Format Hardcover Subject Poetry
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Robert M. Torrance is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis. He received his B. A. summa cum laude in Greek and English from Harvard in 1961, followed by a year in Europe on a Frederick Sheldon traveling fellowship. He took his M. A. at UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature in 1963, and his Ph. D. at Harvard in 1970. After further teaching at Harvard and at Brooklyn College of CUNY, he came to UC Davis in 1976. During 25 years at Davis as associate and full professor, he served several terms as director of the Comparative Literature Program, and played a key role in designing the undergraduate curriculum and instituting the Ph. D. program. His book-length publications are (1) verse translations of two plays of Sophocles, Philoctetes and The Women of Trachis (Houghton Mifflin, 1966); (2)The Comic Hero (Harvard University Press, 1978), examining embodiments of this variable character in different ages from Homer to Joyce and Mann; (3) Ideal and Spleen: The Crisis of Transcendent Vision in Romantic, Symbolist, and Modern Poetry (Garland, 1984); (4) The Spiritual Quest: Transcendence in Myth, Religion, and Science (University of California Press,1994; translated into Modern Greek in 2005 and Spanish in 2006); and (5) Encompassing Nature: A Sourcebook (Counterpoint, 2008), a vast collection of literary, religious, philosophical and scientific primary sources demonstrating widely diverse experiences and developing concepts of nature in both Western and non-Western cultures throughout the centuries, with extensive original introductions and commentaries as well as poetic translations from Greek, Latin, Italian (including a canto from Dante's PURGATORIO), Spanish, and French. This 1200-page "sourcebook" has been called the finest anthology of nature writing to have appeared, containing texts hard to find elsewhere from earliest times through harbingers of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century. The original introductions an
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