Stamelman, Richard 1942–
Stamelman, Richard 1942–
Born, 1942. Education: Hamilton College, B.A.; Duke University, Ph.D.
Office— Comparative Literature Program, Williams College, Williamstown MA 01267. E-mail— [email protected].
Williams College, Williamstown, MA, professor of comparative literature, 1993—. Formerly William R. Kenan Professor of Humanities, Professor of Romance Languages, Dean of Humanities, and director of Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University; former head, Department of French and Italian, University of Colorado; former professor of Romance language and literature, Dartmouth College.
Received John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1999; Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques; honorary member, Société Française des Parfumeurs.
(Editor, with Mary Ann Caws)Ecrire le livre: Autour d'Edmond Jabès; Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, Champ Vallon (Seyssel, France), 1989.
Lost beyond Telling: Representations of Death and Absence in Modern French Poetry, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1990.
The Lure and the Truth of Painting: Selected Essays on Art, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.
Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin; A Cultural History of Fragrance from 1750 to the Present, Rizzoli (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor of essays to collections, including Poetique du Texte Offert, Editions Fontenay, 1996;Andre Breton, Cahier l'Herne (Paris, France), 1998;Robert Desnos, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2000;9/11: Trauma at Home, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2003. Contributor to periodicals, including Sites and Pleine Marge.
Although the author's specialty lies in the area of twentieth-century French poetry, Williams College Comparative Literature professor Richard Stamelman's Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin; A Cultural History of Fragrance from 1750 to the Present tells the story of the business and pleasure of scent and its role in the creation of modern culture. The story begins in eighteenth-century France, detailing the importance that Napoleon attached to the business of fragrance. It continues through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, explaining how the industry came to symbolize luxury, eroticism—and how even the bottles in which scent was marketed brought together the best elements of the major art movements. The book, said London Times contributor Stephen Romer, "is a lavish production … and a monumental work of archival research. It is also a testament of passion: Stamelman has clearly been subjugated by the olfactory arts, and inducted as an honorary member into the Société Française des Parfumeurs. His opening paragraphs on Bonnard's painting ‘Le Cabinet de Toilette’ or ‘Nu à contrejour,’" Romer continued, "… offer a new reading of the painting." "Perfumery is an applied science," the London Times reviewer concluded, "a fact comprehensively borne out by Stamelman's book, as is its complementary status (to a French sensibility) as a form of art."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
French Studies, July, 1992, Peter Broome, review of Lost beyond Telling: Representations of Death and Absence in Modern French Poetry, p. 367.
MLN, December, 1990, Laurie Edson, review of Lost beyond Telling, p. 1128.
Modern Language Review, October, 1992, Margaret Davies, review of Lost beyond Telling, p. 1000.
Times Literary Supplement(London, England), December 29, 1989, Michael Edwards, review of Ecrire le livre: Autour d'Edmond Jabès; Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, p. 1443; January 10, 2007, Stephen Romer, "Distilled, Bottled and Bewildered," p. 16.
Lingua Franca,http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/ (October 24, 2007), "1999 Guggenheim Fellowship Winners."
Williams College Web site,http://www.williams.edu/ (October 24, 2007), author biography.