Posted here is a assignment of mine in an advanced class in the Spanish language taught by Professor Susana Redondo de Feldman, Chairman of the Spanish and Portuguese Department at Columbia University.
The assignment was to translate a lyrical passage from George Gissing’s The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft from English into Spanish. It was a challenging assignment, and a fun and rewarding one.
George Gissing (1857–1903) was an English novelist who – while he has by no means been forgotten and is still read today – should be much better known. The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft is a semi-fictional autobiographical work in which the author casts himself as the editor of the diary of a deceased acquaintance.
I had hitherto been unacquainted with Gissing. The assignment, giving me sudden exposure to Gissing’s prose up close, made me want badly to read him. But, the book from which the passage was taken was not identified. It took me a long time to find which of Gissing’s books the passage came from.
I became a great admirer of Gissing –both as a storyteller in the realistic mode and as a masterful prose stylist (I admired, for example, his impressive vocabulary in The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft) — and have read many of his novels.
See also my post on this site at