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In his celebrated Rougon-Macquart series of twenty novels, Émile Zola sought to present a ‘natural and social history of a family’ during the years of the Second Empire in France, 1852-1870. This was a family filled with ‘ravenous appetites’ who diffused in to all strata of French society, from the world of labour, in works like L’Assommoir and Germinal, to the upper echelons of French society in novels such as Money and The Kill. This classic sequence has not been published in its entirety in English since the late nineteenth century, but a project by Oxford World’s Classics to produce new translations of the whole series in now nearing completion.
This talk by Paul Gibbard, who has recently published his translation of The Dream (the sixteenth novel in the series), will present an overview of Zola’s career as a novelist and explain how the Frenchman’s aims and ideas evolved over forty years. It will look at some of the problems faced by early English-language translators of Zola’s novels (and their perceived obscenity) before moving on to some of the questions modern translators must address – and the particular issues involved in translating The Dream.
Dr Paul Gibbard is Senior Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Western Australia. His research interests lie in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French fiction and intellectual history. He has worked previously as an editor of the Complete Works of Voltaire at the Voltaire Foundation in Oxford and his publications include critical editions of Voltaire’s Questions on the Encyclopedia (2008) and Letters on the New Héloïse (2013), an edited collection of essays, Political Ideas of Enlightenment Women (2013), and a translation of Émile Zola’s novel The Dream (2018). He is currently working on a translation of the journal of the botanist Théodore Leschenault who travelled to Australia with the Baudin expedition of 1800-1804.
Special Collections – special viewing for members
Special Collections 2nd Floor Reid Library will be open on Tuesday 10th September 6.30pm – 7.15pm for members to view a selection of French materials from the collection before the start of the talk by Paul Gibbard.
October 8th is a special event, the presentation of the Clérambault 1710 edition from David Tunley to the Special Collections, with a performance of the work by the Conservatorium of Music Irwin Street Collective. The venue will be the Eileen Joyce Studio Conservatorium of Music.
Our final speaker for the year is Jill Benn, University Librarian and her presentation is “Library Place for Learning Space: Reflections in the Changing Nature of the Academic Library. Drinks and nibbles will be provided by the Friends of the Library after the 12th November talk
Kathryn Maingard – [email protected]
or 08 6488 2356