Ethics and Aesthetics: A Conversation with Ilan Stavans
When one Googles Ilan Stavans, one comes across numerous interviews with him, and conversations which prove that Stavans is a luxury as partner in conversation: incisive, lively, straight forward, eloquent, comprehensive, lucid and always crystal clear in his replies. He never beats around the bush. Actually, since the late 1990s, Stavans has devoted his energy to reinvigorating the literary genre of the conversation not as a promotional tool but as an insightful instrument to meditate on the world in general, and to explore his own intellectual and creative world. Moreover, Neal Sokol interviewed Stavans in a book-long volume, Eight Conversations (2004), on his Jewish and Latino heritage; translator Verónica Albin discussed the way the word “love” has changed through the age in the book Love and Language (2007) as well as on topics like libraries and censorship in Knowledge and Censorship (2008), and Canadian journalist Mordecai Drache probes him on the Bible as a work of literature in With All Thine Heart (2010). This dialogue took place, as the concluding event, on Friday, April 25, 2014, during the program “Spaces of Dialogue: International Conference in Transatlantic Literature,” organized by Spain’s Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard, in Cambridge (MA) (http://rcc.harvard.edu/wp/).