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july, 2022

08julfriA Spanish Lexicographer Walks into an Icelandic Museum7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Event Type :Book Presentation

Event Details

Join translator Janet Hendrickson and author/illustrator A. Kendra Greene in a cross-cultural, time-traveling, long-overdue conversation about storytelling institutions, collections of language, splendid absurdities, and making meaning from the quotidian and the sublime. It’s a first-ever, in-person event for two books resurfacing from pandemic releases. Word nerds, world travelers, and those who love us–this one’s for you.


The Museum of Whales You Will Never See guides us with wisdom and whimsy through this cabinet of curiosities, showing us, in dreamlike anecdotes and more than thirty charming illustrations, how a seemingly random assortment of objects–a stuffed whooper swan, a rubber boot, a shard of obsidian, a chastity belt for rams–can map a people’s past and future, their fears and obsessions. “The world is chockablock with untold wonders,” Greene writes, “there for the taking, ready to be uncovered at any moment, if only we keep our eyes open.”

Sebastián de Covarrubias’s famous Treasure of the Castilian or Spanish Language was first published in 1611, only two years before the author’s death. A contemporary of Cervantes, learned in Hebrew and Arabic languages, Covarrubias wrote his encyclopedic dictionary to explore the heterogeneous origins of words and their hidden connections to the moral, transcendental, and everyday meanings of the world. Here, the translator Janet Hendrickson has dived deep into this influential, pre-Enlightenment text to cull a coherent, poetic selection of Covarrubias’s pioneering work.

A. Kendra Greene is a writer and artist who has worked at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Chicago History Museum, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, and the Dallas Museum of Art, where she was a writer in residence. She studied nonfiction and book arts at the University of Iowa and has been the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, Fulbright, and Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Atlas Obscura, The Guardian, and Freeman’s. Locally, she is a guest artist at the Nasher Sculpture Center and an associate editor at Southwest Review. You may have joined her before at The Wild Detectives for the launch of three chapbooks from Anomalous Press, in conversation with novelist Merritt Tierce, and as a featured reader of Inner Moonlight.

Janet Hendrickson translates from Spanish and Portuguese. Her experimental translation of Treasure of the Castilian or Spanish Language, a 1611 dictionary by Sebastián de Covarrubias, was longlisted for a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She also translated The Future Is Not Ours (ed. Diego Trelles Paz, Open Letter), an anthology of contemporary Latin American fiction. Other translations have appeared in venues including Granta, n+1, Mandorla, and The White Review. She holds a PhD in Romance Studies from Cornell and an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa.




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(Friday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Wild Detectives

314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas