For a long time, I've thought about writing a book on translation. What interests me is the possibility of accounting for the lived experience of translators, those silent agents of literary history. I'm equally intrigued by the complex relationship between writers and translators. And while there are many theories of translation, very little has been written about the everyday psychology of translating.
The possibilities for both real and imaginary relations between translator and author are endless: they may become lovers, enemies, rivals, or traitors to each other's cause. When everyone gets along, when translator and author negotiate smoothly, when the editor serves as a guarantor of rights on both sides, translation can be an extremely satisfying undertaking for both author and translator in which each feels fulfilled and grateful to the other. But when something goes wrong, a translation conflict can be exceedingly complex and difficult to resolve.
The kind of conflict I am alluding to is often merely a hypothetical drama on our minds as we, the translators, go about our workaday business. The dilemma takes place within ourselves, and we resolve it by the time the work of translation is finished. But what happens when the conflict is not merely theoretical, a working principle, but breaks out into an actual fight between two or more of the parties involved? I enjoyed an article I read several years ago by an excellent translator called "The Only Good Author is a Dead Author," explaining the headaches she had working with a difficult and demanding author. And I've recently heard about the troubles of a translator whose author a Japanese essayist of great renown insisted on continually revising his work. Just as the translator would finish a draft of an essay, the author would send an entirely new version of the text, demanding a retranslation. The translator was Sisyphus, except that the boulder changed shape each time he had to lug it up the hill.
There are many stories of prominent writers who insist on challenging the translations of their work into languages they barely know. Writers want to control language it's their job! and they're only too ready to believe that their talent for words extends across all linguistic boundaries. Vladimir Nabokov was famous for his vigilance concerning every word of his translations and when this polyglot spotted an error, he could be unreasonable. His wife Véra, as vigilant as he, pored over the Swedish translations of his Pnin with the help of a dictionary and determined that entire passages were missing, and that the anti-communist slant of the original had been muted. She ordered the entire Swedish stock of both Pnin and Lolita destroyed. In July 1959, the Nabokovs' lawyer served as witness to an enormous book burning on the outskirts of Stockholm. It's a rare event in literary history when a writer burns his own books!
The problems that translators have with living authors are well known, and we can understand what it means to want to work on a writer whose life's work is complete, and who is no longer around to pass judgment on a translation. Fortunately, there are many dead authors who have yet to be translated. And unfortunately, the opposite can never be true: A dead author can have a living translator, but no living author can ever work with a dead translator. Some would like to!
|A Translation Fiasco|
The following story about a very living translator is a rather personal one, and, in retrospect, it's amusing to recount. But it is also instructive, and I believe it can shed light on the problems I've outlined above.
I'll call my translator, in the interests of privacy, "Mr. X." Mr. X was hired by a French publisher to translate my book, French Lessons, an autobiographical essay about an American who falls in love with the French language. As in all such stories, the path of my love for French was not always a smooth one. Nor, as it turned out, was the path of translation. I should preface this story by explaining that Mr. X had an excellent reputation as a translator of social science history in particular and that he was an exacting, detail-oriented translator who was used to working closely with his authors. Translation was his only source of income, and he had an ongoing relationship with a powerful editor at this particular publishing house; this editor had imposed him on the more junior editor who had acquired my book.
There was an implicit difficulty in translating my book into French that any translator would have to have faced. In the original English, it presented the French language as an object of desire, a coveted and foreign language world that resisted being conquered. The French language, you might say, is a character in the book or, to use another metaphor, the book's landscape. French words and sounds occur within the text, in their otherness. About a first trip to boarding school in Switzerland, the young adolescent narrator writes:
The translator who would have to render this otherness in French itself where the French words would no longer stand out from the rest of the words in the book was facing a challenge. It wasn't clear that the "mirror" would work: i.e., would the French reader be interested in the experience of an American learning their language? Or was the book only readable to an American reader who could identify with the difficulties of an American trying to learn a foreign language? There are ways to handle this--putting words in quotation or all caps to make them stand out from the text, using phonetic or at least nonstandard spelling to indicate an American accent in French, or perhaps even adding some American words to the French text to represent the two language worlds.
Mr. X's first response to the book was wild enthusiasm. He was excited to be doing his first literary translation. He fantasized an enormous commercial success for my book, and media stardom for me thanks to him complete with an appearance on Bernard Pivot's literary talk show, with his expert coaching to prepare me. From these ambitious and enthusiastic beginnings, things went quickly downhill. In order for my book to achieve this status, Mr. X was convinced it needed serious adaptation. It would not work as it was for a French public. He therefore set out to rewrite it, according to his idea of the image a French reader would want to have of an American learning French.
At the time I felt at a deficit: I had an immediate instinct that this was the wrong approach, but I did not have the scholarly ammunition to bolster my argument against my determined translator. I had not read much of the theoretical literature on translation. I needed a theorist to explain X's attitude, and to give me grounds on which to oppose him. I later found this theorist in Antoine Berman, author of L'Épreuve de l'Étranger, and La traduction et la lettre ou l'auberge du lointain. He had a view of the relationship between author and translator that was respectful and nuanced and that felt right to me. Berman writes:
[J'appelle mauvaise traduction la traduction qui, généralement sous couvert de transmissibilité, opère une négation systématique de l'étrangeté de l'oeuvre étrangère.]
Even though I don't always agree with Berman when it comes to his evaluation of specific translations I think his defense of foreignness is exaggerated and often untenable I relish this argument that makes Mr. X into the epitome of the ethically bad translator.
Not only was X an ethnocentric translator, he was an egocentric translator: the combination of nationalism and a certain psychology were fatal. "If I don't change the text as I'm translating it, I feel castrated," he explained. A sensitive fellow! Change the text he did... He changed the order of sentences in a paragraph if he felt my construction wasn't French enough. He cut sentences he didn't agree with. He especially resented a sentence in the beginning of my book, which explained the minimalist style in which the book was written:
This "argument de style" he complained, was going to hamper his style.... He hadn't spent all those years at the rue d'Ulm honing an extremely sophisticated prose style, nourished by the best that had been written in French from Chateaubriand to Proust, only to be forced to write like a monosyllabic half-wit. Yet my book actually talked about its own style: I, the author, was committed to straightforward, simple writing. I actually intended that my language sound more like an elementary French lesson than Mémoires d'outre-tombe... If Mr. X disobeyed the metacommentary on style within my book, his own prose would be wrong. This annoyed him greatly.
For all his resistance to my foreignness, Mr. X would occasionally surprise me with a plunge into American consciousness. There were two characters in French Lessons, my brother and sister, whom I purposefully did not mention by name. This was in part to protect their privacy, in part to give the early childhood section of the book the feeling of a fairy tale or myth, one step removed from documentary or history. My translator obviously not a reader of Marguerite Duras! explained to me that it was very ugly in French to refer to any characters as "il" and "elle" indeed this wasn't possible. Therefore he proposed to give them names, averting what he considered an embarrassing French mistake. He chose the names "Betsy" and "Joey" for my siblings. Why? He explained that his favorite American television show was Friends (on cable tv), and he wanted to use names from that show. There is a character named Joey on Friends, but no Betsy, as far I know. Perhaps he was thinking of Betsy Ross, who sewed the first American flag a figure every American schoolchild learns about. The ways of Mr. X were mysterious, but this, in any case, was his bow to representing American culture in my very American text.
He pointed out what he claimed were constant French mistakes in my discussions of my attempt to master the French language. "Trust me for the French," he kept saying. And "I will make you into a real French girl." The problem was, French Lessons is about the experience of someone who lives between languages who wants to escape into French but never quite makes it. Transforming me into "a real French girl" was tantamount to being unfaithful to the book's essence and spirit. For the translation to be viable, the character I had created needed to be slightly foreign, between worlds: my translator resisted this foreignness, believing that it was his duty to naturalize me and render my book in authentic French.
If I wanted to give an affectionate account of this translator's mistake, I'd put it this way: I had created a character who wanted more than anything to be French. But instead of representing her desires, my translator was "solving" the character's problem, trying to fulfill her desires.
And so the process devolved. The more I fought his changes, the more critical he became of my own text. Finally, all communication between us ceased. He sent an erudite 14-page single space critique of the book to my editor. I later learned that, as a social science translator, he had a track record of contentious relationships with authors, and the file drawers of my publisher contained several brilliant letters arguing against the books he was working on. But at the time I had no knowledge of his propensity for the attack.
What a long road he had taken, from being wildly enthusiastic about making my book his own, to maligning it utterly. He refused to sign his own name to his translation and chose a pseudonym. And finally, I refused his translation. The press refused to commission a new translator, and the contract has since expired. What relief I felt! Mr. X had cured me of my desire to be translated.
Although my translator's reactions were extreme, caricatural, still I could recognize in his reactions experiences and feelings that I, too, have had as a translator.
I recognized, first of all, the intense critical response one can have to a book one is in the process of translating: we translators can love, but we can also see every flaw, every fact mistake, every awkward transition in the work we are translating. I also recognized in him, again in exaggerated form, something we might call the "dépit amoureux" of the translator: the desire to get in the skin of a book, the desire to become its author to create, not just translate. We translators ought to defend ourselves by claiming rights that are akin to rights of authorship: the right to innovate, the right to create, the right to be considered a writer, rather than merely a clerc. But translation is also, by definition, a crossing of boundaries a stranger enters into a literary space and claims it for himself. Here is where the intangible emotions come into play: the part of love, envy, generosity, competition and combat on the part of the translator. X came to my text as a conqueror, and he violated my boundaries. And that experience, for this author, was something I can only describe as "creepy" ....
|When Translations Go to Court|
In the course of my experience with X, I often asked myself, "what are my rights as an author?" and "what are his rights as a translator?" According to French law, my moral right as an author had precedence over his moral right as a translator. I had the last word and was able to say, "no, I refuse this translation." Still, his translation belongs to him, and I can not use it as a basis for another translation of my book. If the book is ever to be translated, the translator will have to start from zero, and will not be able even to consult Mr. X's manuscript. On the other hand, Mr. X is unable, by law, to publish the manuscript of his work it is his, but not his, because it is a translation.
The type of conflict I had with Mr. X can, and did, go far. In our case, it resulted in the cancellation of the contract. The intensity of our conflict made me curious about other cases of conflict between translator and author and more generally, about the relationship that authors and translators have had, especially in this century with its sharply defined intellectual property rights.
Translation cases only rarely go to court, and when they do, the judgment is usually financial, rather than literary. In combing French journals of intellectual property rights, I've found a very few cases where a court of law makes an esthetic judgment for or against a translator. I'll outline two of these briefly:
In 1950, the Gibert Jeune Bookstore used the title Les Hauts du Hurle-Vent on a poster they hung over a table covered with sale copies of a translation of Wuthering Heights. Wuthering Heights, for mysterious reasons, has been translated and retranslated countless times into French, and there have been just as many French attempts to translate the title alone: Les Hauts des Quatre-Vents (1935); Le Domaine des tempêtes (1959); Les Hautes des tempêtes (1950) ; Haute Plainte (1937); Les Hauteurs battues des vents (1950); Les Hauteurs tourmentées (1949); Heurtebise (1947); La Maison des vents (1942); La Maison maudite (1948); Les orages du coeur (1950); Le Château des tempêtes (1951). A number of French translators have simply used the original title, Wuthering Heights: Louise Servicen in 1947; Henri Picard in 1948; Albert Glorget in 1949; Gaston Bacarra in 1950 (about whom more below); Jean Talva in 1955; Geneviève Mecker in 1959; Henriette Guex-Rolle in 1968; Catherine and Georges Vertut in 1969.
The problem in the case that went to court was that the translation Gibert Jeune was selling was not Frédéric Delebecque's 1925 Les Hauts du Hurle-Vent: it was Gaston Bacarra's translation, which used the original English language title, Wuthering Heights. The bookstore was exploiting the fact that most French people had come to identify the Emily Brontë novel by the title Les Hauts du Hurle-Vent. With all the titles that existed in France for Emily Brontë's novel, Les Hauts du Hurle-Vent had stuck.
In deciding against the bookstore and in favor of the Editions Payot, who had published Frédéric Delebecque's translation and owned the title Les Hauts du Hurle-Vent, the courts extended the protection of a translation to its very title. They recognized the fact that there is creativity in the translation of a single phrase, or a title as well as in the translation of a whole work:
Given that the title Les Hauts de Hurlevent [sic] constitutes an original invention and not a literal translation of the English title, the word 'Wuthering' having no direct equivalent in the French language, and besides, only being used locally in English-speaking countries that this is not a case of a translation, but rather of a new interpretation on the part of Delebecque, which can be valued as a personal work and which, as such, has claims to literary property, granted exclusively by him to his publisher, the Editions Payot.
Today, the annotated edition of the French legal code on intellectual property refers to this landmark case:
For an emphasis on the investigation of merit, see, re the title "Les Hauts du Hurlevent," non-literal translation of Emily Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights," the decision that the title was an original discovery, rendering the harrowing nature of the original title in an intimate, musical, and disturbing fashion.
This case is unusually satisfying from a translator's point of view, for here the law is acknowledging, with admirable specificity, the difficulty and challenge of a single act of translation. Their judgment is a form of literary criticism the evaluation of the leap of imagination involved in finding a French word for "Wuthering." The court recognizes in Delebecque, the translator, much the same power that Virginia Woolf recognizes in Brontë herself in her famous assessment of Wuthering Heights: "by speaking of the moor, [she could] make the wind blow and the thunder roar."
A second case stands out in the judicial literature on literary translation for very different reasons. This time it's a case of re-translation, or rather, a wish to revise and correct a dated translation, and of the ensuing conflict between an editor and a translator's heirs. The case concerns the collection of Kafka texts gathered together for a Gallimard Pléiade edition of Kafka's complete works. All these works were originally translated for Gallimard by the eminent Kafka specialist Alexandre Vialatte, who began translating Kafka in the 1930s. He had died just as the Pléiade complete works were taking shape. The editor of the Kafka Pléiade, Claude David, wanted to make a whole series of corrections of what he considered errors in Vialatte's translations. Vialatte's son took Gallimard to court, arguing that his father's moral right over his translation was being violated in the new corrected edition. The court decided in favor of the Vialatte estate. You can see the result of their decision in the Pléiade edition of Kafka we use today. A prefatory page summarizes the decision by the 1974 Paris court and explains that Vialatte's translation has been reprinted and appears unchanged from the previous edition; only text that was previously missing has been added in brackets. The editors also indicate that they've inserted: "a certain number of rectifications in the form of a series of notes indicated by capital letters that can be found in the critical apparatus at the back of the volume."
If Gallimard had wanted to pay for an entirely new translation of Kafka, they would have been legally entitled to supersede Vialatte's original translation. But they didn't decide to start from scratch with a retranslation out of respect for tradition, according to them, but also surely because an entirely new translation would have been a mammoth undertaking, both financially, intellectually, and in terms of time. So, without the permission of Vialatte's heirs to correct his work, they were legally obligated to respect the copyright on the translation they did use. Just as the prefatory note promises, the Pléiade Kafka text is replete with tiny letters that direct the reader to a thick collection of notes in the back of the book. Each note leads the reader to a suggestion for a correction of the translation: Alexandre Vialatte's "On avait sûrement calomnié Joseph K" the first clause in the first sentence of the The Trial, ought to have been rendered, according to Claude David's note, as: "Quelqu'un avait dû calomnier Joseph K." Vialatte's translation has been improved, but because the improvements are isolated in the critical apparatus, they are unable to affect our reading experience. There is something tragic (dare I say Kafkaesque?) in this visible but, at the same time, distracting revision of the French Kafka.
The Vialatte story points to a larger issue: translations that are, in and of themselves, historically significant. It is often acknowledged, for example, that Jean Giono's 1941 translation of Melville's Moby Dick [with Lucien Jacques and Joan Smith] contains just as much Giono as Melville. One might say the same of Baudelaire's translations of Poe or Quincey. Or Gérard de Nerval's fanciful Faust (1828), which Goethe is said to have preferred to many more accurate translations. Who would dare to retranslate these texts which, despite their mistakes or contre-sens, exist as dialogues between two great writers, masterpieces in and of themselves? When the translator is considered a great artist, he or she is often granted the right to error. Or, we might say, the errors of an artist are considered interesting, innovative interpretations rather than clumsy mistakes. The Vialatte estate law suit claimed something like this historical and artistic privilege for Vialatte's Kafka.
Although intellectual property is a burgeoning branch of the law in the age of the internet, cases concerning literary translation are relatively uncommon in the law books, both in France and the United States. And they have rather little to tell us about the actual working relationship between writer and translator. That relationship rarely emerges in detail in legal suits: it takes place almost entirely behind the scenes. The law is schematic, often purely commercial, in its point of view on translation.
By comparison, there is surely more to learn from what goes on in publishing houses, in the negotiations between author, translator and editor than there is in the courts. When translator and author don't live in the same place, as is usually the case, negotiations often take place through correspondence, and these exchanges are potentially very interesting. Understandably, publishers are not eager to open contentious or even harmonious private correspondence to a literary historian. It may be that interviews with working translators and their authors, and, in the absence of these primary sources, literary histories and writers' biographies, offer a surer path to the heart of my question.
The history of modern French literature is full of stories of friendships between authors and translators: Grace Frick, an American, became the life long companion of Marguerite Yourcenar, and because of Grace Frick, France's first female Académicienne spent most of her later years on an island in Maine. Yourcenar's love for her translator led to her exile and certainly influenced the classical beauty of her prose which stands outside her own time and place. Until Frick died, Yourcenar refused to let any one else translate her into English. In the tradition of Yourcenar and Frick are a number of translator-author marriages: Marie Chaix met her husband Harry Mathews the only American member of the OuLiPo because he translated her autobiographical novel, Les Lauriers du Lac de Constance. She then became his translator. The Guadeloupian francophone writer Maryse Condé, who lives in New York, is married to her translator, the Englishman Richard Philcox. It is a partnership made especially meaningful by their American residency and her growing celebrity on the U.S. literary scene: he makes her work accessible to the public in the place where she lives and works.
There is a less romantic moral to the story of Louis-Ferdinand Céline's friendship with his first English language translator, John Marks. Céline visited Marks several times in London, and helped him with the translation of Voyage au bout de la nuit and Mort à crédit in the early 1930s. In turn, Marks took him out onto the streets of London and arranged some pretty wild parties for him with English girls. The problem, it turned out, was that Céline was completely indifferent if not intellectually opposed to the idea of translation. For him, seeing his books come out in English was primarily a commercial venture; his correspondence with his American publishers, Little Brown, show that he was interested in sales figures to the detriment of content.
In the absence of any objections by Céline, and with the encouragement of his English and American publishers, John Marks substituted polite words for Céline's gynecological and sexual vocabulary: for example, he changes the word "abortion" to "miscarriage" in Voyage. Moreover, Marks regularly corrected Céline's syntax, erasing the famous three dots and restoring Céline's sentences to something resembling normal polite English prose. What is shocking is not that Marks misunderstood Céline's revolution in prose that was common among many of his contemporaries but that Céline himself went along with Marks. He was more interested in having a good night on the town in London than in confronting his translator with the specificity of his language. In an article on Céline's hostility towards translation, Philippe Roussin untangles the linguistic nationalism at the root of Céline's attitude. In Bagatelles pour un massacre, his anti-semitic pamphlet from 1937, Céline declares war on a "robotic" style that he blames on the invasion of bad translations and the erosion of real French into what he considers a standardized, robotic, "Jewified" language [Céline's anti-Semitism is well-known]. The paradox is that he was uninterested in defending the linguistic specificity of his own language with Marks, and aided and abetted a "standardized" version of his own work. It wasn't until the 1960s, with the retranslations by Ralph Manheim, that Céline found an English language translator sensitive to his quirks and innovations. So we see that while hostility between translator and author can lead to disaster, complicity can also create problems. In translation relationships as in so many other human encounters tact, sympathy, intimacy, and distance, are all necessary ingredients.
|The Gift of Translation|
Having entertained you with the story of my own impossible translator, Mr. X, and having outlined a few directions for research on translation conflicts and complicities, it would be unfair of me not to conclude by describing how I approach my own work as a translator from French to English, given the issues I've raised about the passions, negative and positive, involved in the act of translating.
My work as a translator began with one author. I first read Roger Grenier in 1995 when I was studying the treason trial of French writer Robert Brasillach, condemned by the Liberation government for collaboration with the Nazis. I was in the United States doing research at the Stanford University Hoover Library, where I came across a book by Grenier entitled Le Rôle d'accusé, in which he described covering a number of similar trials. I was taken with his irony, his sense of psychology, and his lucidity in explaining the workings of a French courtroom. Although the book was an essay his first, dated 1948 it had a great deal of narrative and stylistic power, qualities I discovered were born out in his fiction.
I spent the spring of 1996 in Paris continuing to work on my book about the Brasillach trial, and I interviewed Grenier several times that spring. Each time I visited him, he gave me one of his books to read. He has written over 30 of them. I should add for these are the everyday accidents that determine life's choices that during the month of March 1996 I was ill with bronchitis, lost my voice, and was confined to bed. During that month of March, I read most of Grenier's fiction. In one novel in particular, Le Pierrot noir, the story of a group of young people during the Nazi occupation of France, I had what I can only call in retrospect a sense of recognition as I was reading. It had to do and here I am certainly guilty of what Berman calls severe ethnocentrism with the feeling that I was reading an American novel set in the southwest of France. This was not merely a hallucination brought about by fever, since the feeling continued long after my recovery. What I was sensing was triggered by the fact that Grenier himself has been deeply influenced in his own writing by the American modernism of the early twentieth century; by his readings of Jack London, Hemingway, Henry James, and Melville (the short stories in particular), and especially by F. Scott Fitzgerald, to whom he's devoted a book of criticism. Any American reader, or reader of American fiction, inevitably feels this influence on Grenier's writing. Someone once called Roger Grenier "the most French of American authors." The quip goes a long way toward explaining what drew me to translate him. I was, quite simply, drawn to his American side, which contributed to my impression that translating him into English would be, in a sense, "bringing him home."
As far as Grenier's celebrated "Americanness" goes, what I discovered when I actually began the sentence level work of translating him was that the American feel of his fiction, its very simplicity, was based on an extremely classical and Latinate syntax and prose style that is foreign to English. When two words in two different languages look alike but mean something different, we call them "false friends." Grenier's style, for the American translator, turns out to be another kind of "false friend": it sounds familiar, easy to translate, but it isn't. Take for example, the lyrical opening of Le Pierrot noir:
Grenier is a master of the adjectival past participle and the dependent clause, with a musical and insistent use of commas. His word order alone is extremely difficult to reproduce in English. What I had to deal with in this first sentence of his 1986 novel was a series of four dependent clauses leading up to a primary sentence whose subject is the untranslatable French pronoun "on". "On" is the bête noire of any American translator from the French, located somewhere between "you" and "one", but without the formality of our "one." Here is how I translated the sentences:
I brought in the present participles, "standing," "getting tired," "lingering," which gave the American sentences a more idiomatic feel. And I chose "you" instead of "one" for its greater intimacy, and for the connection it makes with the reader. As for the "moment privilégié et amer" at first I tried the construction "What a bitter and special moment, the one spent with the wooden horses." But it felt stiff, with none of the literary grace of the original. A translator I greatly admire, Ann Smock, suggested the phrasing I actually used, which I think captures both the lyrical quality of Grenier's sentence and its bitterness: "no other bitter moment is quite like the one..." But to do this I had to add the verb "is," eliminating Grenier's ellipsis.
What I've learned from my work translating Grenier is that what passes for extremely simple and limpid French can become contorted if you try to render it word for word. My work on this most French of American writers has made me think more generally about the relative translatability of modern American writers into French. Why did Faulkner, with his extremely difficult, local, and often wild prose, find his match right away in Coindreau, while the much more limpid Fitzgerald has been so much more of a challenge for French translators? Like a simple melody on the piano, a simple prose style in the original exposes the translator. It can be much harder to play.
As for our working relationship, I have been lucky to have found in Roger Grenier an author who is knowledgeable about English. Our best collaborative effort, I believe, has been on a novel called Partita, where I had the luxury of reading each chapter out loud to him in draft. He heard mistakes in vocabulary or idiom; I could hear the music of the American English taking shape. He suggested a title for the U.S. version, and Partita became Piano Music for Four Hands, a title I now think of as a metaphor for translating when it goes well.
Every act of translation is an act of attentiveness. As a translator, I notice aspects of style and language that would have escaped the part of me who is simply a reader, and even a literary critic. I retain this attentiveness in my own writing and this is one of the great gifts translation has offered me. In the act of translating, we come closer to the literary object than anyone else except the writer who has created it; and in so doing, we learn something about ourselves as writers. Writing is an open field for invention, while translation offers a limited space in which to observe and practice the rules of writing. It should come as no surprise that so many writers become translators at some point in their careers. There is no better writer's workshop.
 This essay began as a talk for Peter Burian's seminar on translation in the Program in Literature at Duke University, April, 2001; a subsequent version, translated into French by Sophie Queuniet, was given in Fabienne Durand-Bogaert's seminar on translation at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, in May 2001. I am grateful to Brice Amor and Geraldine Freed, Editions Gallimard, for their generous assistance with legal sources.
 Stacy Schiff, Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) . New York: Modern Library, 2000, p. 241.
 Alice Kaplan, French Lessons: A Memoir. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
 Antoine Berman, l'Epreuve de l'étranger, culture et traduction dans l'Allemagne romantique . Translated by S. Heyvaert as The Experience of the Foreign: Culture and Translation in Romantic Germany. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992 ; La Traduction et la lettre ou l'auberge du lointain. Paris : Le Seuil, 1999. On Berman, see also Fabienne Durand-Bogaert, « Pour oublier la langue : sur La Traduction et la lettre ou l'Auberge du Lointain de Antoine Berman et sur Poétique du traduire de Henri Meschonnic » in Critique no. 643, December 2000, pp. 1059-1069.
 Antoine Berman, The Experience of the Foreign, op. cit., p. 5.
 Tribunal commercial de la Seine, 26 June 1951, « Editions Payot c. Librairie Gibert Jeune, affaire Les Hauts de Hurlevent, » quoted by Henri Desbois, "Chroniques de Législation et de jurisprudence française » in Revue trimestrielle de droit commercial, vol. IV, 1951, pp. 763.
 Code annoté de la propriété intellectuelle, ed. Yves Marcellin. Paris : CEDAT, 2000. Article L. 112-4 ; « Protection par le droit d'auteur : originalité. »
 Virginia Woolf, « Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights » in The Common Reader. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1925, p 227.
Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris (3e chambre), 25 September 1974, Editions Gallimard c. Pierre Vialatte, cited in Revue Internationale du Droit d'Auteur, vol. LXXXIII, January 1975, pp. 135-138.
 «... des notes appelées par des majuscules et qu'on trouvera dans l'appareil critique à la fin du volume, un certain nombre de rectifications « : Franz Kafka, Oeuvres complètes, edition de Claude David, traduit de l'allemand par Alexandre Vialatte, tome 1. Paris : Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1976.
 "Jemand mußte Josef K. verleumdet haben..." Breon Mitchell's new English translation from 1998 (New York: Schocken Books, 1998) reads, much as Claude David suggests, "Someone must have slandered Josef K..."
 See 20 lignes par jour ; Plaisirs singuliers ; Cigarettes, etc.
 Philcox is not Condé's only translator, but he has translated her best known novels : The Last of the African Kings, Heremakhonon; Crossing the Mangrove; A Season in Rihata; and I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem.
 Alice Kaplan, ed., "Selling Céline: The Céline-Little Brown Correspondence" (1934-1938), Céline, USA, ed. Kaplan and Roussin. South Atlantic Quarterly. Durham: Duke University Press, 1994, pp. 373-420. Translated by Florence Vidal in L'Année Céline 1996. Tusson: du Lérot/IMEC, 1997, pp. 21-132.
 See Alice Kaplan and Philip Watts, « Les vicissitudes de la traduction anglaise de Voyage au bout de la nuit et de Mort à crédit, » traduit par Sophie Queuniet in L'Année Céline 1996. Tusson : du Lérot/IMEC, 1997, pp. 303-324.
 Philippe Roussin, " La traduction et l'identité de l'oeuvre littéraire selon Céline, » in Violence et Traduction: Actes du Colloque de Melnik, Bulgarie (7-10 May, 1993), ed. Fabienne Durand-Bogaert. Paris and Sofia: EHESS/ Université de Sofia, éditions Sofia, 1995, pp. 159-177.
 See Alice Kaplan and Philip Watts, op. cit..
 Roger Grenier, Trois heures du matin : Scott Fitzgerald. Paris : Gallimard/l'un et l'autre, 1995.
 Roger Grenier, Le Pierrot noir. Paris : Gallimard, 1986, p. 11.
 Roger Grenier, Another November. Translated with a preface by Alice Kaplan. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998, p. 3.
 Coindreau's affinity for Faulkner has been attributed to his Vendéen sensibility. See Maurice-Edgar Coindreau, Mémoires d'un traducteur: entretiens avec Christian Guidicelli. Paris: Gallimard, 1974.
Alice Kaplan is Professor of Romance Studies and Literature at Duke University. Her research interests include memory and history in post-World War II France, autobiography, and the cultural history of translation. Her books include Reproductions of Banality: Fascism, Literature, and French Intellectual Life (1986) ; French Lessons (1993) and The Collaborator: the trial and execution of Robert Brasillach (2000) which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history. Her translation of Louis Guilloux's OK, Joe will be published by the University of Chicago Press in fall 2003. A book in progress, entitled "The Interpreter", revolves around Guilloux's experience as an interpreter-translator for the United States Army at the Liberation of Brittany. Kaplan was the founding director of Duke's Center for French and Francophone Studies; she is a member of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and serves on the editorial board of South Atlantic Quarterly.