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Consequential Encounters: Adriana Babeți Meets America’s Language Wizard

Today's episode of “My First American” online series features writer and academic Adriana Babeți, the charismatic popess of Romanian cultural studies and one of the foremost experts in the literary & intellectual history of Central Europe. A consummate polymath doubled by a mesmerizing raconteur, Adriana Babeți reminisces about her boisterous encounter with the much-missed UCLA professor and legendary translator, Michael Heim. English version of the text by Gabi Reigh.

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ADRIANA BABEȚI is a Professor at the West University of Timişoara, Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest, where she teaches comparative literature, and Senior Editor of the Orizont magazine. She coordinated, together with Cornel Ungureanu, the anthologies Europa Centrală. Nevroze, dileme, utopii (Central Europe. Neuroses, Dilemmas, Utopias, 1997) and Europa Centrală. Memorie, paradis, apocalipsă (Central Europe. Memory, Paradise, Apocalypse, 1998). She is the author of ground-breaking Dandysmul. O istorie (Dandyism. A history, 2004) and Amazoanele. O poveste (Amazons. A story, 2013). She also wrote Femeia în roşu (The Woman in Red, novel, co-authored with Mircea Mihăieş and Mircea Nedelciu, 1990); Bătăliile pierdute. Dimitrie Cantemir, strategii de lectură (The Lost Battles. Dimitrie Cantemir, Reading Strategies, 1997); Dilemele Europei Centrale (The Dilemmas of Central Europe, 1998); Arahne şi pînza (Arahne and the Canvas, 2002) and was the writer/coordinator of Le Banat: Un Eldorado aux confins (The Banat: An Eldorado at the cross-roads, in French, 2007). The monumental Dicţionarul romanului central-european din secolul XX (The Dictionary of the Central European Novel in the 20th Century) will appear this fall under her coordination. Adriana Babeți is the recipient of Romania’s most prestigious literary prizes and is regarded as one of the most influential intellectual mentors of the past decades.

“My First American: Transatlantic Encounters and Portraits” is a year-long online program developed in partnership with the National Museum of Romanian Literature in Bucharest. Next authors in the series: Florin Lăzărescu, Elena Vlădăreanu, and Caius Dobrescu.

Watch the previous episodes here:

Ep. 1 / Ana Maria Sandu

Ep. 2 / Bogdan Coșa

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