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Professor Lerzundi Publishes 'Definitive Edition' of La Araucana

June 20, 2011

Professor Patricio Lerzundi (Journalism, Communication, and Theatre) has published an annotated critical edition of the auto sacramental La Araucana, the first of its kind. The seventeenth-century play is part of the particular literary genre that dates back to Spain's Golden Age and is called an "auto-sacramental" text—a one-act drama about the mystery of the consecrated bread known as the Eucharist, which is part of the Christian rite. Ultimately, such plays were instrumental in the conversion of Latin America to Roman Catholicism.

His edition has won high praise. "[Dr. Lerzundi] has prepared what I consider the definitive edition of this unique play. His exceptional knowledge of Chilean literature and history is evident in every page of this book," raved Professor Antonio Montero of the Chilean Society of Writers.

This is Professor Lerzundi's third book in four years. In 2009, he edited El gobernador prudente (The Prudent Governor) by Gaspar de Avila, and in 2008 he edited Algunas hazañas de las muchas de Don García Hurtado de Mendoza, Marqués de Cañete (Some of the Many Deeds of Don García Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis of Cañete) by Luis de Belmonte Bermúdez and eight other collaborators; both were published by The Edwin Mellen Press.

He credits his prolific output to his newly freed-up schedule, now that he no longer serves as chair of the Department. "When I stopped being the chair, I looked in my desk and there were all the projects that I had put on hold," says Professor Lerzundi, who hails from Santiago, Chile. "And I thought, ‘This is what I want to do'."

A former journalist and translator of the Chilean poet Enrique Lihn, Professor Lerzundi holds a B.A. from Columbia University and received his Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center.