Saturday, October 20, 2012- 8:00 PM
How do you transfer meaning from one language to another? David Bellos, professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton (and director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication) will speak on the history and art of translation, from Babel to Google. Bellos has translated many works by Georges Perec and other French novelists and is the author of a witty survey of translation and interpreting practices and myths (e.g. the “Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax”): his best-selling book Is That a Fish in Your Ear? was one of the New York Times’s “100 Notable Books of 2011” and a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award.
David Bellos gained his doctorate in French literature from Oxford University (UK) and taught subsequently at Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester before coming to Princeton in 1997. He worked first in nineteenth century studies, particularly on the novel and the history of literary ideas, then developed interests in modern and contemporary French writing, as the translator and then the biographer of Georges Perec. He has interests in several other fields, including the history of the book and film studies, but has been engaged most of all in recent years in literary translation and in Translation Studies. He has a joint appointment in French and Comparative Literature and is also Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He has won the French-American Foundation’s translation prize (1988), the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie (1994) and the Man Booker International translator’s award (2005).