Novelist, poet, and translator Harry Mathews died on January 25 of this year. Born in New York City in 1930, he studied music at Harvard, and after moving to France in the '50s, started writing fiction, publishing his first novel, The Conversions, in 1962. His capacity for literary invention seemed limitless, writing works full of eccentric twists, puzzles, and James-ian eloquence. He became the only American member of the Oulipo, a group that included Raymond Quenuau and other avant-garde