David R. Slavitt
David Rytman Slavitt (born 1935) is a writer, poet, and translator, the author of more than 100 books.
Slavitt has written a number of novels and numerous translations from Greek, Latin, and other languages, Slavitt wrote a number of popular novels under the pseudonym Henry Sutton, starting in the late 1960s. The Exhibitionist (1967) was a bestseller and sold over 4 million copies. He has also published popular novels under the names of David Benjamin, Lynn Meyer, and Henry Lazarus.
Henry S. Taylor, winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, has written, "David Slavitt is among the most accomplished living practitioners" of writing, "in both prose and verse; his poems give us a pleasurable, beautiful way of meditating on a bad time. We can't ask much more of literature, and usually we get far less."
Novelist and poet James Dickey wrote, "Slavitt has such an easy, tolerant, believable relationship with the ancient world and its authors that making the change-over from that world to ours is less a leap than an enjoyable stroll. The reader feels a continual sense of gratitude."
Georgia Jones-Davis, a poet and journalist, has said, "Slavitt is brilliant and he writes with grace, passion and humor."
Slavitt was born in White Plains, New York on March 23, 1935, the son of Samuel Saul Slavitt (a lawyer) and Adele Beatrice Slavitt (a paralegal).
Slavitt attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where his first writing teacher was Dudley Fitts. He received an undergraduate degree from Yale University (where he studied under Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren and was elected class poet, "Scholar of the House," in 1956), graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude), and then a Master's degree in English from Columbia University in 1957.
He was married to Lynn Nita Meyer on August 27, 1956. They had three children: Evan Meyer Slavitt, Sarah Rebecca Slavitt Bryce, and Joshua Rytman Slavitt; while raising their young children, the Slavitts lived for some years in Miami, Florida. Slavitt and his first wife were divorced on December 20, 1977.
Slavitt's Florida house was burgled during the summer of 1973. His family were no longer happy to live in Miami; they moved to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For a short time he lived in Belmont. He then met Janet Lee Abrahm, now Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and they were married on April 16, 1978. Abrahm was appointed Chief Resident at Moffitt Hospital of University of California, San Francisco, where they lived for a year. Together, they moved to Philadelphia, where Abrahm had earned a fellowship; they moved to Boston in 2000, when she was hired at Harvard University.
Slavitt's mother was murdered in 1978 by a teen-aged burglar, who was convicted and imprisoned. Slavitt's poetry, which rings many emotional changes, became darker, by his own admission.
Slavitt remains close to his children, and he said proudly in a 2011 interview: "What amazes me is not the 100 books, but the fact that I am 76 and have nine grandchildren."
Before becoming a full-time free-lance writer in 1965, Slavitt worked at various jobs in the literary field. These included a stint in the personnel office of Reader's Digest in Pleasantville, New York; teaching English at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (1957–1958); and a variety of jobs at Newsweek in New York. Slavitt began there as a mailroom clerk, was promoted to the positions of book reviewer and film critic, and earned the position of associate editor from 1958 to 1963. He edited the movies pages from 1963 to 1965.
Okla Elliott, a professor and Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, has written of Slavitt that he "served as an associate editor at Newsweek until 1965, teaching himself Greek on his 35-minute commute. In his last two years at Newsweek, he had a reputation as an astute, sometime cranky, but always readable 'flicker picker' and gained some notoriety for his film reviews there."
Slavitt taught as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1977, and at Temple University, in Philadelphia, as associate professor from 1978 to 1980. Slavitt was a lecturer at Columbia University from 1985 to 1986, at Rutgers University in 1987, and at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Texas at El Paso and other institutions. He has given poetry readings at colleges and universities, at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and at the Library of Congress.
In the 1960s, Slavitt was approached by Bernie Geis & Associates to write a big book, a popular book, which he agreed to if he could use a pseudonym. As Henry Sutton, in 1967 he published The Exhibitionist, which sold more than 4 million copies. He followed this with The Voyeur in 1968 and three more novels as Henry Sutton. In the 1970s, he also used the pen names of Lynn Meyer and Henry Lazarus for novels written for the popular market.
Slavitt has published numerous works in translation, especially classics, from Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Spanish and French.
Slavitt described a typical writing day in an essay entitled: "A Day in the Life of David R. Slavitt" (1999):
"Do you write with a fountain pen?" is an inevitable question one gets at readings and such public appearances. The assumption is that if only one picked the right tool, one could do that! ... But to get that out of the way, I write on a computer (an ancient Mac Performa I'm about to replace) and correct drafts with a fountain pen (Pelikan, Mont Blanc, Cross, Waterman, Parker, Sheaffer - I have a pleasing array of them). I wake sometime between seven and nine, depending on how late I was up reading the night before. I pour my coffee and bring it to the computer in the small study that was originally a dressing room. I turn on the CD player (at the moment, the Shostakovich preludes and fugues are playing), check the email, reply to whatever's urgent, play a few games of solitaire, and then get to what I'm working on. There is almost always a longish project to which I can repair for entertainment and occupation. But I will put that aside, whatever it is, if a poem presents itself to me. ... I write until noon and then have a light lunch. The mail usually comes in around midday, and I'll look through that. I may read a little (in connection with some project or other, or in search of one, or just for entertainment) or look at newspapers or magazines (the usual ones, but The Georgia Review, Pequod, and Shenandoah are on the nightstand at the moment). If the work has been going well, I may put in another hour in the afternoon. Or I will run errands and shop. Or cook, which is pleasant to do after a session with words because it's physical and tactile, and the payoff is immediate. I generally exercise for half an hour (on a stationary bicycle, usually watching Inside Politics on CNN, which is the best — or least bad — thing on then). My wife gets home around 6:30 PM, and inasmuch as the main purpose of writing is to get through the day until drinks-time, I can pop a cork and declare the day a success.
In 2004, Slavitt unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, losing to longtime incumbent Timothy J. Toomey Jr.  His campaign manager was former Cambridge School Committee candidate and Republican City Committee Chairman Fred Baker. He explored the race in his 2006 non-fiction book Blue State Blues: How a Cranky Conservative Launched a Campaign and Found Himself the Liberal Candidate (And Still Lost). Jonathan Yardley, reviewing the book, said that Slavitt "was challenged by his son Evan -- a Republican activist" to run, and that Slavitt described himself as "economically conservative and socially moderate."
|A Cheater's Dozen: Eleven Poems||1952||Self-published||Slavitt wrote and distributed these poems by mimeograph at age 17, at Andover. Held in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Dept. of Houghton Library at Harvard University.|
|Suits For the Dead||1961||Scribner||Poetry. (Scribner series: Poets of today, vol. 8)|
|The Carnivore||1965||University of North Carolina Press||Poetry. Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner Henry S. Taylor praises one poem, Elegy for Walter Stone, as one of Slavitt's "most ambitious."|
|Rochelle, or, Virtue Rewarded||1966||Chapman & Hall||A novel. Printed in the United States by Delacorte Press in 1967.|
|The Exhibitionist||1967||Bernard Geis Associates||A novel about "a prominent actress and her prominent father," written under the name Henry Sutton. Slavitt told an interviewer, "The book sold 4,000,000 copies and put my kids through college."|
|King Saul||1967||The American Place Theatre||A play.|
|The Voyeur||1968||Bernard Geis Associates||An erotic novel, written under the name Henry Sutton. Advertised with a New York Times Square billboard, a first in New York book promotions.|
|Feel Free||1968||Delacorte Press||Novel.|
|Day Sailing and Other Poems||1969||University of North Carolina Press||Poetry.|
|The Cardinal Sins||1969||The Playwright's Unit||A play.|
|Anagrams||1970||Hodder & Stoughton||Novel. During the course of a week, a poet writes a poem with surprisingly prophetic lines; he and his colleagues also play games with anagrams. Reprinted in New York by Doubleday, 1971.|
|Vector||1970||Bernard Geis Associates||A science fiction novel. Written as by Henry Sutton. Kirkus Reviews called it "an efficient, energetic novel tracking a common concern." Reprinted by Hodder & Stoughton in 1971 (ISBN 0-340-15068-8) and by Coronet Books in 1972 (ISBN 0-340-16071-3).|
|Eclogues of Virgil||1971||Doubleday||Translated from the Latin, the Eclogues of Virgil.|
|A B C D: A Novel||1972||Doubleday||Novel. ISBN 0-385-03634-5.|
|The Eclogues and the Georgics of Virgil||1972||Doubleday||Translated from the Latin, the Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil.|
|Child's Play||1972||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. ISBN 0-8071-0238-5.|
|The Outer Mongolian||1973||Doubleday||A tragicomic novel of alternate history, tinged with science fiction, in which a child with Down syndrome becomes a genius and an Éminence grise, eventually helping Richard Nixon to win the 1968 presidential election in order to bring an end to the Vietnam War. Kirkus Reviews wrote, "Mr. Slavitt is an easy, versatile, and always original scenarist and he has managed to overcome what might appear to be a precarious handicap; his Down's child is anything but a downer ..." ISBN 0-385-00425-7.|
|The Liberated||1973||Doubleday||Novel. Written as by Henry Sutton.|
|The Killing of the King||1974||Doubleday / W.H. Allen||Biographical novel about Farouk of Egypt. ISBN 0-385-07899-4.|
|Vital Signs: New and Selected Poems||1975||Doubleday||Henry S. Taylor wrote that this collection "established Slavitt as one of the most interesting poets in the country."|
|Paperback Thriller||1975||Avon||A mystery novel, written under the pseudonym Lynn Meyer. Honors: Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel (1976). ISBN 0-380-31336-7.|
|King of Hearts||1976||Arbor House||Novel. ISBN 0-87795-153-5.|
|That Golden Woman||1976||Fawcett Publications||Novel, written as Henry Lazarus. ISBN 0-449-13518-7.|
|Understanding Social Life: An Introduction to Social Psychology||1976||McGraw-Hill||Co-authored with Paul F. Secord and Carl W. Backman, a treatise on social psychology.|
|Jo Stern||1978||Harper & Row||Novel. Okla Elliott described it as "a literary novel," based loosely on Jacqueline Susann, "about a writer who cranks out trashy materials to make a living" and "which takes a more serious and literary approach to the world of high-money publishing and the people who make up the lit biz." ISBN 978-0-06-013994-0.|
|The Sacrifice: A Novel of the Occult||1978||Grosset & Dunlap||Novel, written as Henry Sutton. Professor Roger Braithwaite encounters deadly trouble while trying to translate an ancient Greek manuscript written in code. ISBN 0-448-14719-X. Reprinted by Charter in 1979 (ISBN 0-441-74610-1) and by Sphere Books in 1980 (ISBN 0-7221-8290-2).|
|Rounding the Horn||1978||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry.|
|The Idol||1979||Putnam||A novel about Hollywood, written under the pseudonym David Benjamin. A young actress "captivates the imagination of a nation and goes on to become the most glamorous movie star in the world."|
|Cold Comfort||1980||Methuen Publishing||Novel.|
|The Proposal||1980||Charter Books||An erotic novel about swinging, written as by Henry Sutton.|
|Dozens||1981||Louisiana State University Press||Slavitt wrote that these poems were "in memory of my father." ISBN 0-8071-0787-5.|
|Ringer||1982||E. P. Dutton||"A novel based on the German landing on Eastern Long Island in 1942."|
|Big Nose||1983||Louisiana State University Press||Taylor writes that many of the poems in this collection are characterized by "wicked enjoyment."|
|Alice at 80||1984||Doubleday||A novel based on the relationship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell. Sandor G. Burstein of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America described it as "a revisionist view of Lewis Carroll's relations with his child friends. Mr. Slavitt sees Carroll (Dodgson) through the narrow focus of Freudian glasses." ISBN 978-1-937402-23-5. ISBN 0-385-18883-8.|
|The Elegies to Delia of Albius Tibillus||1985||Bits Press||Translation of the Latin poetry of Tibullus.|
|The Agent||1986||Doubleday||A novel co-authored with Bill Adler. A suspicious and varied cast of characters become suspects when someone tries to kill Leonard Castle, one of New York's most distinguished and powerful literary agents. ISBN 0-385-23007-9.|
|The Walls of Thebes||1986||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. Some poems had been previously published elsewhere, and the volume's publication was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. ISBN 978-0-8071-1306-6.|
|The Tristia of Ovid||1986||Bellflower Press||Taylor writes that Slavitt's translation of "these long, self-pitying poems" is "in a class with the best translations of the century." ISBN 0-934958-04-1.|
|The Cock Book, or, The Child's First Book of Pornography||1987||Bits Press||Publishers Weekly writes that this is "the Slavitt book that fetches the highest price today ... It's a children's book, #36 The Cock Book, a send up of Dr. Suess's One Fish, Two Fish. 'It's just impish, as indeed I am. It's not shocking,' says Slavitt, who is pleased that its value has held up on the used book market. Unlike the Sutton novels that go for a penny, it fetches between $500 and $600."|
|The Hussar||1987||Louisiana State University Press||Novel. Stefan, an Austro-Hungarian hussar stationed in a small town, becomes the lover of a local widow and her lame daughter. Robert Olen Butler called it "splendid ... full of fine observations and interesting characters." ISBN 0-8071-1364-6.|
|Physicians Observed||1987||Doubleday Religious Publishing Group||Non-fiction. The book was the basis of a filmed discussion, "Medicine and Matrimony: Patterns of Impairment," featuring Slavitt, his wife Janet Abrahm (Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School), and Dr. Karen Dembeck Poehailos of Charlottesville, VA. It was produced by the University of Virginia as part of a series entitled "Medical Center Hour", filmed on April 12, 1989. The panel discusses the unique stresses brought on marriage by the socialization process of medicine. Slavitt draws upon his experience being married to a physician (Dr. Abrahm) and into a multi-physician family.|
|Salazar Blinks||1988||Atheneum||A novel about 20th century Portugal in the days of dictator António de Oliveira Salazar. ISBN 0-689-12030-3.|
|Equinox and Other Poems||1989||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. ISBN 0-8071-1485-5.|
|Ovid's Poetry of Exile||1989||Johns Hopkins University Press||A collection of epistolary poems translated from the Latin of Ovid.|
|Lives of the Saints||1990||Atheneum||A novel in which the "saints" are "the victims of a shopping-mall mass murder, and their hagiographer a seamy, nameless narrator assigned by his editor at the Star ... to write a story on them. Still numb from his own bereavement—a drunk driver killed his wife and daughter—the narrator tries to connect himself to his subjects ..." ISBN 0-689-12079-6.|
|Eight Longer Poems||1990||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry.|
|Short Stories Are Not Real Life||1991||Louisiana State University Press||Short story collection. ISBN 978-0-8071-1665-4.|
|Virgil||1992||Yale University Press||Slavitt puts Virgil's poems in their biographical and historical context and provides analyses of the "Eclogues", the "Georgics", and the "Aeneid". He also looks at Virgil's continuing popularity and at the legends that grew up about him in the Middle Ages as a magician or necromancer.|
|Seneca: The Tragedies, Volume I||1992||Johns Hopkins University Press||Translated from the Latin plays about classical mythology by Seneca the Younger.|
|Turkish Delights||1993||Louisiana State University Press||Novel. "Betrayals, sexual revenge and the havoc that family members wreak on one another reverberate through this intriguing novel, in which Slavitt (Alice at 80) splices together three stories with vastly different settings. ... An exotic, touching, oddly ennobling novel." ISBN 978-0-8071-1813-9.|
|The Fables of Avianus||1993||Johns Hopkins University Press||Translations of 42 fables by Avianus show a world in flux in which humor and cunning provide the means of survival for animals. Foreword by Jack Zipes; woodcut illustrations by Neil Welliver. The volume was selected for the Book of the Month Club and its sibling, the Quality Paperback Book Club. In a somewhat uneasy review, Publishers Weekly said, "In his introduction, Jack Zipes praises Slavitt for his rather free translations ("All the world's dog-chow piled into a dish / cannot begin to assuage the spirit's essential hungers"), claiming that "it is because of Slavitt's poetic license that Avianus can now be appreciated as a 'contemporary' commentator on the 'postmodern condition.'" ISBN 0-8018-4684-6.|
|Crossroads||1994||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. Arthur Mortensen compared some of the work with W. H. Auden's and praised "Slavitt's unrelenting ear and eye" and the many "strong pieces (and sometimes very funny poems as well)." He called it "highly recommended": "This book is not easy ... Crossroads is a clear example of how poets can address tragedy not as a matter of personal therapy but of public meaning." ISBN 0-8071-1753-6.|
|The Metamorphoses of Ovid||1994||Johns Hopkins University Press||Written between AD 2 and 8, Ovid's poem, the "Metamorphoses", gave a great number of Greek and Roman myths the form in which they are known today. Slavitt offers a new English verse translation of Ovid's "Metamorphoses".|
|The Cliff||1994||Louisiana State University Press||A comedic novel in which a problem-laden adjunct assistant professor, John Smith, accidentally receives an invitation intended for a more famous John Smith, a historian in the same university, to spend time at a writer's colony in Italy. ISBN 978-0-8071-1781-1.|
|Seneca: The Tragedies, Volume II||1995||Johns Hopkins University Press||This volume presents renditions into contemporary English of five of the surviving tragedies of Seneca the Younger. It brings together a group of translators in a second and final volume that brings to completion this collection of Seneca's extant tragedies.|
|A Gift: The Life of Da Ponte||1996||Louisiana State University Press||A poetical biography of Lorenzo Da Ponte. "A literary biography in the form of verse, Slavitt's long poem chronicles the life of Lorenzo da Ponte, an obscure writer of vast ambition and frequent failure whose only enduring works are the several librettos he wrote for Mozart. Featuring a cast of characters including Casanova, Emperor Joseph II, Clement Moore (the author of The Night Before Christmas) and, of course, Amadeus himself, Slavitt's poem succeeds both as literary history and as verse. Da Ponte's story, while largely a series of disappointments, is as crammed with incident as a picaresque novel." ISBN 978-0-8071-2047-7.|
|Hymns of Prudentius: The Cathemerinon, or, The Daily Round||1996||Johns Hopkins University Press||Translation of Prudentius from the Latin. A pioneer in the creation of a Christian literature, Prudentius is generally regarded as the greatest of the Christian Latin poets, and his legacy informed the work of future poets, among them George Herbert and John Donne. Prudentius wrote two collections of hymns: the Cathemerinon Liber and the Peristephanon. The former, a collection of twelve songs - in English, "The Daily Round"—is translated here by Slavitt.|
|Sixty-One Psalms of David||1996||Oxford University Press||Translation of the Psalms of David from Hebrew. He told an interviewer that he chose sixty-one psalms because he had had his 61st birthday. ISBN 0-19-510711-X.|
|Epic and Epigram: Two Elizabethan Entertainments||1997||Louisiana State University Press||Free-form translations from the Latin epigrams of Welsh poet John Owen. Includes Duessa's version: a dirge in seven canticles. ISBN 0-8071-2151-7.|
|Broken Columns: Two Roman Epic Fragments||1997||University of Pennsylvania Press||Slavitt translates two works: The Achilleid (Achilleis), an unfinished epic poem by Publius Papinius Statius that was intended to present the life of Achilles from his youth through his death at Troy; and The Rape of Proserpine (De raptu Proserpinae) of Claudius Claudianus. Afterword by David Konstan. ISBN 0-8122-3424-3.|
|Epinician Odes and Dithyrambs of Bacchylides||1998||University of Pennsylvania Press||Slavitt brings new life to the surviving fifteen epinician odes and five dithyrambs of Bacchylides. Arthur Mortensen praised "the clarity of Slavitt's translation. There's no dodge behind affected diction, no pretense at imitating a particularly Greek sound, which only rarely works in translation ... it sounds lively and dramatic." ISBN 0-8122-3447-2.|
|PS3569.L3||1998||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. The joke hidden in Slavitt's title is that these letters and numbers represent the Library of Congress Classification for Slavitt himself. Librarians would have to laugh before working out a new "library call number" for the novel's title. It is all intended in good fun.|
|Solomon Ibn Gabirol's A Crown For the King||1998||Oxford University Press||Text in English and Hebrew. "Solomon ibn Gabirol (ca. 1021-ca. 1058) was the greatest of the Spanish Jewish poets and an important neoplatonist philosopher ... The Royal Crown (or, "A Crown for the King" in Slavitt's translation) is the greatest of Gabirol's poems ... Its theme is the problem of the human predicament: the frailty of man and his proclivity to sin, in tension with a benign providence that must leave room for the operation of man's free will and also make available to him the means of penitence. ... Slavitt's inspired translation of this classic poem into contemporary English - printed with the Hebrew text on facing pages - will make the Royal Crown newly available and accessible to students and scholars of medieval Jewish literature and philosophy and to the general public as well." ISBN 0-19-511962-2.|
|A New Pléiade: Seven American Poets||1998||Louisiana State University Press||An anthology of poems by seven American poets: Fred Chappell, Kelly Cherry, R. H. W. Dillard, Brendan Galvin, George Garrett, David R. Slavitt, and Henry Taylor. ISBN 978-0-8071-2329-4.|
|"Celebrating Ladies" in Aristophanes, 1||1998||University of Pennsylvania Press||Three volumes of translations from the originals of Aristophanes, edited by David R. Slavitt and Palmer Bovie. Slavitt's poem appears in Volume 1. ISBN 0-8122-3456-1.|
|Three Amusements of Ausonius||1998||University of Pennsylvania Press||Slavitt has said that his adaptation of these Latin epigrams is not intended as a strict translation, though he followed Ausonius's rules for the cento in his rendition. Ausonius, the most famous of the learned poets active in the second half of the fourth century, was born at Bordeaux and taught school there for thirty years before being summoned to court to teach the future emperor Gratian. He subsequently held important public offices, returning to Bordeaux and private life after Gratian's death in 383. ISBN 0-8122-3472-3. Paperback ISBN 978-0-8122-1953-1.|
|Aeschylus. 2: The Persians, Seven against Thebes, The Suppliants, Prometheus Bound||1998||University of Pennsylvania Press||Edited by Slavitt and Smith Palmer Bovie. Translations by David R. Slavitt, Stephen Sandy, Gail Holst-Warhaft, and William Matthews. A volume of the tragedies of Aeschylus which relates the historic defeat and dissolution of the Persian Empire on the heels of Xerxes's disastrous campaign to subdue Greece, the struggle between the two sons of Oedipus for the throne of Thebes, the story of fifty daughters who seek asylum from their uncle, the king of Egypt. (Penn Greek Drama Series) ISBN 0-8122-1671-7.|
|The Oresteia of Aeschylus||1999||University of Pennsylvania Press||Translations from the Greek of Aeschylus on the stories of Orestes and Agamemnon, and the rest of the cursed family.|
|The Poem of Queen Esther by Joao Pinto Delgado||1999||Oxford University Press||This is a translation of a Spanish poem based on the biblical book of Esther. The author, Joao Pinto Delgado (c. 1585–1653), was born in Portugal and settled with his parents in Rouen, where he and his father were leading figures in the crypto-Jewish Marrano community. "Slavitt's skillful translation approximates the rhyme scheme of the original and wonderfully evokes the lavishness and sensuousness of Pinto Delgado's suave descriptions. Also included in this volume is a translation of Pinto Delgados shorter poem In Praise of the Lord." ISBN 0-19-512374-3.|
|Get Thee to a Nunnery: Two Shakespearean Divertimentos||1999||Catbird Press||This collection consists of two novellas, which Slavitt humorously referred to as "an accident": "I'd written a play about Romeo and Juliet which never quite got out of workshop. And I turned that into a novella, which publishers really hate because they're hard to sell. George Garrett suggested that I write another to go with it, and I did this batty version of Measure for Measure set as a western, which was kind of fun (but no one seems to have read Measure for Measure, so there were few readers who could get the joke.)"|
|The Voyage of the Argo: The Argonautica of Gaius Valerius Flaccus||1999||Johns Hopkins University Press||Translated from the Latin story of Jason and the Argonauts by Gaius Valerius Flaccus. "With The Voyage of the Argo, poet and translator David Slavitt recovers for modern readers the only surviving work of this little-known writer. The result is an engaging rendition of Jason's adventures, of particular interest when compared to the Greek version of the story. While Apollonius's tale offers a subtle [psychological] study of Medea, Valerius Flaccus's achievement is to present Jason as a more complete and compelling heroic figure."|
|The Book of the Twelve Prophets||2000||Oxford University Press||Oxford UP writes, "This is a glittering new translation of the portion of the Hebrew Bible known as the Book of the Twelve Prophets, or the Twelve "Minor" Prophets. ... At the time when all biblical books were written on scrolls, these twelve brief prophetic texts were traditionally written on a single scroll, and so came to be considered a single book. "Minor" with respect to length only, they are from the literary point of view some of the most interesting texts in the Bible — passionate, visionary, and written with genuine literary sophistication. David Slavitt's brilliant modern translation breathes fresh life into these powerful ancient texts." ISBN 0-19-513214-9.|
|The Latin Odes of Jean Dorat||2000||Orchises||Translated from the French of Jean Daurat. ISBN 0-914061-80-1.|
|Falling From Silence: Poems||2001||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. The publisher writes, "Ranging in length from four lines to several pages and in tone from devilish and droll to dignified and desolate, the poems here examine death and aging and bespeak the reassuring connection between the generations. Slavitt's wry wit, profound humanity, and agile intellect illuminate every page of Falling from Silence."|
|The Book of Lamentations: a Meditation and Translation||2001||Johns Hopkins University Press||The Book of Lamentations is a collection of poetic laments for the destruction of Jerusalem. In the Hebrew Bible it appears in the Ketuvim ("Writings"); in the Christian Old Testament it follows the Book of Jeremiah, as the prophet Jeremiah is its traditional author. "The five poems composing the book express Israel's sorrow, brokenness, and bewilderment before God. ... Slavitt's meditation provides a context for reading the scriptural text. Cast in the same style as the Hebrew poetry, his meditation recounts how sorrow and catastrophe have characterized so much of the history of the Jewish people, from their enslavement in Egypt to the Holocaust of Nazi Germany. Few translations of this remarkable book of the Bible attempt to reproduce in English, as Slavitt does here, the Hebrew acrostics. In the original, each verse begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet in sequential order[;] Slavitt elegantly reproduces this effect using the first 22 letters of the English alphabet. More than a structural or mnemonic device, Slavitt argues, the acrostics are 'a serious assertion that the language itself is speaking, that the speech is inspired, and that there is, beyond all the disaster and pain the book recounts, an intricacy and an orderly coherence'." ISBN 0-8018-6617-0.|
|Sonnets of Love and Death of Jean de Sponde||2001||Northwestern University Press||"This bilingual edition of Sonnets of Love & Death introduces today's readers to the intriguing world of Jean de Sponde, a neglected sixteenth-century poet who has at last taken his proper place in the pantheon of French poets ..."|
|Propertius In Love: The Elegies||2002||University of California Press||"These ardent, even obsessed, poems about erotic passion are among the brightest jewels in the crown of Latin literature. Written by Propertius, Rome's greatest poet of love, who was born around 50 b.c., a contemporary of Ovid, these elegies tell of Propertius' tormented relationship with a woman he calls "Cynthia." Their connection was sometimes blissful, more often agonizing, but as the poet came to recognize, it went beyond pride or shame to become the defining event of his life. Whether or not it was Propertius' explicit intention, these elegies extend our ideas of desire, and of the human condition itself."|
|Poems of Manuel Bandeira||2002||Sheep Meadow Press||"A superb translation of one of Brazil's great Modernist poets," translated by Slavitt. English and Portuguese on facing pages.|
|Aspects of the Novel: A Novel||2003||Catbird||A "new kind of narrative for the new century. Slavitt adroitly blends the comic monologue, the essay, and the conventional story line into an innovative form. Aspects's theme is universal: a mature man, struggling with depression, assesses his life. The book is funny and sad. It is written in Slavitt's inimitable vernacular style that makes all his work a delight." ISBN 0-945774-56-7.|
|The Phoenix and Other Translations||2004||New American Press||Translations from Latin, French, and Sanskrit.|
|The Regrets of Joachim du Bellay||2004||Northwestern University Press||"As a member of the mid-sixteenth-century literary group La Pléiade, Joachim du Bellay sought to elevate his native French to the level of the classical languages - a goal pursued with great spirit, elegance, irony, and wit in the poems that comprise The Regrets. Widely viewed as one of the finest sonnet sequences in all of French literature, this Renaissance masterpiece wryly echoes the homesickness and longing of Ovid's poetry written in exile - because du Bellay finds himself lost in Rome, the very home Ovid longed for. In this translation by David R. Slavitt, these brilliant performances retain their original formal playfulness as well as their gracefully rendered but nonetheless moving melancholy." Jonathan Yardley wrote, "Apart from [Slavitt's political] campaign, the major event in his life during 2004 was the publication of a translation of The Regrets of Joachim du Bellay, "a Pleiade poet and a friend of Ronsard," a distinguished 16th-century French poet known now only to students of the Renaissance. The book may well be an "exquisite bibelot ..."|
|Re Verse: Essays on Poets and Poetry||2005||Northwestern University Press||"David R. Slavitt does not believe in literary criticism so much as in 'remarks,' and in this witty and unusual work, he remarks on the life of the poet: how it was - and how it is - to be an American writer in our time. Combining personal reminiscence with deft literary analysis, incisive biographical sketches, and, sometimes, literary gossip, the essays in Re Verse give new perspectives on the famous, including Harold Bloom, Robert Penn Warren, Robert Frost, and Stephen Spender, and recover the charms of the nearly forgotten, such as Dudley Fitts, Winfield Townley Scott, Merrill Moore, and John Hall Wheelock."—Book jacket. Dr. Laurie Rosenblatt wrote that the volume "contains deeply personal essays about poets and their poetry spanning a lifetime of reading and practice. Slavitt discusses technical issues in an organic and completely comprehensible way that helps the uninitiated understand why meter, elegance of line, and form matter ... He describes the mystery at the heart of poetry in this way, '... that a poet can write something quite private and readers can respond to it, supplying from their own lives those energizing details that the literary work invites and exploits.'"|
|Change of Address: Poems, New and Selected||2006||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. "Meditating on both the quotidian and the sublime and ranging from brilliant satire to tender elegy, this retrospective collection brings into sharp relief Slavitt's intelligence, strength of voice, and ease in varied poetic forms."—LSUP.|
|Blue State Blues: How a Conservative Launched a Campaign and Found Himself The Liberal Candidate (And Still Lost)||2006||Wesleyan University Press||Memoir. "In this memoir, David R. Slavitt recounts his day-to-day life on the campaign trail, describing the often surreal experience of being a pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage GOP candidate running against a pro-life Democrat. When Slavitt decided to make a run for the Massachusetts State Legislature in 2004, he knew the odds were against him. Though a well-respected writer, he was a political novice and a moderate Republican in a district where defeating any Democrat was next to impossible. But in the grandest of American traditions, hoping for the best and wanting to do some good, he threw his hat into the ring - and the result was a circus he could never have anticipated. From fundraising and door-knocking to angling for good press and mixing with nationally known candidates and officials, Slavitt navigates the choppy waters of state politics, learning as he goes."—Book jacket.|
|William Henry Harrison and Other Poems||2006||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry.|
|The Theban plays of Sophocles||2007||Yale University Press||"... Slavitt presents a fluid, accessible, and modern version for both newcomers to the plays and established admirers. Unpretentious and direct, Slavitt's translation preserves the innate verve and energy of the dramas, engaging the reader or audience member directly with Sophocles' great texts. Slavitt chooses to present the plays not in narrative sequence but in the order in which they were composed: Antigone, Oedipus Tyrannos, Oedipus at Colonus; he thereby underscores the fact that the story of Oedipus is one to which Sophocles returned over the course of his lifetime. This arrangement also lays bare the record of Sophocles' intellectual and artistic development." -- WorldCat|
|De Rerum Natura = The Nature of Things : a Poetic Translation||2008||University of California Press||"Elaborates Greek Epicurean physics and psychology. This is a readable translation of a poem that is crucial to the history of ancient thought. It argues that the soul is mortal, that pleasure is the object of life, and that humanity has free will, among other ideas." -- WorldCat|
|The Consolation of Philosophy||2008||Harvard University Press||This translation from the Latin of Boethius was praised by the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine.|
|The Seven Deadly Sins and Other Poems||2009||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. "... veteran poet David R. Slavitt touches on topics from the mundane to the mysterious with his signature wit and intelligence. In "Stupid," for instance, he transforms a simple head cold into an appreciation for the richness of consciousness, and in "Waking," the very effort of rising from bed becomes something like a miracle ..." — WorldCat|
|Orlando Furioso: a new verse translation||2009||Belknap Press, Harvard Univ. Press||Translation of Ludovico Ariosto's masterpiece. "Characterized by satire, parody, and irony, the poem celebrates a new humanistic Renaissance conception of man in an utterly fantastical world. Slavitt's translation captures the energy, comedy, and great fun of Ariosto's Italian."—Jacket.|
|George Sanders, Zsa Zsa, and Me: Essays on the Movies||2009||Northwestern University Press||"Part memoir and part moving meditation on the price of fame, Slavitt looks back to the world of 1950s Hollywood to write a chronicle of the costs of the modern celebrity culture." -- WorldCat|
|The Latin Eclogues||2010||Johns Hopkins University Press||A collection of pastoral poetry, in translation of the eclogues by Giovanni Boccaccio. ISBN 978-0-8018-9562-3.|
|La Vita Nuova||2010||Harvard University Press||Translation of the poems which Dante Alighieri wrote about Beatrice Portinari. "Freed from the customary shackles of academic apparatus, the poetic quality of its lyrics freshly reinstated, the Vita Nuova's signature hybrid texture is here elegantly conveyed."|
|Poems From The Greek Anthology||2010||Sheep Meadow Press||Translations of Greek poems.|
|Milton's Latin Poems||2011||Johns Hopkins University Press||"While John Milton is recognized as one of the most learned English poets in history, his Latin poetry is less well known. This title brings Milton's Latin poems - many written in his late teens - into the present. It is suitable for poetry lovers, Milton fans, and scholars." -- WorldCat|
|The Gnat and Other Poems of the Appendix Virgiliana||2011||University of California Press||Foreword by Gordon Williams. (Series: Joan Palevsky imprint in classical literature) "Covers the translations of the poems attributed to Virgil. This title captures the tone and style of the originals while conveying a lively sense of fun."—WorldCat. ISBN 0-520-26765-6.|
|The Duke's Man||2011||Northwestern University Press||A novel about Louis de Bussy d'Amboise, who was a gentleman at the court of French king Henri III, a swordsman, dandy, and a lover of both sexes. He was one of the favourites, or "mignons", of Monsieur, brother of the king. Slavitt told an interviewer in 2011, "I wrote it some ten years ago when I was still writing novels. It took me all this time to find a publisher for it. Lots of editors liked it but shied away ... I don't remember much about the conception of the novel, but I think the germ of the idea was to take a novel that was 'out there' (in the public domain and available online) and futz with it. If I could do that, I could save myself a good deal of typing, which is always the tedious part of novel writing. Eventually, I settled on La Dame de Monsoreau of [Alexandre] Dumas [père], and began playing with it." ISBN 978-0-8101-2700-5.|
|Love Poems, Letters, and Remedies of Ovid||2011||Harvard University Press||"... esteemed translator David R. Slavitt here returns to Ovid, once again bringing to the contemporary ear the spirited, idiomatic, audacious charms of this master poet. The love here described is of the anguished, ruinous kind, like a sickness, and Ovid prescribes cures."—WorldCat|
|Sonnets and Shorter Poems||2012||Harvard University Press||Translations from Petrarch. "Slavitt renders the sonnets in Il Canzoniere, along with the shorter madrigals and ballate, in a sparkling and engaging idiom and in rhythm and rhyme that do justice to Petrarch's achievement."—Jacket.|
|The Metabolism of Desire: The Poems of Guido Cavalcanti||2012||Athabasca University||Translated poetry. ISBN 978-1-926836-84-3.|
|Overture||2012||Outpost19||Novel. "Overture, Slavitt's latest novel, is a kaleidoscopic work about Proust and prostate cancer, slipping through memory and genres as a writer grapples with the proper response to mortality." ISBN 978-1-937402-22-8|
|The Crooning Wind: Three Greenlandic Poets||2012||New American Press||Translations from the Greenland poets Torkilk Mørch, Gerda Hvisterdahl, and Innunquaq Larsen, by Nive Grønkjær and David Slavitt.|
|The Dhammapada of the Buddha||2012|
|Procne by Gregorio Correr; a new translation by David R. Slavitt||2012||Outpost19||"Procne is often compared to Medea, and the tragic turn here is no less fierce. When Procne learns her husband, Tereus, has dishonored her sister, she turns to their son, Itys, for her gruesome revenge. Gregorio Correr (1409–1464) penned the drama following Renaissance interest in Classical-era writing. David R. Slavitt's new verse translation, with a brief Foreword, sheds fresh light on this surprising and overlooked work."|
|Bottom of the Barrel: The Herring Poems||2012||Outpost19||Poetry. "A tribute to kreplach and great literature. 36 demonstrations of what salty fish can contribute to our relationship with literature. ... In Bottom of the Barrel, David R. Slavitt inserts 'something homely, something aggressively unpoetic' into fragments of great works. The result is irreverent and refreshing, a literary amuse gueule with a side of sour cream." R.H.W. Dillard wrote, "This collection of startling appearances of pickled herrings in great or somewhat less than great poetic works goes far beyond the idea of 'jeu d'esprit' into a realm where the mind boggles, reconsiders how poetic language works, while laughing all the way."|
|L'Heure bleu||2013||Broadkill River Press||Scott Whitaker wrote, "David R. Slavitt's post-modern romp through Clarice Lispector's world of Rio and her last novel, A Hora da estrela, will leave readers smiling at Slavitt's breadth and wit. He posits that it is Lispector we are reading about, and her sophisticated world of Rio, but Slavitt, like the great Oz, remains behind the curtain pulling the strings, booming through the microphone, reminding us that, in literature not all is what it seems." ISBN 978-0-9837789-1-2.|
|The Lays of Marie de France||2013||Athabasca University||Poetry.|
|Civil Wars: Poems||2013||Louisiana State University Press||Poetry. ISBN 978-0-8071-5180-8.|
|The Other Four Plays of Sophocles: Ajax, Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philoctetes||2013||The Johns Hopkins University Press||Translations of the tragedies Ajax, Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philoctetes.|
|Odes||2014||University of Wisconsin Press||Translations from Horace.|
|Shiksa||2014||C&R Press||"A Jewish young man and a gentile girl fall deeply in love in the fifties but he lacks the character (or else has too much) to contemplate intermarriage. This short, vivid novel describes how, over the years, he comes to realize that this may have been the great mistake of his life."|
|From the Fragrant East by Pietro Bembo||2014||Miracolo||Translation of Pietro Bembo.|
|The Jungle Poems of Leconte de Lisle||2014||New American Press||Poetry.|
|Walloomsac: A Week on the River, a.k.a. Walloomsac: A Roman Fleuve||2014||Anaphora Literary Press||Walloomsac, A Week on the River was published as a small book by Black Scat Press; its sequels are Hookic and Tomhanack, both of which are included in this book. R. H. W. Dillard wrote, "David Slavitt has (herein) written a book about or for which it is impossible simply to write a blurb ... The text itself is indescribably (deliciously?) itself. Like the Waloomsac River, it just keeps rolling along, taking the reader irresponsibly with it — laughing out loud again and again and again; marveling at its rapid wit (white water?), the wide breadths of its erudition, the dangerous shallows of its overt and covert cheekiness; marking the vertiginous depths of its, yes, wisdom. To make a long blurb short, I haven't had this kind of significant fun since I stayed up 'til dawn one night in 1962 breathlessly reading Pale Fire for the very first time." ISBN 978-1-937536-90-9.|
- Metamorphoses - Director, Mary Zimmerman; Repertory Theatre; St. Louis, Missouri; 2003.
- Trojan Women - Directors, Heidi Winters Vogel and Tom Martin; Saint Louis University Theatre; St. Louis, Missouri; 2005.
- Oedipus King - Director, Philip Boehm; Kranzberg Arts Center / Gaslight Theater, St. Louis, Missouri; 2010.
- Antigone - Director, Philip Boehm; Upstream Theater, St. Louis, Missouri; 2014.
It has been twenty-five years since David R. Slavitt invented Henry Sutton and embarked on a series of schlock novels under that pseudonym, but it is still fun to recall people's outrage when they learned that The Exhibitionist was the work of someone who had also written more serious fiction, and even poetry. On one hand, people of Jacqueline Susann's ilk were irritated because someone had done easily and laughingly what they worked hard to do; on the other hand, purveyors of solemn literature were offended at the success of this prostitution of talent. Even Tom Wolfe, who had no reason to feel either envious or superior, took a cheap shot at Slavitt's next serious novel, saying in a review that it was not as good as The Exhibitionist.
From the beginning, Slavitt's poetry has been characterized by profound wit, neoclassical attention to form, and generous erudition. Slavitt is also a master of tonal variety; within the same poem he can make shifts of tone that most poets would find too risky. ... Part of his success lies in his ability to deal with formal restrictions that are too much for most poets; though his stanza forms are often intricate, they never prevent, or even impede, the explorations of a mind that takes suggestions as they come, weaving them into the pattern.
R. H. W. Dillard, a noted critic at Hollins University, writes, "David Slavitt is one of the most prodigious writers working today. In book after book after book after book after book, he engages, amuses, delights, shocks, astounds, annoys, rouses, arouses, and generally awakens readers from the torpor that the works of too many (unnamed here) writers have cast them into."
In a lengthy review of Orlando Furioso: A New Verse Translation, critic Steve Baker writes admiringly that
David R. Slavitt has been playing fast and loose with the literary classics since the early 70s when he brought us free adaptations of the Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, both of which present the original masterworks as filtered through – to put it in his words – the "radically improvisational" lens of the translator. In fact, Slavitt openly refers to these early works not as translations per se, but rather as "verse essays", in which he riffs playfully on the original texts. As renderings into English of Virgil's Latin, his translations of both the Eclogues and the Georgics represent an act of reading, a lively engagement with the original poems, as he transposes them from the distant and antique to the conversational and everyday. They do more to escort us through a reading of the poems than they do to present us with the original texts to read on our own. Shot through with the translator's commentary, dominated by paraphrase and dressed with satirical discussions of the propositional content of the originals, Slavitt's creations are not translations in any traditional sense. In bringing the uninitiated into uniquely colloquial contact with these timeless classics, they do, however, actually amount to pleasantly entertaining romps with the bucolic Virgil."
The Cliff (1994), Slavitt's novel about an impostor (one John Smith pretending to be another, more revered professor of the same name) at a literary retreat in Italy, received praise from many quarters. Publishers Weekly's reviewer wrote, "Smith's witty and playful narration entertains despite some conveniences in the plot. It is his attempt to retain a sense of basic human dignity, however - his desire to prove that he is not 'an altogether worthless person' - that lies at the heart of the novel and invests it with meaning and resonance." Georgia Jones-Davis, writing for the Los Angeles Times, speculated that "Slavitt is not so much telling a story as using his narrative to spoof everything he's probably come across in his distinguished and, let's face it, long academic career." Although Jones-Davis confusedly thought The Cliff "too self-consciously satirical to pass as a real novel," she found much to praise: "There are some wondrously funny moments. Our brilliant, moody, schlemiel of a narrator, a guy who can't even make his rent, is highly critical of the food served at this historic villa. ... The narrator's sincere attempts to reconcile with his alienated daughter are touching and not at all sentimental. The highlight of the book must be the narrator's scathing letter to the manager about the villa's terrible service and dismissive treatment of its guests." Magill Book Reviews wrote, "Slavitt's fiftieth book offers a satiric look at the cosseted world of creative and scholarly retreats, their beneficiaries, staffs, and administrators, as well as creative and academic life more generally."
Awards and honors
- Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel for Paperback Thriller, 1976
- Grant from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 1985
- National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, 1988
- Literature award, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1989
- Rockefeller Foundation artist's residency, 1989. Slavitt used the time period of the retreat (November 3 - December 12, 1989) to work on a translation of the curse poem Ibis by the Latin poet Ovid.
- Kevin Kline Award, 2011, for Outstanding New Play or Musical: David Slavitt, translator (Oedipus King, Upstream Theater, St. Louis, Missouri)
Novelist Henry Sutton of Norwich, England (b. 1963), used the name David Slavitt for his protagonist, "a genial crime writer trying to boost his sales," in his novel My Criminal World (2013).
- Elliott, Okla (9 November 2011). "What David R. Slavitt Knows", Inside Higher Ed
- Rosen, Judith (29 August 2011). "David Slavitt Joins the 100 Club at 76", Publishers Weekly
- O'Brien, Ellen (13 October 1994). "Author's Friends Get The Last Word", Philadelphia Inquirer
- Doughty, Roger (21 February 1969). "Poet Hits Pay Dirt", Tuscaloosa News
- Brady, Thomas J. (22 December 1996). "At Home With Hymns, Psalms, Potboilers", Philadelphia Inquirer
- Taylor, Henry S. (1992). "David R. Slavitt: The Fun of the End of the World". Compulsory Figures: Essays on Recent American Poets. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. pp. 224–244. ISBN 978-0-8071-1755-2.
- Dickey, James. "[The One Voice of James Dickey: His Letters and Life, 1970–1997], p 506". University of Missouri Press. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
- Jones-Davis, Georgia (November 8, 1994). "BOOK REVIEW: NOVEL : Life as a Failed Writer and Bogus Academic in a Ritzy Italian Villa : THE CLIFF, by David R. Slavitt". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Kotzin, Miriam N. (Fall 2010). "David R. Slavitt, The Per Contra Interview". Per Contra: An International Journal of the Arts, Literature, and Ideas. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Outpost 19 (2012). "Operating A Circus Without A License: An Introduction to David R. Slavitt". Outpost 19. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- Sams, Amanda D., ed. (2008). "Slavitt, David R. 1935– (David Benjamin, Henry Lazarus, Lynn Meyer, David Rytman Slavitt, Henry Sutton)". Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale Research Co.
- David R. Slavitt, poetryfoundation.org, Retrieved 21 January 2014
- Slavitt, David R. (July 1999). "A Day in the Life of David R. Slavitt". The Cortland Review. New York. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- Peguero, Robin M. (3 November 2004). Harvard Affiliates Lose in Local Races, Harvard Crimson
- Beam, Alex (19 December 2006). "'Blue State' author has a blue past"d, Boston Globe
- Yardley, Jonathan (14 May 2006). Blue State Blues (review), The Washington Post
- OCLC (1952). "A Cheater's Dozen: Eleven Poems". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- OCLC. "Poets of today. VIII: Albert Herzing. The mother of the Amazons, and other poems.--John M. Ridland. Fires of home: poems.--David R. Slavitt. Suits for the dead: poems". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- LC Online Catalog. "The exhibitionist; a novel by Henry Sutton". Library of Congress. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Elliott, Okla (November 9, 2011). "What David R. Slavitt Knows". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "Vector". Kirkus Reviews. May 26, 1970.
- "The Outer Mongolian". Kirkus Reviews. April 27, 1973.
- Hanscom, Marion (December 15, 1976). "King of Hearts (Book Review)". Library Journal. 101 (22): 2598.
- Bartholomew, David (January 15, 1979). "The Idol, by David Benjamin". Library Journal. 104 (2): 207.
- "The Kokomo Tribune from Kokomo, Indiana". Kokomo Tribune. Kokomo, Indiana. June 27, 1979. p. 20. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Hudzik, Robert (February 15, 1981). "Dozens (Book)". Library Journal. 106 (4): 456.
- WorldCat. "Ringer". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Burstein, Sandor G. (February 1985). "Full text of "Knight Letter No. 22"". Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- OCLC. "The Agent". WorldCat. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Butler, Robert Olen, quoted by Carlin Romano (December 13, 1987). "An Array For The Holidays Fascinated By Fiction? Partial To Philosophy? Stuck On Sports? Here's A Guide, For Every Taste, To The Year's Most Noteworthy Books". Philly.com. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
- Blanchard, Christina G. (October 1, 1988). "Physicians Observed (Book)". Annals of Internal Medicine. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians. 109 (7): 601. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-109-7-601_1.
- WorldCat. "Medicine and Matrimony". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Anderson, William Scovil (1991). "Book Review: Ovid's Poetry of Exile". The Classical World. Pittsburgh, PA: Classical Association of the Atlantic States / Johns Hopkins University. 84 (5): 413–414. doi:10.2307/4350886.
- "Lives of the Saints, by David Slavitt". Kirkus Reviews. January 1, 1989. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- WorldCat. "Virgil". OCLC.
- "Turkish Delights". Publishers Weekly. 1993. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
The first tale recreates the exotic, treacherous world of a Turkish sultan's seraglio—a gilded prison from which Selim, the sultan's son, plans his escape, aided by a black eunuch slave. The second narrative features Pietro, the callow son of a 19th-century Venetian noble family, who tries to elope with his obnoxious brother's treacherous fiancee. In the third tale, set in Cambridge, Mass., in 1975, Asher, a Yale-educated Jewish writer, mulls over his psychoanalysis, impending divorce, vasectomy and guilt over failing to meet his parents' expectations.
- WorldCat. "Fables of Avianus". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Boasberg, Leonard W. (December 30, 1993). "Translator Is Given Fabulous Attention: David Slavitt's Version Of Some Roman Fables Is A Book-of-the-Month Selection". Philly.com / Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
It's got to be one of the weirdest things that's ever happened to him, says David Slavitt ... "If you really want to know what I think, it's loony luck. It seems to illustrate one of these bizarre morals - like 'stick to your last,' 'if you build it they will come,' 'be true to yourself' - in which nobody believes, but in which we wish we could." Slavitt found Avianus in the Loeb Classical Library's Minor Latin Poets and began by "playing" with Avianus: "And, of course, I got hooked. I began to find that there was an elegance, a playfulness, a knowing manipulation of the faux naif posturing that was extremely pleasing. ... I'd found a poet who was minor perhaps, but excellent."
- Publishers Weekly (December 1993). "The Fables of Avianus". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Mortensen, Arthur. "Crossroads". Expansive Poetry & Music Online Poetry Review.
- WorldCat (1994). "The Metamorphoses of Ovid". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- WorldCat. "Seneca: the tragedies. Vol. 2". OCLC. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- "A Gift: The Life of Da Ponte". Publishers Weekly. March 1996. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Oxford University Press (1996). "Publisher description for Sixty-one Psalms of David". Library of Congress Catalog. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
This is not so much another translation as an inspired and engagingly fresh rendition of the Psalms. Following the tradition of Ezra Pound's versions and Robert Lowell's Imitations, David R. Slavitt—himself an esteemed poet and translator of Ovid, Virgil, Seneca, and others—casts the Psalms into a modern idiom that stays faithful to the original but strikes the ear remarkably like contemporary speech. ... Working most often in rhymed tetrameter quatrains, but also employing rhymed couplets and other forms, Slavitt brings all the subtlety and expressive power of English versification to these Psalms, and the result is a poetry that fits comfortably in the lineage that includes Sir Philip Sydney, John Donne, William Blake, and Richard Wilbur. Metrically supple, vividly physical, and marked by felicitous phrasing throughout, these renditions preserve the spiritual directness of the originals while giving readers the added pleasures of a new, and seemingly effortless, formal variety. As poet and Jewish folklorist Howard Schwartz has observed on this collection, "In Slavitt's hands the Psalms become an intense, one-sided conversation with God. They cohere in the only way a fine book of poems can, unified by the poet's voice. The full range of emotion emerges, especially fear, disgust at the foibles of humanity, loathing of one's enemies, and awe and trust in God."
- NC Cardinal Catalog. "Epic and Epigram". Buncombe County Public Libraries Catalog. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Mortensen, Arthur (1998). "Epinician Odes and Dithyrambs of Bacchylides, translated by David Slavitt". Expansive Poetry & Music Online Poetry Review. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Oxford University Press (1998). "Publisher description for A crown for the King". Oxford University Press / Library of Congress. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Oxford University Press (1999). "Publisher description for The poem of Queen Esther". Library of Congress Catalog. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Schulte, Rainer. "The Voyage of the Argo". School of Arts & Humanities, University of Texas at Dallas. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Oxford University Press (2000). "The Book of the Twelve Prophets, translated by David R. Slavitt". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Johns Hopkins University Press (2001). "Publisher description for The book of Lamentations". Library of Congress Catalog. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Nissenson, Hugh (2003). "Aspects of the Novel: A Novel". Catbird Press. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Northwestern University Press (2004). "Publisher description for The Regrets". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Rosenblatt, Laurie (February 4, 2008). "Book Review: Re Verse: Essays on Poetry and Poets". The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Shapiro, Leon N.; Laurie Rosenblatt (February 6, 2009). "The Consolation of Philosophy". Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Kay, Tristan (2010). "La Vita Nuova". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Procne". Outpost19. 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Outpost19 (2012). "Bottom of the Barrel". Outpost19. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Whitaker, Scott (2013). "L'Heure bleu by David R. Slavitt". Broadkill River Press. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- "Shiksa". C&R Press. 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- "David R. Slavitt '56". Yalie.com. 2014. Archived from the original on December 4, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Dillard, R. H. W. (2014). "David R. Slavitt". Anaphora Literary Press. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Faktorovich, Anna (2014). "David Slavitt's Absurdist Novel, Walloomsac, Has Been Released with Anaphora". Anaphora Literary Press: press release.
- Brown, Dennis (September 17, 2003). "Ch-ch-ch-changes: Metamorphoses is a wet dreamscape .." Riverfront Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
As translated by contemporary poet David Slavitt and distilled by Zimmerman, the text here is almost always crystal-clear. But Zimmerman is not content with clarity; she insists on dumbing down the legends. When, for instance, King Midas wants to turn all he touches into gold, Bacchus replies, "That's a really, really bad idea." Some viewers will find this populist spin amusing; others might find it a really bad idea.
- Brown, Dennis; Deanna Jent (April 20, 2005). "Capsule Reviews". Riverfront Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Brown, Dennis (October 13, 2010). "Throwdown! Sophocles vs. Mamet: May the best playwright win!". Riverfront Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
Many a mystery has borrowed from Sophocles and employed variations on the theme of a policeman or journalist forced to solve a crime that leads back to himself. But most mysteries leave that extra wrinkle about sleeping with your own mother to the Greeks. And indeed, Sophocles knew what he was doing. He unravels his clues with the meticulousness of a Hitchcock thriller. But there's a second dramatist at work here. The translation by David R. Slavitt is a deft balancing act that retains Sophocles' sense of formality and ritual while telling this fateful story in a conversational, accessible manner. "Let it go, drop it," Jocasta (Amy Loui) implores her husband as his relentless pursuit of the truth hones home. [sic] Slavitt's informal approach repositions the relationship between man and God. Apollo is discussed as casually as if he were a nearby neighbor. ... Even without the aid of an onstage swimming pool, this current meticulous offering from Upstream Theater is a gift to the gods.
- Gay, Malcolm (October 15, 2014). "Antigone: Upstream Theater Delivers an Academic Telling of Sophocles' Classic". Riverfront Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Baker, Steve (2010). "Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso: A New Verse Translation by David R. Slavitt, Harvard University Press". Italian Poetry Review. p. 355. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Rochman, Hazel (July 25, 1994). "Forecasts: Fiction: The Cliff". Publishers Weekly. 241 (30): 34. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Humphrey, Theodore C. (July 1995). "The Cliff". Magill Book Reviews. Salem Press. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
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My Criminal World introduces us to struggling crime writer, David Slavitt. In awe of his academic wife, patronised by her colleagues and living in constant fear that his editor might drop him in favour of the next new talent, David juggles house work and child care alongside plot twists and character development. But as his wife grows increasingly distant and his agent insists that his new book needs more blood and guts – a lot more blood and guts – David is getting worried. He needs to do something.
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