Category: Americas Society

David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101

David Rockefeller serves with the U.S. Army in North Africa and France during World War II

Jonathan Kandell writes:
David Rockefeller, the banker and philanthropist with the fabled family name who controlled Chase Manhattan bank for more than a decade and wielded vast influence around the world for even longer as he spread the gospel of American capitalism, died on Monday morning at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. He was 101.

David Rockefeller muere a los 101 años

David Rockefeller

El empresario David Rockefeller, famoso por su inmensa fortuna y sus obras de caridad, murió este lunes a los 101 años mientras dormía en su casa, según informó su vocero.
Nieto de John D. Rockefeller, cofundador de la petrolera Standard Oil, luego se convirtió en el administrado de los bienes del clan y jefe de una red de intereses familiares, tanto comerciales como filantrópicos.
El conocido banquero presidió durante años el Chase Manhattan Bank y fue fundador de la Comisión Trilateral, creada en 1973 y considerada una de las organizaciones privadas más influyentes del mundo. El reciente cálculo de la revista Forbes cifró su fortuna actual en USD 3.300 millones, lo que lo ubicó 581 de las personas más acaudaladas.

Event: “Literary Tribute to Alastair Reid (1926-2014)”, to be held at the Americas Society in NYC on Thursday,...

Alastair Reid. (Photo by Luis Poirot. Courtesy of Leslie Clark.)
Alastair Reid. (Photo by Luis Poirot. Courtesy of Leslie Clark.)

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Event: Literary Tribute to Alastair Reid (1926-2014), to be held at the Americas Society (of which Interlitq is a Collaborating Institution) in NYC on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 7pm.

Admission: Free for Americas Society Members; $10 for non-members. Not yet a member? Join now!

Friends and colleagues of the late Scottish poet, essayist, and translator will honor the man and discuss his formidable contribution to world culture. Reid was known in particular for his work on Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda, as well as for his verse, prose, and his contributions as a staff writer for The New Yorker. This program will feature translators, authors, and scholars Edith Grossman, Gregory Rabassa, Pura López-Colomé, Karen Benavente, and others.

This event will be held in English.

Event Information: Department of Literature | literature@as-coa.org | 212-277-8353
Press Inquiries: Adriana La Rotta | alarotta@as-coa.org | 212-277-8384


Alastair Reid (b. 1926, Whithorn, Galloway, Scotland; d. 2014, New York) distinguished himself as a poet, essayist, and translator, particularly of the authors Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda. Raised as the son of a clergyman and doctor, he served in the Royal Navy during WWII decoding ciphers as well as studying Classics at the University of St. Andrews. He left his homeland for other countries, over the next decades living in the United States and Europe—working in Mallorca as the secretary of author Robert Graves—and later throughout South America and the Caribbean, particularly the Dominican Republic, before returning to New York in his later years.

Reid is perhaps best known for his instrumental role in bringing the poetry of Borges and Neruda into English with his lauded translations. His translations of Borges have been collected in his Borges: A Reader (1981), co-edited with Emir Rodríguez Monegal, in Borges’s Selected Poems (2010), and elsewhere. His translations of Neruda appear in Extravagaria (1972) and in many other subsequent collections. In addition to his published translations of Borges, Neruda, and others, such as Cuban poet Heberto Padilla and Mexican poet José Emilio Pacheco, Reid was the author of many additional publications, including Weathering (1978), an early selected poems and translations; Oases (1997), a collection of prose and poetry addressing his friendships with authors including Robert Graves, Borges, Neruda; Inside Out (2008), poems and translations; and Outside In (2008), collected essays and fiction; as well as children’s literature and travel writing.

He wrote for The New Yorker as a travel correspondent for many years, under the editorship of William Shawn, producing seminal essays on Latin American literature, among them, his classic “Basilks’ Egg” (1976). He wrote the preface for a limited edition of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, translated by Gregory Rabassa and published in 1982. Alastair Reid was recognized in his native Scotland as well as internationally as a leading literary figure of the twentieth century, admired for his craftsmanship in poetry, prose, and translation alike. Indeed, the hallmark of both the author and his body of work is their internationalism, his worldwide view, which reveals itself over and over in whatever text the master put his hand to. “What drew me to writing was its portability,” he wrote. “It requires essentially no more than a notebook and a pencil, and it allowed me to own my own time, to travel light, to come to rest anywhere.”

Karen Benavente, associate professor at the University of Glasgow, specializes in Latin American and Brazilian twentieth-century poetry, particularly that of Borges, Cecília Meireles, Gabriela Mistral, and Jorge Teillier. She met and worked with Alastair Reid at Harvard while completing her dissertation on Borges and Fernando Pessoa. In 2011, she organized an exhibition on Reid’s life at the University of Glasgow. She is now completing a manuscript on Borges’ poetry.

Edith Grossman is the award-winning translator of major writers including Miguel de Cervantes, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Luis de Góngora, Álvaro Mutis, and Santiago Roncagliolo. Her most recent translations are Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Selected Works (2014) and Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel The Discreet Hero (2015); forthcoming translations include Cervantes’ Exemplary Novels and Carlos Rojas’ The Valley of the Fallen.

Pura López Colomé’s books of poems have been collected in Poemas reunidos1985-2012 (2013), and her essays in Afluentes (2011). Her work has been translated by Forrest Gander in the collections No Shelter and Watchword. In 2007 she was awarded the Premio Xavier Villaurrutia for Santo y seña. She has translated the work of Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin, Alastair Reid, and William Carlos Williams. Her most recent book of poems is Via Corporis, in collaboration with artist Guillermo Arreola. With Reid, López Colomé conceived and produced Resonancia, Poesía en dos lenguas/Resonance, Poetry in Two Languages (2011), a three-CD boxed set featuring poetry by stellar English- and Spanish-language poets.

Gregory Rabassa is professor emeritus of comparative literature and romance languages at the CUNY Graduate Center and translator of iconic writers including Jorge Amado, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Clarice Lispector, Nélida Pinon, and Mario Vargas Llosa. He has received a National Book Award and National Medal of Arts, among numerous other accolades.

Event: “Silvina Ocampo Celebration: Jason Weiss, Suzanne Jill Levine, Sylvia Molloy”, to be held at Americas S...

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Event: “Silvina Ocampo Celebration: Jason Weiss, Suzanne Jill Levine, Sylvia Molloy, to be held at Americas Society (of which Interlitq is a Collaborating Institution) in NYC, on 21 May, 2015 at 7pm:

Admission: Free for Americas Society and Young Professionals of the Americas (YPA) members; $10 for non-members. No additional fees will be charged when purchasing online. Not yet an AS Member? Join now!

Authors/translators Jason Weiss, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Sylvia Molloy will discuss Silvina Ocampo’s work on the publication of Silvina Ocampo (poems; trans. Jason Weiss), and Thus Were Their Faces (stories; trans. Daniel Balderston). Ocampo (1903–1993), often overshadowed by her sister Victoria, her husband Adolfo Bioy-Casares, and by Borges, is considered a legend of Argentine letters. In association with NYRB Classics.

We thank the following additional institutions for helping publicize this event:  the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, CUNY; Columbia University; the Consulate General of Argentina in New York; the Consulate General of Colombia in New York; the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute; the Hispanic New York Project; Hunter College, CUNY; Instituto Cervantes New York; InterAmericas®; The International Literary Quarterly; McNally Jackson Books; the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York; New York University; The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church; The 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center; and Words Without Borders.

This event will be held in English.

Event Information: Jose Negroni | jnegroni@as-coa.org | 1-212-277-8353
Press Inquiries: Adriana La Rotta | alarotta@as-coa.org | 1-212-277-8384

Image: Covers of Silvina Ocampo and Thus Were Their Faces (NYRB, 2015). Courtesy New York Review Books.


About the Books 

Silvina Ocampo
Ocampo studied with de Chirico and collaborated with Borges and Bioy Casares. Her poems were celebrated in Argentina but, until now, have been nearly unavailable in English. This selection, translated by Jason Weiss, spans Ocampo’s full career—from early nature sonnets to a late metaphysical turn—and shows her to be adept at “captur[ing] the magic inside everyday rituals” (Italo Calvino).

Thus Were Their Faces
Dark, gothic, fantastic, and grotesque, Ocampo’s stories stand alongside those of her collaborators and countrymen Borges, Cortázar, and Bioy Casares. “Few writers have an eye for the small horrors of everyday life; fewer still see the everyday marvelous. Other than Ocampo, I cannot think of a single writer who . . . has chronicled both with such wise and elegant humor.” —Alberto Manguel.Thus Were Their Faces is translated by Daniel Balderston.

Silvina Ocampo (1903–1993) was born to an old and prosperous family in Buenos Aires, the youngest of six sisters. After studying painting with Giorgio di Chirico and Fernand Léger in Paris, she returned to her native city—she would live there for the rest of her life—and devoted herself to writing. Her eldest sister, Victoria, was the founder of the seminal modernist journal and publishing house Sur, which championed the work of Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, and in 1940 Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo married. The first of Ocampo’s seven collections of stories, Viaje olvidado (Forgotten Journey), appeared in 1937; the first of her seven volumes of poems, Enumeración de la patria (Enumeration of My Country) in 1942. She was also a prolific translator—of Dickinson, Poe, Melville, and Swedenborg—and wrote plays and tales for children. The Argentine critic Ezequiel Martínez Estrada wrote that “everything in Silvina Ocampo’s poetry carries with it her reminiscence of a lost paradise, of an inferno traveled in dreams.” [from the publisher’s website]

In addition to his translation Silvina Ocampo, published this year by New York Review Books, Jason Weiss has translated Luisa Futoransky’s The Duration of the Voyage: Selected Poems (1997) and Marcel Cohen’s stories, Mirrors (1998). He is the author of The Lights of Home: A Century of Latin American Writers in Paris (2003), and Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk‘, the Most Outrageous Record Label in America (2012), and editor of Back in No Time: The Brion Gysin Reader (2002) and Steve Lacy: Conversations (2006), the latter, selected interviews and other documents of the late soprano saxophonist and jazz composer.

Suzanne Jill Levine is an eminent translator, scholar, and critic of Latin American literature. Her books include Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions (2000) and The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction (1991; 2009). Her recent works include critically acclaimed translations of José Donoso’s The Lizard’s Tale (2011), Luis Negrón’s Mundo Cruel (2010), and Where There’s Love, There’s Hate (2013; in collaboration with Jessica Powell) by Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo, as well as her editions of Jorge Luis Borges for Penguin Classics (2010). She is Director of Translation Studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Sylvia Molloy is an Argentine writer and critic who has taught at Princeton, Yale, and New York University. Her creative and critical publications include En breve cárcel (1981; Certificate of Absence, 1989); Las letras de Borges (1979;Signs of Borges, 1993), At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America (1991), Hispanisms and Homosexualities (co-editor, 1998); El común olvido (2002); and Poses de fin de siglo: Desbordes del género en la modernidad (2013). She has served as President of the Modern Language Association of America and of the Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana and holds an honorary degree in humane letters from Tulane University.