Slava Paperno (director)
Krystyna Golovakova
Raissa Krivitsky
Viktoria Tsimberov
Richard L. Leed (1929-2011)
Lora Paperno (retired)

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2016 survey

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Richard L. Leed
I was born on January 31, 1929, the year of the Crash, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, where I spent the first 18 years of my life being a lower middle class small town bourgeois boy, from which I never recovered, despite stumbling up into a professorship in an Ivy League college in Tompkins County, NY, where I made my home after a stormy and drangy interval of a decade or so.
Over the years I became an eminent man of letters to the Editor, writing almost as many as Domenico Scarlatti did sonatas, and giving me almost as much pleasure as slaughtering the lambs my dear wife raised, not to mention a few bob calves we fed up on milk replacer for veal.
My companions in old age have been William Shakespeare, whom I have scanned already 27 plays of for the joy of metrical analysis, and Johan Sebastian Bach, whose cantatas keep recurring according to the church calendar year in year out. They have much to offer, and they never talk back.
I have managed to squeeze my curriculum vitae onto one page of small print (attached), as a kind of joke, I suppose. It does not include the many unpublished works of the last 15 years, some of which can be found on the web site containing, as my granddaughter has been trained to say, works of the three greatest writers in English literature: Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Dick Leed (

Professor Leed (1929-2011) is one of the authors of the textbooks, dictionary, and other materials used in several of our language courses. He started the Russian Language Program in the late 1950s and directed it for many years when it was part of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. Here is an unsolicited testimony from someone who was inspired to write to us almost fifty years after finishing Richard Leed's Russian course!

The smaller the job, the greater the glory, because big ideas come a dime a dozen.
~Richard L. Leed

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Dept. of Comparative Literature • Russian Language Program • 240 Goldwin Smith Hall • Cornell University • Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
tel. 607/255-4155 • fax 607/255-8177 • email