Seymour Menton, Ph.D.
Translated Dreaming of Safed


Prof. Seymour Menton was a distinguished scholar and professor of Latin American Literature at UC Irvine. After teaching at the University of Kansas, he came to UC Irvine in 1965 as founding chair of the department of foreign languages, recruiting faculty and creating a lasting legacy of excellence at the university.

His published works include book-length studies on the literature of Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico, all of which were revised and updated in later editions. Other books cover the Historical Novel in Latin America, Magic Realism in painting, and the literature of Brazil and Costa Rica. He also published a textbook, two critical editions, two translations, and a book of original short stories. His anthology of the Latin American short story, first published in 1964, was republished in its tenth updated edition in 2010.

His numerous awards and honors include the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest award from the Mexican government to a foreigner, for his contributions to the world-wide understanding of Mexican literature; the Order of Miguel Angel Asturias, given by the Guatemalan government, and the Order of Andres Bello and the Order of Francisco de Miranda from the government of Venezuela.

His outstanding teaching was recognized by the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award. The UC Irvine Spanish Department Conference Room is named in his honor.

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