Satyr Square: A Year, A Life in Rome

THU, OCT 12, 2006 (51:56)

Leonard Barkan discusses Satyr Square, which is part memoir, part literary criticism, part culinary and aesthetic travelogue, and overall a poignant and hilarious narrative about an American professor spending a magical year in Rome. A scarred veteran of academic culture wars, Leonard Barkan is at first hungry, lonely, and uncertain of his intellectual mission. But soon he is appointed unofficial mascot of an eccentric community of gastronomes, becomes virtually bilingual, and falls in love. As the year progresses, he finds his voice as a writer, loses his lover, and returns definitively to America. His book is the celebration of a life lived in the uncanny spaces where art and real people intersect.

+ BIO: Leonard Barkan

Leonard Barkan is the Arthur W. Marks ‘19 Professor of Comparative Literature. He has been a professor of English and of Art History at universities including Northwestern, Michigan, and NYU. Among his books are The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism and Unearthing the Past: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture, which won prizes from the Modern Language Association, the College Art Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and the PEN America Center. He is the winner of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been an actor and a director; he is also a regular contributor to publications in both the U.S. and Italy, where he writes on the subject of food and wine. He has recently published Satyr Square, which is an account of art, literature, food, wine, Italy, and himself. His current projects include a scholarly study of the relations among words, images, and pleasure from Plato to the Renaissance, and a book on Michelangelo’s drawings and writings.

Boston Athenaeum