David Auburn's plays include "Skyscraper" (Greenwich House Theater) & "Fifth Planet" (New York Stage & Film). This year he received the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award & a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
ERICH AUERBACH (1892-1957) was born in Berlin into a upper-middle class Jewish family. He received a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Heidelberg, served in in the German army during World War I, then earned his doctorate in Romance philology from the University of Greifswald. Serving as a librarian for many years at the Prussian State Library in Berlin, he then became a professor of Romance Philology at the University of Marburg. In 1929, he published Dante, Poet of the Secular World to much acclaim, however after Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany in 1933, he fled to Istanbul. There he worked as a professor at Istanbul State University, writing his famous work, Mimesis. In 1947 Auerbach moved to the United States, where he was a professor at Pennsylvania State University, and then professor of Romance Philology at Yale University. He died in Connecticut in 1957. MICHAEL DIRDA is the winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. He has been an editor and writer for The Washington Post Book World for the past twenty years.He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. Translated by RALPH MANHEIM
Melissa Etheridge lives in Southern California.