The Cecile and Theodore Margellos World Republic of Letters series identifies works of cultural and artistic significance previously overlooked by translators and publishers, canonical works of literature and philosophy needing new translations, as well as important contemporary authors whose work has not yet been translated into English. The series is designed to bring to the English-speaking world leading poets, novelists, essayists, philosophers, and playwrights from Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, to stimulate international discourse and creative exchange.
Cecile Inglessis Margellos is a scholar, literary translator, critic, and writer. She has translated fiction, essays, drama, and poetry from French into Greek (Antoine Berman, Barbara Cassin, Pierre Eugène Drieu La Rochelle, Jean Giraudoux, Raymond Queneau, and more), from Greek into French (Alexis Stamatis, Yannis Tsiros), and from Greek into English (Kiki Dimoula, with Rika Lesser). She is Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s exclusive Greek translator (Journey to the End of the Night, 2007; Conversations with Professor Y,2010; Death on the Installment, forthcoming). She is producing an annotated translation of Plato’s Symposium from ancient into modern Greek (forthcoming in 2020). Ms. Margellos has taught translation theory at the Centre de Traduction Littéraire of the French Institute of Athens, and is a contributing writer and reviewer for a number of Greek newspapers and literary magazines, as well as a member of various literary and interdisciplinary committees. In 2013, she was appointed to the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic. In 2014, she was the recipient (with Rika Lesser) of the Greek National Translation Prize for Dimoula’s poetry anthology, The Brazen Plagiarist, published in the Margellos series.
Theodore Margellos (1953–2021) was a Greek and Swiss citizen; a 1975 graduate of HEC, University of Lausanne; and fluent in Greek, English, French, Italian, and Russian. He achieved great success as an entrepreneur who founded, managed, and developed agribusiness investments around the world.
Barbara Cassin is research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research, as well as former director of the Léon Robin Center for Research on Ancient Thought and president of the administrative board of the Collège International de Philosophie. Trained as a philosopher and philologist specializing in ancient Greece, her research focuses on the relationship between philosophy and what is posited as not being philosophy: sophistic, rhetoric, literature. Her engagement with the question of what words can do is manifest in a host of publications. The most recent volumes are Jacques le Sophiste: Lacan, logos et psychanalyse (Epel, 2012), Plus d’une langue: Les petites conferences (Bayard, 2012), La Nostalgie: Quand donc est-on chez soi? Ulysse, Enée, Arendt (Autrement, 2013), and Sophistical Practice: Toward a Consistent Relavism (Fordham, 2014). Her editorial work includes the seminal Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles (Seuil–Robert, 2004; translated into English as Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, Princeton UP, 2014; translation in progress in ten other languages). A translator herself (notably of Hannah Arendt and Peter Szondi), she is also the editor of several book series, including L’Ordre philosophique (with Alain Badiou, Seuil). Her work has been translated in some twenty languages. In 2012, the Académie Française honored Ms. Cassin’s work with the Grand Prix de Philosophie, and in 2018, she received the Gold Medal from the French National Center for Scientific Research, the highest scientific research award in France. She is Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and a Member of the Académie Française.
Ken Chen is the recipient of the Yale Younger Poets Award, the oldest annual literary award in America, for his book Juvenilia, which was selected by the poet Louise Glück. He served as the Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop from 2008 to May 2019. An NEA, NYFA, and Bread Loaf Fellow, as well as a National Book Award judge, Chen co-founded the cultural website Arts & Letters Daily and CultureStrike, a national arts organization dedicated to migrant justice. He has been quoted in NPR’s All Things Considered, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. A graduate of Yale Law School, he successfully defended the asylum application of an undocumented and detained Muslim high school student from Guinea. He is currently a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, where he is working on Death Star, a book about his traveling to the underworld and seeing there everything that has been destroyed by colonialism. He is represented by the Wylie Agency.
Marilyn Hacker is the author of fourteen books of poems, including Blazons (Carcanet, 2019), A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015) and Names (Norton, 2010), as well as an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices (University of Michigan Press, 2010). Her translations of French and Francophone poets include Samira Negrouche’s The Olive Trees’ Jazz (Pleiades Press, 2020), Vénus Khoury-Ghata’s A Handful of Blue Earth (Liverpool, 2017), Rachida Madani’s Tales of a Severed Head (Yale, 2012), and Emmanuel Moses’ Preludes and Fugues (Oberlin, 2016). She received the 2009 American PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for Marie Etienne’s King of a Hundred Horsemen, the 2010 PEN Voelcker Award, and the Argana International Prize for Poetry from the Beit as-Sh’ir/House of Poetry in Morocco in 2011. She lives in Paris.
Nathalie Handal is a poet, writer, translator, and editor. She has translated from Arabic, Italian, Spanish, French and Creole. She edited The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology, which won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award and was named one of the top ten feminist books by The Guardian; and co-edited the landmark Norton anthology, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her recent poetry books include Life in a Country Album (2019), which former United States poet laureate Tracy K. Smith praised as “absolutely gorgeous”; the flash collection The Republics (2015), lauded as “one of the most inventive books by one of today’s most diverse writers” and winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as the Arab American Book Award; the critically-acclaimed Poet in Andalucía (2012); and Love and Strange Horses (2010), winner of the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award. She is the author of eight plays, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in Vanity Fair, Guernica Magazine, The Guardian, the New York Times, The Nation, and the Irish Times, among others. Handal is the recipient of awards from the PEN Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, Centro Andaluz de las Letras, and Fondazione di Venezia, among others. She is a professor at Columbia University, and writes the literary travel column “The City and the Writer” for Words Without Borders magazine.
Virginia Jewiss is a translator of Italian literature and cinema. Her literary translations include a selection of Luigi Pirandello’s short stories, Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah, and Melania Mazzucco’s Vita. She has adapted into English the screenplays for numerous films, including Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth and This Must Be the Place, as well as the scripts for his HBO series The Young Pope and The New Pope. She received her Ph.D. in Italian literature from Yale, where she is Senior Lecturer in the Humanities and Director of the Yale Humanities in Rome program.
Alberto Manguel is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-authored with Gianni Guadalupi. 1980), A History of Reading (1996), The Library at Night (2007), A Reader on Reading (2010), and Fabulous Monsters (2019). Manguel has also published novels in English (News from a Foreign Country Came and Stevenson Under the Palm Trees) and Spanish (El regreso and Todos los hombres son mentirosos). He has received many prizes, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2018 Gutenberg Prize, and honorary doctorates from the University of Liège (Belgium) and Anglia Ruskin (Cambridge, UK). He is a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France). From 2015 to 2018, he was the Director of the National Library of Argentina.
Wyatt Mason is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine. He has translated writings by Rimbaud, Proust, Montaigne, Éric Chevillard, and Pierre Michon. He teaches at Bard College.
Daniel Medin is an associate professor and the chair of Comparative Literature and English at the American University of Paris. A director of AUP’s Center for Writers and Translators, he edits The Cahiers Series and Music & Literature. He is also a contributing editor for The White Review and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and advises English, German, and French journals, publishers, and agencies on contemporary international fiction. A former judge for leading translation prizes in the United States (Best Translated Book Award) and the United Kingdom (Man Booker International Prize), he is now on the jury of their German equivalent (Internationaler Literaturpreis, awarded by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt).
Valerie Miles, an American writer, editor, and translator, co-founded Spanish Granta in Barcelona, in 2003. She guest edited British Granta’s special issue 155: “Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists, 2.” She has overseen the Spanish language imprints Emecé and Alfaguara, where she worked with writers like Susan Sontag, Günter Grass, John Banville, Mario Vargas Llosa, John Berger and Javier Marías. She worked for several years arranging Roberto Bolaño’s archive, which led to the first exhibition of his private papers, Archivo Bolaño, 1977–2003, and which she curated for Barcelona’s Center for Contemporary Culture. In addition, she edited several of his posthumous manuscripts. Her first book is A Thousand Forests in One Acorn, and among her recent translations are Juan Eduardo Cirlot's A Dictionary of Symbols for New York Review of Books, and Milena Busquets’ novel, This Too Shall Pass, for which she won a PEN Translates Award and was a finalist for the Dublin Literature Prize. She worked with Azar Nafisi on her book about Nabokov for Yale University Press and was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship for her work on Rafael Chirbes’ Cremation, published by New Directions (2021). She writes for Granta, El País, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Paris Review, and teaches in the postgraduate programs of Literary Translation and Creative Writing at Barcelona’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and the Iowa Writer’s Program in Spanish.
Richard Sieburth is emeritus Professor of French, English, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin, Hymns and Fragments (1984), Walter Benjamin, Moscow Diary (1986), Michel Leiris, Nights as Days, Days as Nights (1988), Michael Palmer, Sun (into French, 1988), Gérard de Nerval: Selected Writings (1999; PEN/Book of the Month Translation Prize), Henri Michaux, Emergences-Resurgences (2000), Maurice Scève, Emblems of Desire (2002; shortlisted for the Weidenfeld Translation Prize and the PEN Poetry Translation Prize), Gershom Scholem, The Fullness of Time: Poems (2003), Georg Büchner, Lenz (2004), Henri Michaux, Stroke By Stroke (2006), Gérard de Nerval, The Salt Smugglers (2009), Guillevic, Geometries (2010), Nostradamus, The Prophecies (2012), Louis Labé, Love Sonnets & Elegies (2014; shortlisted for the PEN Poetry in Translation Prize), Henri Michaux, A Certain Plume (2018; PEN Poetry in Translation prize), with James Montgomery, Antarah ibn Shaddad, War Songs (2019; longlisted for the ALTA Poetry Translation Prize), Oswald von Wolkenstein, Songs from a Single Eye (2019; longlisted for the PEN Poetry in Translation Prize). In addition, he has edited a number of Ezra Pound’s works: A Walking Tour in Southern France (1992), The Pisan Cantos (2003), Poems & Translations (2003), New Selected Poems and Translations (2010).
Samuel de Vasconcelos Titan is a Brazilian translator, editor, and professor of Comparative Literature at the University of São Paulo. He has edited and translated a volume of essays by Erich Auerbach, and his anthology of Walter Benjamin’s essays on narrative, The Storyteller Essays, was published in 2019 by New York Review Books. He is the editorial director of Fabula, a literary imprint at Editora 34, and has signed Brazilian-Portuguese versions of authors ranging from Voltaire and Flaubert to Bioy Casares, Salter, Enzensberger, and Echenoz.
Alyson Waters has translated works by Vassilis Alexakis, Louis Aragon, René Belletto, Emmanuel Bove, Albert Cossery, Hubert Haddad, and Daniel Pennac, among others. Her translation of Éric Chevillard’s Prehistoric Times won the French-American Foundation/Florence Gould prize for best translation from the French in 2013. Her most recent translation is Jean Giono’s A King Alone (New York Review Books, 2019). She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund Grant, residency grants from the Centre national du livre, and was twice a translator-in-residence at the Villa Gillet in Lyon, France. She teaches literary translation in the French Department at Yale University, is the managing editor of Yale French Studies, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Eliot Weinberger’s books of literary essays include Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, The Ghosts of Birds, and the forthcoming Angels & Saints. His political writings are collected in What I Heard About Iraq and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. He is the author of a study of Chinese poetry translation, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, the translator of the poetry of Bei Dao, the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, and the general editor of the series Calligrams: Writings from and on China (Chinese University of Hong Kong Press/New York Review Books). He was formerly the literary editor of the Murty Classical Library of India. Among his translations of Latin American poetry and prose are The Poems of Octavio Paz, Paz’s In Light of India, Vicente Huidobro’s Altazor, Xavier Villaurrutia’s Nostalgia for Death, and Jorge Luis Borges’ Seven Nights and Selected Non-Fictions. His work has been translated into over thirty languages, and appears frequently in the London Review of Books and newspapers and magazines abroad.