Wesleyan portrait of Damion  Searls

Damion Searls

Distinguished Writer in Residence


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AB Harvard University
PHD University of California, Berkeley

Damion Searls

Damion Searls has translated 50 books from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch, and written The Philosophy of Translation (forthcoming), the first biography of the inventor of the Rorschach Test, short stories, reviews, and poetry, and edited the one-volume abridgment of Thoreau's Journal. Most of his translations are of modernist literature and philosophy (Proust, Rilke, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Nescio, Modiano, Jelinek, Bachmann), especially the funny ones (Schwitters, Walser, Döblin, Thomas Bernhard, Gide's Marshlands, and, yes, Thomas Mann), and of contemporary Norwegian classics (Jon Fosse, Victoria Kielland, Karl Ove Knausgaard).

Searls has a BA in philosophy and a PhD in English. He has taught at Berkeley, Harvard, Naropa, Princeton, the (NYC) Center for Fiction, and given numerous talks and lectures elsewhere, but has been working primarily as an independent writer and translator since grad school. 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesdays, 11:30-12:30


Spring 2024
WRCT 210 - 01
Translate Theory and Practice