, feel free to get in touch with me and ask me any questions you may have about my experiences in Ireland or about the study abroad process as a whole. I would be happy to help out.

If you’d like to take Kimberly up on her offer, e-mail <english.chair@maine.edu> and we’ll make sure your message reaches her.

 

Richard Brucher on Arthur Miller

Associate Professor of English, and former department chair, Dick Brucher has recently published two pieces on American playwright Arthur Miller. Brucher’s performance review of Miller’s “All My Sons,” directed by Martha Henry, appeared in the spring 2017 issue of the Arthur Miller Journal. And his essay “Pragmatism and the Common Man” is included in Arthur Miller’s Century: Essays Celebrating the 100th Birthday of America’s Great Playwrightedited by Stephen Marino and published by Cambridge Scholars.

This semester Brucher is teaching a graduate seminar on Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, a 300-level course on the theme of “retribution” in American drama, and section of English 170: Foundations of Literary Analysis. Here’s a glimpse into what students in his classes are up to this week:

In ENG 381, Retribution, we’re untangling Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, a great anti-romantic play. By the end of the week we’ll be starting Ibsen’s The Master Builder, about an architect’s fall from a high place. In ENG 553, we’re taking up two domestic tragedies from 1603/1604, Thomas Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness and Shakespeare’s Othello. In ENG 170, we’re finishing Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station and work shopping papers on the voice of its highly unreliable narrator.

 

Jennifer Moxley on The Exterminating Angel

In advance of this Saturday’s screening of The Met: Live in HD transmission of Thomas Adès’s operatic adaptation of Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, professor of English Jennifer Moxley will give talks at Dirigo Pines (Tuesday at 4pm), Brewer Public Library (Wednesday at 4pm), and the Orono Public Library (Thursday at 5pm). The Collins Opera Outreach Committee provides details of these events on their Facebook page. The talks are free and open to the public. Students interested in attending Saturday’s screening are encouraged to contact english.chair@maine.edu for help acquiring tickets.    

 

Life of Ideas Event on Thursday at 4pm

I’m looking forward to presenting some thoughts about “late style” this Thursday afternoon in the Life of Ideas, Notions, and Concepts event organized by Frédéric Rondeau, an assistant professor in Modern Languages and Classics and the assistant director of the Canadian-American Center. The event is part of the McGillicuddy Humanity Center’s year-long exploration of Juvenescence / Obsolescence: Humanities Approaches to Aging across the Ages. Also presenting will be Justin Wolff of the Art History Department, who will talk about “connoisseurship.” Jessica Miller, who had been scheduled to present on “Medical Futility,” is unfortunately unable to attend. The Facebook event page can be found here.

 

Open House for Prospective Students on Friday

The next open house for prospective students takes place this Friday, November 17. We start in the New Balance Field House at 9am and walk over for a tour of Neville Hall at 10am. Back in October newly-declared English Major Melissa Pawley assisted me on a blustery morning out on the mall. Students who are interested in assisting at this Friday’s event are invited to signal that interest with a note to english.chair@maine.edu.

 

Faculty Travel

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the English Department have approved a first round of travel requests that will support faculty as they present their intellectual and artistic work at professional conferences across North America. Destinations in the coming academic year include Memphis, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Pittsburgh, Tucson, Alberta, and Ottawa. We look forward to announcing details nearer to particular presentation dates.

 

 

Have a great week, everyone!

Steve Evans, English Department Chair