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“Rewriting my Novels in Arabic and Italian: Going beyond Self-Translation”

A talk by novelist AMARA LAKHOUSLakhous_cover

Thursday 3 May 2011

Victorian Trades Hall, Carlton

In this talk, the author Amara Lakhous, who publishes in both Arabic and Italian, discussed his novels Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio (Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio) and Divorzio all’islamica a viale Marconi (Divorce Islamic Style). The multilingual Lakhous, who has lived in Italy for many years, experiments with language by enriching his Italian prose with expressions, imagery and terms from his homeland, Algeria: “I Arabise Italian and Italianise Arabic”, he explains.



Thursday 17 November 2011

Alliance Francaise Melbourne

AALITRA, in collaboration with the French Studies and Translation Studies Programs of Monash University and the Alliance Française de Melbourne presented a panel discussion of the new translation of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le Deuxième Sexe (The Second Sex) (London, Vintage, 2010) with the translators, Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier.


With a keynote address by DAVID DAMROSCH

11-12 July 2011

Monash Caulfield Campus, Melbourne

Where literature exists, translation exists. The very notion of literature would be inconceivable without translation. Goethe believed that without outside influences national literatures rapidly stagnate. Authors have always borrowed and been influenced by writers in other languages.

AALITRA was pleased to be a co-sponsor of the international conference “Literature and Translation” in collaboration with the Australasian Association for Literature (AAL) and the Literature Research Unit at Monash University. The keynote speaker was David Damrosch (Harvard University).

The audio recording of David Damrosch’s keynote address “Translation and World Literature” is available here: David Damrosch on Literature and Translation

For more information, please visit the conference website.



Wednesday 13 April 2011

La Trobe University Franklin St Campus

This talk focused on largely personal experiences of being translated, with some general points, from the literary viewpoint, of rival translations of great books.

Rodney Hall has had 37 books published. These include fiction, non-fiction, poetry and stage works. His work is published in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada and in translation into German, French, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese and Korean. His many radio and TV scripts have been broadcast by the ABC and the BBC.

He has twice won the Miles Franklin Award (for Just Relations in 1982 and The Grisly Wife in 1994) and been three times nominated for the Booker Prize in the UK. He won the Canada-Australia Award in 1988 and the Victorian Premier’s prize for Captivity Captive in 1989. He was poetry editor of The Australian from 1967-1978. He was presented with the gold medal of the Australian Literature Society in 1992 and again in 2001.

The New York Times praised him as “A thrillingly smart and juicy writer.” The Saturday Review (USA) said “He immediately establishes his place among the best writers of his time.”

In 1990 he was awarded membership of the Order of Australia. In 1991 he was appointed for a three-year term as Chairman of the Australia Council. In 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal. His latest publication is a memoir Popeye never told you (Pier 9, 2010).


“Russian Gangsters, Ersatz Diamonds, and Translation as Commentary: Thoughts on Translating José Manuel Prieto’s REX

A talk by ESTHER ALLEN of Baruch College, City University of New York

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Monash University Caulfield Campus

The translation of a work of contemporary literature, particularly one launched within the commercial publishing marketplace, is expected to convey “the work itself” in another language. It is not expected to tell us anything about the work or function as a commentary upon it; both the academic world and the publishing industry make a sharp distinction between the role of the translator of a contemporary work and that of the critic or theorist who may comment upon it. However, the translation of a novel such as REX by José Manuel Prieto, who began his literary career as a translator from Russian to Spanish, and whose work is situated at the borders between cultures rather than within any one of them, upends those expectations in ways that compel a rethinking of the relationship between translation and commentary.

Esther Allen is an award-winning translator and academic. She has directed the work of the PEN Translation Fund since it was founded in 2003, and in 2006 she was named a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres in recognition of her work to promote a culture of translation in the United States. With Salman Rushdie and Michael Roberts, she co-founded PEN World Voices: the New York Festival of International Literature.

Her translations include Alma Guillermoprieto’s Dancing with Cuba, Rosario Castellanos’s novel The Book of Lamentations, José Marti: Selected Writings, and The Selected Non-fiction of Jorge Luis Borges (with Eliot Weinberger and Suzanne Jill Levine). Her academic areas of expertise include the history and theory of literary translation, 19th- and 20th-century Latin American literature, and 19th- and 20th-century French literature.


“Under the Azure”: An afternoon with translator JANINE CANAN

Sunday 18 April 2010

Alice & Co., 159 Brunswick St Fitzroy

LITTLEFOX PRESS and AALITRA proudly presented afternoon tea with Janine Canan to celebrate the publication of Under the Azure.

Janine Canan was introduced to the poetry of Francis Jammes as a student of literature at Stanford. Her interest in the poet grew into a deep affinity over the years, and she translated two poems from Jammes’ Deuil des Primevères to include in her volume of poetry Changing Woman (2000).

During a trip to Paris, in 2006, she found herself browsing bookshops collecting works by Francis Jammes, and thinking of producing a substantial translation into English. She began as soon as she returned to California. A year later, Christine Mathieu suggesting editing the work for publication with Littlefox Press.

Under the Azure is the result of four years of dedication. It is the first English translation of Francis Jammes’ poetry since the volume Selected Poems of Francis Jammes by Bettina Dickie and Barry Gifford, published by Utah State University Press in 1970. Under the Azure contains seventy poems, thirty of which have never before been published in English. Melbourne singer Kavisha Mazella set several of Jammes poems to music and performed them at the launch.


Launch and lecture on “Translation and Dictatorship” by PETER MORGAN

Wednesday 31 March 2010

State Library of Victoria

The AALITRA Review, an electronic journal publishing original translations with commentary, as well as articles on aspects of literary translation, was launched by Peter Morgan, Foundation Professor of European Studies at the University of Sydney. The launch was preceded by a talk by Professor Morgan on “Translation and Dictatorship: The Case of Ismail Kadare”.



Saturday 29th August 2009

ACMI Studio 1

In this Melbourne Writers’ Festival event, organized under the aegis of AALITRA, the well known translator Peter Bush talked about the art of literary translation; Judith Rodriguez talked about translation in Australia; and Marie Darrieussecq talked about the experience of being translated, with her translator, Lia Hills. The panel chair was Elaine Lewis.


JULIE ROSE in conversation with EVELYN JUERS, with an introduction by BRIAN NELSON

Friday May 15 2009

Gleebooks, Glebe Point Road, Sydney

In this special event presented by AALITRA, Sydney PEN and Gleebooks, translator Julie Rose spoke about her work with Evelyn Juers, a German translator and author of the recently published House of Exile.

Julie Rose is a world-renowned translator of major French thinkers such as Paul Virilio. Her most recent work includes a new translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (New York, London: Random House, 2008), Catherine Rey’s Stepping Out (Sydney: Giramondo, 2008) and Letter to D by André Gorz (Sydney: HarperCollins, 2008; New York, Cambridge: Polity, 2009).

A full-time freelance translator, Julie lives in her hometown of Sydney with her husband, dog and two cats. After years of enjoying a fine ‘international reputation’, she is now being published in Australia.

Reviews of Julie Rose’s translation of Les Misérables:

This new translation marvelously removes the yellowed varnish from Hugo’s prose and gives us the racy, breathless and passionate intelligence of the original – Adam Gopnik

Rich and gorgeous. This is the one to read – Jeanette Winterson

Here, at long last, is a new translation… of Hugo’s behemoth classic that is as racy and current and utterly arresting as it should be – The Buffalo News

This is a lively, dramatic and wonderfully readable translation of one of the greatest 19th century novel – Alison Lurie

A triumph – Brian Nelson