Lima, Robert 1935-

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Lima, Robert 1935-

PERSONAL: Born November 7, 1935, in Havana, Cuba; U.S. citizen; son of Robert F. (a publisher, editor, and translator) and Joan Millares de Lima; married Sally Ann Murphy, June 27, 1964. Ethnicity: “White Hispanic.” Education: Villanova University, B.A., 1957, M.A., 1961; New York University, Ph.D. (with honors), 1968.

ADDRESSES: Home—State College, PA. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, lecturer in Romance languages, 1962-65; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, assistant professor, 1965-68, associate professor, 1968-73, professor of Spanish and comparative literature, 1973-2002, professor emeritus, 2002—, chair of comparative literature program, 1970-75, fellow of Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies, 1986-2002. Universidad de San Marcos, poet in residence; Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, visiting professor; lecturer at educational institutions in the United States and abroad, including Dickinson College, University of California, Irvine, Villanova University, Duquesne University, Tulane University, Clarion University, Brown University, University of Utah, Peking University, and University of Yaunde. Pennsylvania Humanities Council, past member of executive board and Commonwealth speaker. Worked as freelance writer, translator, or editor for publishers and for Pendulum Productions, Inc., and Voice of America; performs readings from his works, including radio and television presentations. Member or past member of editorial board, Lexis, Minority Voices, Modern International Drama, Estreno, Critica Hispanica, and Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Military service: U.S. Army Reserve.

MEMBER: International PEN, International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, Asociación Internacional de Valleinclanistas, Modern Language Association of America, Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Poetry Society of America, Poets and Writers, African Literature Association, Archaeological Institute of America, Fulbright Association, Royal Spanish Academy (corresponding member), Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Sigma Iota, Alpha Psi Omega.

AWARDS, HONORS: Senior Fulbright fellow in Peru; fellow of Cintas Foundation; Fon of Menda-Nkwe, Cameroon, Africa; Initiate, Enxebre Orde da Vieira; Academician, North American Academy of the Spanish Language; decorated Knight Commander, Order of Queen Isabel of Spain.


(Editor of revision, with Robert O‘Brien) Max J.Herzberg, The Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, T.Y. Crowell (New York, NY), 1962.

The Theatre of Garcia Lorca, Las Americas (New York, NY), 1963.

(Editor and translator) Ana M. Barrenechea, Borges, the Labyrinth Maker, New York University (New York, NY), 1965.

(Editor, translator, and author of introduction) Ramón del Valle-Inclán, Autobiography, Aesthetics, Aphorisms, privately printed (Monaca, PA), 1966.

An Annotated Bibliography of Ramón del Valle-Inclán, Pennsylvania State University Libraries (University Park, PA), 1972.

(Editor and contributor) McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1972.

Ramo del Valle-Inclán, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1972.

Poems of Exile and Alienation, Anvil Press (Boulder, CO), 1976.

The Inmates of the Convent of Saint Mary Egyptian (play; based on play of the same title by Jose Martín Recuerda), first produced in University Park, PA, by Resident Equity Theater Company, Pennsylvania State University, 1980, published in Drama Contemporary: Spain, 1985.

Fathoms (poetry), Carnation Press (New York, NY), 1981.

Corporal Works (poetry), Realities Library (San Jose, CA), 1985.

The Olde Ground (poetry), drawings by Deirdre Mc-Cullough Grunwald, Society of Inter-Celtic Arts and Culture (Waltham, MA), 1985.

(With Dru Dougherty) Dos ensayos sobre teatro es-pañol de los veinte, Universidad de Murcia (Murcia, Spain), 1986.

(Translator) Ramón del Valle-Inclán, The Lamp of Marvels, Lindesfarne Press (Stockbridge, MA), 1986.

Valle-Inclán: The Theatre of His Life, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1988.

Mayaland (poetry), Editorial Betania (Madrid, Spain), 1992.

(Translator) Ramón del Valle-Inclán, Savage Acts: Four Plays, Estreno Contemporary Spanish Plays Universit Park PA), 1993.

(Editor and contributor) Borges and the Esoteric, Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA), 1993.

Dark Prisms: Occultism in Hispanic Drama, University Press of Kentuck (Lexinton KY) 1995.

(Editor, with Phyllis Zatlin) Tribute to Martha T Halsey, Estreno Contemporary Spanish Plays (University Park, PA), 1995.

Ramón del Valle-Inclán: An Annotated Bibliography, Volume 1: The Works of Valle-Inclán, Grant & Cutler (London, England), 1999.

Sardinia/Sardegna (poetry and prose), Bordighera (Lafayette, IN), 2000.

(Editor) Texts and Contexts: A Tribute to Beno Weiss, Orlando Press (State College, PA), 2001.

The Dramatic World of Valle-Inclán, Boydell & Brewer (London, England), 2003.

Tracking the Minotaur: Poems, 1st Books Library (Bloomington, IN), 2003.

Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 2005.

Plays include “Episode in Sicily,” performed at UNESCO Drama Festival, and “The Lesson.” Poetry represented in exhibitions with artworks and memorabilia. Work represented in anthologies, including Ramon del Valle-Inclan: An Appraisal of His Life and Works, edited by A. Zahareas, Las Americas, 1968; The New Wave Spanish Drama: An Anthology, edited by George E. Wellwarth, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1970; First Light: Poems, Stories, and Essays of the Winter Holiday Season, edited by Susan Richardson, Calypso Publications (Cheyenne, WY), 1997; The Growth of African Literature, edited by Edris Makward, Thelma Ravell-Pinto, and Aliko Songolo, Africa World Press (Trenton, NJ), 1998; Uncommonplaces: Poems of the Fantastic, edited by Judith Kerman, Mayapple Press (Saginaw, MI), 2000; A Science Fiction Poetry Anthology, edited by Keith Allen Daniels, Anamnesis Press (San Francisco, CA), 2001; and Pennsylvania Seasons: Commonwealth Images and Poetry, edited by Esther B. Davidowitz, University of Scranton (Scranton, PA), 2008. Contributor of more than 400 poems and transla-ttions to periodicals. Founder and past associate editor, Seventh Street: Poems from “Les Deux Megots,” Seventh Street Review, and Judson Review; editor of special issues, Journal of General Education, 1975, Luso-Brazilian Review, 1978, and Crítica Hispánica, 1993, and Cauda Pavonis: Studies in Hermeticism, 2000.

SIDELIGHTS: Robert Lima told CA: “There were writers on both sides of my family and in 1955, while in college, I began to explore the possibility of joining their ranks. The very first poem I wrote was published in the literary magazine, as were several others that followed. I was then emboldened to send a poem to a journal beyond academe and it was accepted and published. I haven’t stopped writing since.

“As a liberal arts major, I read the works of many English and American writers. Among the poets who touched me and, consequently, influenced me were T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas; among playwrights: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Samuel Beckett; among writers of prose fiction: Hawthorne, Sir Walter Scott, Poe, Hemingway… As a lifelong reader, I continue to find inspiration in the vastness of world literature, especially of Spain (Lorca, Machado, Valle-Inclán, Unamuno) and Latin America (Borges, Jorge Amado, Garcia Márquez). As a Professor of Comparative Literature, I delved into the works of writers too numerous to mention.

“I don’t have a fixed schedule. I write when ‘moved’ to do so, especially when an idea presents itself, someone asks me to write a piece, or a deadline approaches.”

Lima said the most surprising thing he has learned as a writer is “that the writer is indeed a conduit for ideas from the ether, and that these require effort and constancy in bringing them to fruition upon the page.

“Of my poetry, my first collection, Fathoms, is special for it is the first venture into divulging certain aspects of my relationship, as an islander, to the sea. Of my playwriting, The Inmates of the Convent of Saint Mary Egyptian, my adaptation and translation of the play by José Martin Recuerda, is the most meaningful for its demands and the sense of accomplishment upon seeing it produced. Of my criticism, Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama is the culmination of many years of study of this complex thematics. Of translation, The Lamp of Marvels, by Ramón del Valle-Inclán, represents the satisfaction of bringing a beautiful mystical treatise to the English-reading public. They are all favorites, each in its genre.

“Of course, I trust that they’ll be read for many years and that those who access them will find some insight into person(s) or matters that I have assayed. It has been an important goal in my career as a critic, biographer and translator to bring the works of Spanish and Spanish American writers to the fore in such countries as the U.S. and England. As to my poetry, I hope that it will be found of interest by readers not confined by the ‘isms’ that make so much of contemporary poetry topical or self-serving.”



Phi Kappa Phi Forum, fall, 2006, review of Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama, p. 43; winter-spring, 2007, Randi Eldevik, review of Stages of Evil, p. 35.


Robert Lima Home Page, (April 3, 2008).