Philip Mosley's Bruges-la-Morte translation sells over 2,000 copies

Philip Mosley, professor of English and comparative literature at Penn State Worthington Scranton, has realized a notable literary success with his translation of "Bruges-la-Morte," a 19th century Belgian novel, which has sold over 2,000 copies internationally.

Mosley first published his English translation of the decadent 1892 novel by Belgian author Georges Rodenbach in 1986, and in a new edition in 2007, which was published by the University of Scranton Press and is distributed by the University of Chicago Press. He also authored a book on the novelist titled, "Georges Rodenbach: Critical Essays."

The novel tells of a lonely widower, Hugues Viane, who mourns his dead wife until he meets her young double while roaming the streets of Bruges.

“I was especially fortunate in obtaining the cover art that I had wanted for my translation,” Mosley said. “I thought Pandora’s Box (1951) by the famed Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte — with its depiction of a white rose beside a soberly dressed man crossing a bridge in a deserted Flemish city — would be a perfect match to the novel, but doubted that I would be able to obtain permission to use it. But the owners of the painting, Yale University Art Gallery, made the image available for a modest fee.”

Local artist Trinka Ravaioli, owner of Grapevine Design in Clarks Summit, used the image in her cover design.

A native of England who immigrated to the United States in 1988, Mosley holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Leeds and a master of arts in European literature and a doctorate in comparative literature, both from the University of East Anglia.

He is the author of several additional literature translations, including: "The Intelligence of Flowers," by Maurice Maeterlinck; "October Long Sunday," by Guy Vaes; "Tea Masters, Teahouses," by Werner Lambersy; and "The Book of the Snow," by Francois Jacqmin, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize.

In 2008, Mosley was awarded the Prix de la Traduction Litteraire by the French community of Belgium and is also the author of other books, including: "Ingmar Bergman: The Cinema as Mistress," "Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity," "Anthracite! An Anthology of Pennsylvania Coal Region Plays," and "The Cinema Of The Dardenne Brothers: Responsible Realism."

He lives in the rural area between Scranton and Mount Pocono.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated January 09, 2015