Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert Fitzgerald  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Other Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1910 in Springfield, Illinois

-- Robert Fitzgerald on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Fitzgerald was born and raised in Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

Robert Fitzgerald attended Harvard in 1933. Upon graduation, he became a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune and TIME magazine. In WWII he servced with the U.S. Navy at Guam and Pearl Harbor. After the War he became an instructor at Sarah Lawrence University and subsquently Princeton University. He was poetry editor for the "New Republic" and succeeded Archibald MacLeish as Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory Emeritus at Harvard. He was a member of the American Academy of Art and Science and Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Mr. Fitzgerald is well know for his translations of the ancient classics. Flannery O'Connor was an associate and edited some of her works.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Third Kind of Knowledge: Memoirs & Selected Writings
ISBN: 0811210561

New Directions. 1993

The memoirs and essays collected in The Third Kind of Knowledge encompass the many lives of a remarkable man. Poet, translator, critic, journalist, memoirist, scholar - the late Robert Fitzgerald (1910-1985) had an unusual range of gifts and lived a strikingly varied life in the literary and academic world. While growing up, his scholarly promise earned the attention of his mentor in classical studies, Dudley Fitts, and his poetic gifts the admiration first of Vachel Lindsay and later of T. S. Eliot (who took some of his college poems for publication in the Criterion). A reporter for the New York Herald Tribune in the thirties, Fitzgerald also spent time before and after the Second World War as a part of Henry Luce's literary stable at Time, where he forged his close friendship with James Agee and edited the Books Department for the magazine. His friendship with Agee, and also with Flannery O'Connor (whose literary executor he became) as well as with other literary figures such as John Berryman, Allen Tate, and Caroline Gordon flourished during this period. In the early fifties he moved with his family to Italy, where he worked for six years on his celebrated translation of the Odyssey. His other classical translations - the Iliad, the Aeneid, and his translations of Euripides and Sophocles, several done in collaboration with Dudley Fitts - have become the signal translations of our time. A renowned teacher as well as poet and scholar, Fitzgerald taught, over the years, at such institutions as Sarah Lawrence, Princeton, The New School, Mount Holyoke, and The University of Washington. His career culminated at Harvard where, in 1965, he was named Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory. For fifteen years his course in Versification influenced a generation of young poets, and his seminar in "Homer, Virgil, and Dante" a generation of young scholars. The Third Kind of Knowledge displays the unusual breadth of Fitzgerald's achievement and includes personal memoirs, reminiscences of literary friends, literary criticism of classical literature, and an interview on the art of translation. This volume has been prepared by his widow, Penelope Laurans Fitzgerald, following a plan begun by the author before his death. With photographs.

Enlarging The Change: The Princeton Seminars in Literary Criticism, 1949-1951
ISBN: 1555530346

Northeastern. 1988

Spring Shade: Poetry
ISBN: 0811200523

New Directions. 1971

In Spring Shade, Robert Fitzgerald brings together all of his previous collections––Poems (1935), A Wreath for the Sea (1943), In the Rose of Time (1956)––and adds to them two dozen later poems and a generous sampling from the wide range of his translations.

Since his work first appeared in Poetry, Robert Fitzgerald's controlled yet lyric voice, his intimacy with the classic tradition, have gained for him a distinguished reputation as poet and translator. Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard since 1965, Fitzgerald spends a part of each year with his family near Perugia, Italy, where he does most of his writing. He has received many honors in recent years, among them fellowship in the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1962) and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (1963) and the first Bollingen Translation Award (1961) for his Odyssey.


Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 19841985