Peter Bien

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Peter Bien, educated at Deerfield, Harvard, Haverford, Columbia, Bristol University, professed English Literature at Dartmouth College from 1961 to 1997 but had become involved earlier with Modern Greek literature owing to his marriage in 1955 to a native Greek whom he met in England when both were at Woodbrooke, a Quaker study center. His translations of Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ appeared in 1960, of Saint Francis in 1962, Report to Greco in 1965, and Zorba the Greek in 2014. He also translated Stratis Myrivilis’s Life in the Tomb (1977), Fuselage by Myron Zolotakis (2023), two poetry collections by S. S. Harkianakis (2013, 2021), and Gazmend Kaplani’s novel Wrongland (2024). A coauthored series of textbooks for learning Modern Greek culminated in Greek Today (2004). His scholarly studies include L. P. Hartley (1963), Kazantzakis and the Linguistic Revolution in Greek Literature (1972), Three Generations of Greek Writers: Introductions to Cavafy, Kazantzakis, Ritsos (1983), Kazantzakis: Politics of the Spirit (2 vols. 1989 & 2007), Yannis Ritsos: Collected Studies & Translations (2011). He also discovered, chose, and translated The Selected Letters of Nikos Kazantzakis (2012). He taught as a visiting professor at the universities of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Melbourne, Thessaloniki (twice), and Crete. A cofounder and past president of the Modern Greek Studies Association of America and Canada, he served as editor of the Association’s Journal of Modern Greek Studies from 1991 to 1999.  He has been honored by the E. Harris Harbison Award for Distinguished Teaching (Danforth Foundation, 1968), three Fulbright Fellowships, and an honorary doctorate in 2007 from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.