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So Many Stories: A Tribute to Professor Ladislav S.L. Zgusta i: Donna M. T. Cr. Farina1 NewJersey City University "t is fitting that this tribute to Professor Ladislav S.L. Zgusta .should be published in Dictionaries:Journal oftheDictionary Society ofNorth America. Professor Zgusta was a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to Dictionaries, and was a founding member, vicepresident (1981-1983), and president (1983-1985) of the Dictionary Society, an organization that was important to him. His scholarly work in lexicography and many other fields will continue to shape and influence us. The passing of Professor Zgusta on April 27, 2007 prompted so many conversations and exchanges of emails, the renewal of old friendships and acquaintanceships, and the formation of new ones. It also resulted in the intense telling of stories — the remembrance of events that would have been inconsequential and long forgotten if Professor Zgusta had not been present. However, this storytelling was not new — it had begun for most of us soon after we first met Professor Zgusta, and it continued every time we saw him or each other. While Professor Zgusta awed us with intelligence and scholarly accomplishment that seemed humanly impossible, he was loved and respected — and will be remembered — because of his human qualities. Professor Zgusta made time for everyone — he focused on each person he interacted with: to tell ajoke; 1I would like to diank all die contributors. I am especially grateful to William Frawley, die editor of Dictionaries, for his support in diis endeavor. Dictionaries:Journal ofthe Dictionary Sodety ofNorth America 28 (2007) , 163—179 164 So Many Stories: Tribute to Professor ¡.adislav S. L. Zgusta bestow a new name; write a detailed letter; drink wine; give a scholarly critique; chide, tease, and goad; provide the applicable Latin proverb; help, sympathize, or advise. He even told us amazing stories of his own life. Each person who received his attention felt important and honored. While our memories are vivid, many of the stories have been told and retold until there is the aura of legend around some of them. This legendary quality certainly befits a phenomenon such as Professor Zgusta, but I believe it would also have amused him. In response, he might have laughed his unique and contagious laugh, pronounced the appropriate Latin proverb, frowned with disapproval or shook his finger if someone dared to ask for a translation, provided the translation after all, enjoyed others' amusement, and queried: "Isn't it so?" This tribute begins with an essay by Hans Henrich Hock, Professor Zgusta's colleague at the University of Illinois. Hock enumerates Professor Zgusta's scholarly achievements and provides glimpses of some of the amazing events of his colorful life. The tribute continues with memories written by friends, colleagues, and students who knew him. Hans Hock2 University of Illinois B:orn in Czechoslovakia in 1924, Ladislav Zgusta outlived two ^dictatorships, that of the Nazis and of the Communists. Under the Nazis, he worked as a temporary laborer in construction and on the railroad, while spending his time reading "subversive" books. When the short-lived respite from Communist dictatorship during the "Prague Spring" came to an end, he made a daring escape with his family, via India, to the United States, where in a single year he was affiliated with three universities — Cornell, Texas, and Illinois. We at 2Some of diis material appears in an earlier form on the website of die Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois: "In Memoriam Ladislav Zgusta," http://www.cas.uiuc.edu/zgusta.php; and "Laudatio for Professor Ladislav Zgusta at the Celebration of the Release of His New Book, Lexicography Then and Now" http://www.cas.uiuc.edu/othereventpics/zgustaencom.pdf(accessed December 3, 2007). So Many Stories: Tribute to Professor Ladislav S. L. Zgusta 165 Illinois consider ourselves fortunate that he continued with us, becoming a member of the faculty of Linguistics and the Classics, and in 1986 accepting the directorship of the University's prestigious Center for Advanced Study. Professor Zgusta earned three doctor's degrees. The first one was in Classical Philology and Indology from Prague University (1949), the second in the Philology of Ancient Asia Minor from the Prague Academy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 163-179
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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