Thursday, May 7, 2015

Richard Sieburth is a translator, essayist, editor, and literary scholar. He has gained widespread recognition for his numerous translations from both German and French literature, receiving a number of awards and prizes for his work. Sieburth is considered an authority on literary modernism, particularly the life and work of Ezra Pound. He has taught at many institutions of higher learning, serving as a professor of French and comparative literature at New York University. He is associated with the German department at NYU, as well.

Sieburth is the author of numerous works including Instigations: Ezra Pound and Remy de Gourmont (1978) and (as an editor) A Walking Tour in Southern France: Ezra Pound Among the Troubadours (1992).

Life and work

Richard Sieburth is a graduate of the University of Chicago (B.A. 1970) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1976). Today he is recognized as a leading translator from both German and French, including the following:

  • Georg Büchner's Lenz ( see Wikipedia article: Lenz (fragment) )
  • Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hymns and Fragments,
  • Walter Benjamin’s Moscow Diary
  • Gérard de Nerval’s Selected Writings and "Salt Smugglers"
  • Henri Michaux’s Emergences/Resurgences & Stroke by Stroke
  • Michel Leiris’s Nights as Day, Days as Night
  • Gershom Scholem's The Fullness of Time: Poems
  • Maurice Scève's "Emblems of Desire: Selections from the Délie"
  • Eugène Guillevic's "Geometries"
  • Nostradamus's "The Prophecies"
  • Louise Labé's "Love Sonnets & Elegies"

Sieburth has also translated the poetry of well-known American poets into French, including selections from Michael Palmer's Sun (1988). In addition, he has edited many important volumes including a recent edition of Ezra Pound's Pisan Cantos, "Poems & Translations" and "New Selected Poems and Translations".

His English edition of the Nerval won the 2000 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. His recent translation of Maurice Scève’s Délie was a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize and the Weidenfeld Prize.

In February 2008, Sieburth's translation of Antonin Artaud's play The Cenci (itself an adaptation of Shelley's The Cenci and a novella by Stendhal) was performed, opening at The Ohio Theatre in New York City on February 7 with daily showings through February 23.

Select bibliography

  • Ezra Pound: Poems & Translations (Library of America, 2003)
  • Ezra Pound: The Pisan Cantos (New Directions, 2003).
  • Ezra Pound, The Spirit of Romance (New Directions, 2005)
  • Ezra Pound: New Selected Poems & Translations (New Directions, 2010).
  • (and editor), Hymns and Fragments by Friedrich Hölderlin (Princeton University Press, 1984)
  • Moscow Diary by Walter Benjamin (Harvard University Press, 1986)
  • Nights As Day, Days As Night. trans. of "Nuits sans nuit et quelques jours sans jour" by Michel Leiris (Eridanos Books, 1988)
  • "Sun" by Michael Palmer (Ulysse Fin-de-Siècle, 1988)
  • (and editor) Gerard de Nerval â€" Selected Writings (Penguin Classics, 1999)
  • Emergences/Resurgences. trans. of "Émergences-Résurgences"' by Henri Michaux (Skira/The Drawing Center, 2000)
  • (and editor), Emblems of Desire: Selections from Maurice Scève's "Délie" (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002); 2nd revised ed., (Archipelago Books, 2004)
  • The Fullness of Time: Poems by Gershom Scholem (Ibis Editions, 2003)
  • (and editor), Lenz by Georg Büchner (Archipelago Books, 2005)
  • Stroke by Stroke by Henri Michaux (Archipelago Books, 2006) - includes two Michaux texts: "Stroke by Stroke" (Par des traits) and "Grasp" (Saisir)
  • The Salt Smugglers. trans. of "Les Faux Saulniers" by Gérard de Nerval (Archipelago Books, 2009)
  • Geometries. trans. of "Euclidiennes" by Eugène Guillevic (Ugly Duckling Press, 2010)
  • (and editor), "The Prophecies" by Nostradamus (Penguin Books, 2012)
  • (and editor), "Love Sonnets & Elegies" by Louise Labé (NYRB/Poets, 2014)
Authored books
  • "Instigations: Ezra Pound and Remy de Gourmont (Harvard University Press, 1978)
  • Signs in Action: Ideograms of Pound and Michaux (Red Dust Books, 1987)
  • "Weights and Measures/Poids et mesures (Ulysse Fin-de-Siècle, 1988)


  1. ^ Faculty Homepage
  2. ^ NYU Dept. Comparative Literature: Events 2007-2008

External links

  • Brooklyn Rail In Conversation: Richard Sieburth with Adam Fitzgerald
  • Cross-Cultural Poetics:Episode #59: Palimpsest and Retrieval Richard Sieburth discusses and reads from his translation of Georg Buchner's Lenz (available in MP3) / Audio file
    • Note: scan down the page to episode #59. Also available on this page:
      • Episode #65: Richard the II in which Sieburth discusses the Library of America Ezra Pound which he has edited.
      • Episode #211: Emblems of Desire, February 18, 2010 in which Sieburth reads from & discusses his translations of Maurice Sceve, as published in Emblems of Desires
  • Hieronymo's Mad Againe: On Translating Nerval
  • "Editor's Note": Richard Sieburth on Ezra Pound: Poems and Translations link here to read Sieburth's editor's note to this Library of America volume of Ezra Pound
  • The Work of Voice in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction part of Sieburth's The Sound of Pound: A Listener’s Guide part of PENNSound's Ezra Pound page, with complete recordings of Pound available
  • Faculty Homepage at the NYU Department of French website

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