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(Hybrid) The Task of Translation with Cécile Wajsbrot, Tess Lewis, and Anne Weber

Tue May 23 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Three translators reflect upon their movements between different languages and times in a discussion of Cecile Wajsbrot’s new, Virginia Woolf-inspired work, Nevermore.

In Cecile Wajsbrot’s Nevermore, a translator haunted by her past moves to a town with its own dark history in order to begin a translation of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. Working on Woolf’s chapter “Time Passes,” she undertakes her own meditation upon the passage of time and the movement of history. Confronting the violent scars of World War II in Woolf’s writing and in Dresden, her new home, our narrator experiences a fusion of the space of the novel with the space around her. As a translator, she is trained to navigate different worlds. Yet with this project, she risks losing herself entirely in this new realm where time, space, and language–much like waves at sea–overlap. Wajsbrot will speak with translators Anne Weber and Tess Miller about the task of the translator, finding the language to recreate destroyed epochs, and the fragile boundaries between literature and life. 

About the speakers:

Cécile Wajsbrot was born in Paris in 1954. She writes mostly novels, sometimes essays and radio fictions. She is also a translator, from the English (for instance Virginia Woolf) and from the German. Her latest novel, Nevermore, published in 2021, deals with the process of translation. For more than twenty years she has been living in Paris and Berlin.

Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Lewis is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and was awarded the ACFNY Translation Prize and the 2017 PEN Translation Prize for her translation of the novel Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap.

Anne Weber is a German-French author and translator based in Paris. She has received the 3Sat award at the Festival of German-Language Literature as well as a European translation award for her translation of Pierre Michon. Her most recent novel, Epic Annette, won the 2020 German Book Prize. She was awarded the 2022 Leipzig Book Fair Prize in Translation for her German version of NEVERMORE.

Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Wajsbrot, Lewis, and Weber will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.

This event requires advance registration.

Attendance at this event constitutes permission for your photograph or video to be taken at the event and used by the American Library in Paris for marketing, promotional, pedagogical, or other purposes.

Evenings with an Author are free and open to the public (with a 10€ suggested donation)
thanks to the generous support of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten of GRoW @ Annenberg.


Tue May 23
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
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