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Alice Kaplan (French, Yale)



Alice Kaplan


Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm


Pigott Hall (Building 260), Room 252



Alice Kaplan (French, Yale)

The Department of French and Italian is pleased to announce its 2016 Distinguished Lecture:
"How Albert Camus's L'Etranger became The Stranger:  literary translation and the long life of a classic"
Albert Camus's L'Etranger has been best-seller for so long,  we forget it was ever anything else.  But literary classics are made, not born. Though The Stranger was  a book very few readers understood or appreciated when it was published in 1942, it became a household name—a regular on lists of the great books of the 20th century.  Alice Kaplan delved into publishers' archives to uncover a a key episode in L'Etranger's career:  the first translation of the French novel into English, in the United States and in England, four years after its publication—in 1946, when the war in Europe had been over for only a year.  This is a tale of two cities, involving an author, his publishers, his translator,  and his readers and reviewers.   Knowledge of French is welcome but absolutely not required!
Co-sponsored by the Department of French and Italian and the French Culture Workshop
Alice Kaplan is the John M. Musser Professor of French at Yale University, where her research focuses on World War II and post-war France, literature and law, biography/autobiography, and French cultural studies. She is the author of numerous articles and scholarly books, including Reproductions of Banality (1986), The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach (2000), The Interpreter (2005), and Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis (2012). In addition, she has published several literary translations by authors such as Roger Grenier, Louis Guilloux, and Evelyne Bloch-Dano. Her 1993 memoir, French Lessons, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography/autobiography. Her latest book, Looking for "The Stranger": Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, will be in September 2016 by University of Chicago Press.