Robin Lehleitner, Instructor
Post-graduate, Bread Loaf School of English,
MFA, Bennington College 1990
Bachelor of Music, Rhodes College, 1981
M/W 3:00 - 4:00 and by appointment.
Composition, Literature, Creative Writing
In my first life, I was an opera singer. When I began sneaking out of rehearsals early to write, I realized that I really wanted to be something else. Over the next ten years I recreated myself as a writer and a teacher, and discovered somewhere in the process that my real passion is the fine art of the critical essay (Lionel Trilling's essay on Emma was my galvanizing force). It is my heretical contention that critical essays are pieces of art in and of themselves, and by that token ought to be interesting. I also firmly believe that anyone who is capable of having a personal idea about a piece of literature is capable of writing a good one. If you are my student, I will not let you go until you believe this, too.
Having an academic background in vocal music has stood me in good stead: I've studied French at the Sorbonne, Italian at the University of Siena, 19th c German poetry at Bennington College, and medieval English at Oxford. For these reasons I have an eclectic if transatlantic taste in literature-a little like Henry James, whose novel The Ambassadors is at the top of my Top Ten fiction reading list. What else made the grade? Jane Austen's Emma, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and E.M. Forster's Howards End (along with its twin, Zadie Smith's On Beauty). I can also argue a really good case for John Le Carré's Our Game.
My short fiction has been published in Prism International and Stand. But don't bother trying to read me; I write under a pseudonym. I want to state for the record, however, that I am neither Stephen King nor Danielle Steele. Promise.
Mark Hopkins 104C | 413-662-5187 | e-Mail: Robin Lehleitner