A photo of Efrain Kristal

Efrain Kristal


E-mail: kristal@ucla.edu Phone: 310-206-0552 Office: Humanities 350A

Office Hours: e-mail for Zoom appointment

Fields of interest: 19th-20th-Century Spanish American and Comparative Literature; Translation Studies; Aesthetics

Efrain Kristal specializes in Latin American literature in comparative contexts, translation studies, and aesthetics.  He is author of over eighty scholarly articles and prologues as well as the following books:  The Andes Viewed from the City.  Literary and Political Discourse on the Indian in Peru  (1987); Temptation of the Word.  The Novels of Mario Vargas Llosa (1998); and Invisible Work. Borges and Translation (2002).  He has edited The Cambridge Companion to the Latin American Novel (2005) and the Penguin edition of Jorge Luis Borges’ Poems of the Night (2010).   He is also one of three associate editors of The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel (2010).

His forthcoming publications include “Peter Sloterdijk and literature” for Sloterdijk Now, edited by Stuart Elden for the Polity Press; “Art and Literature in the Liquid Modern Age” for The Blackwell Companion to Comparative Literature edited by Ali Behdad and Dominic Thomas, an essay on Nicolas Poussin and Philosophy, the essay on translation theory for the Blackwell Companion to Translation Studies, an essay on Yves Bonnefoy’s Shakespeare translations, and The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa co-edited with John King.

Kristal received his Ph.D. from Stanford University (1985), studied philosophy as a visiting foreign student at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris (rue d’Ulm), is a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; and held the Julio Cortazar chair at the University of Guadalajara.  He has been a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, the University of Göttingen, and the Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Science Po).  He was a was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at La Trobe University in Australia, a fellow at the Centre for Philosophy, Literature and the Arts at the University of Warwick, and a visiting scholar at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.


  • Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Maitrîse, Université de Rouen
  • M.A., Stanford University
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley

Selected Publications


  • Poetry as Fiction,” Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 484-485.
  • “Poetry of Peru,” (co-authored with Marta Ortiz Canseco), Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 1027-1030.
  • “Refundiciones literarias y biográficas en La ciudad y los perros,” in Mario Vargas Llosa, La ciudad y los perros. Edición conmemorativa del cincuentenario, Madrid, Alfaguara, 2012, pp. 539-557.
  • “Literature in the Philosophy of Peter Sloterdijk,” Sloterdijk Now, Stuart Elden (ed.), Cambridge, U.K., Polity Press, 2012, pp. 147-164.
  • “Introduction,” co-authored with John King, The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa, 2012, pp. 1-8.
  • “The Total Novel and the Novella. Conversation in The Cathedral and The Cubs,” The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa, 2012, pp. 37-48.
  • “From Utopia to Reconciliation. Paradise Around the Corner, The Bad Girl, and The Dream of the Celt,” The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa, 2012, pp.129- 147.
  • “An Interview with Mario Vargas Llosa,” The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa, 2012, pp. 212-220.
  • “Fiction and the Novel,” The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel, Volume I, 2011, pp. 299-307.
  • “Art and Literature in the Liquid Modern Age. On Richard Wollheim, Zygmunt Bauman and Yves Michaud,” The Blackwell Companion to Comparative Literature, Oxford, 2011, pp. 108-119.
  • “Mario Vargas Llosa y la Comedia Humana de Balzac,” Turia, Número 97-98, March- May 2011, pp. 298-300.
  • “Richard Wollheim on Art and Psychoanalysis,” Navigatio vitae. Saggi per I settant’anni di Remo Bodei(Festschrift in honor of Remo Bodei), edited by Luiggi Ballerini, Andrea Borsari and Massimo Ciavolella, New York, Agincourt Press, 2010, pp. 123-134.
  • “Literatura y filosofía moral según Jacques Bouveresse,” Anuario de Estudios Filológicos, vol. XXXII, 2009, pp. 145-156.
  • “Sobre Ajuar Funerario de Fernando Iwasaki,” in Adélaîde de Chatellus (ed.), El cuento hispanoamericano contemporáneo, Paris, ADEHL, 2009, pp. 133-138.

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Institute for Advanced Study, La Trobe Univeristy, Melbourne, Australia, June-September 2002.
  • Mercator Research Fellowship, Deutsches Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), 2001.
  • UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, 2000.
  • Choice, Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award, for Temptation of the Word. The Novels of Mario Vargas Llosa, 1998.
  • Del Amo Foundation Fellowship for Archival research at the National Library of Spain in Madrid.
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, Host: Prof. Dr. Dietrich Breisemeister of the Iberoamerikanisches Institut, Berlin, 1991-1992.
  • Hoopes prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching, Harvard University, 1990.
  • National Endowment fot the Humanities, Travel to Collections Award, Summer 1990.
  • Clarke Fund Research Grant, Harvard University, 1989-90.
  • Whiting Fellow, 1984-85.
  • Foreign Student, Philosophy Program, Ecole Normale Supériure de Paris (rue d’Ulm), 1982-1983.
  • Stanford University Fellowship, 1980-84.
  • Foreign Student, LIterature and Philosophy, Université de Montpellier, 1978-1980.
  • Bank of America and Berkeley Alumni Association Fellowships, 1976-1980
  • Departmental Citation, Comparative Literature, UC-Berkeley.