born in 1929 in Vienna, lives and works in New York. He has been a professor at New York University for sixty-five years. For nearly fifty years he directed the university's Center for French Literature and Civilization, which he made into a crucial venue for French intellectual life in New York. As a self-described "ocean ferryman," a friend and fellow traveler of Samuel Beckett, Hélène Cixous, Eugène Ionesco, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and many others, he built a bridge between the worlds of literature, philosophy, and art, as well as politics and economics, between New York and Paris. His work as a scholar, essayist and curator has allowed many encounters between creative figures, scholars and cultural leaders.