Vladimir Nabokov and Translation: Transatlantic Symposium
Lille, France -- Chapel Hill, USA
Spring 2018 -- Fall 2018
No translator and translation theorist has brought an equal amount of attention to the humble applied craft of literary translation than Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977). Standing at the crossroads of five languages and a matching number of literary traditions (English, French, German, Italian, and Russian), he experienced translation on a level inaccessible to the majority of his predecessors, presaging and influencing our modern understanding of the indispensability of linguistic and cultural interconnection.
Nabokov’s entered literature as a translator. He claimed to have retold Mayne Reid’s The Headless Horseman in French alexandrines at eleven, while his adaptation of Romain Rolland’s Colas Breugnon became the most exacting rite of passage of his career in letters. Yet while the controversy stirred by his rendition of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and the methodology of “literalism” he applied therein forever changed the way we conceive of translation today, the totality of his work in translation remains the least appreciated and understood area of Nabokov’s creative enterprise.
The participants invited by the selection committee will have a choice to present their papers either in Lille, France (May 2018) or Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA (Autumn 2018). The two sections of the Symposium will work in concert to facilitate collaboration between participants on both sides of the Atlantic: papers will be made available to participants via a platform (written and/or recorded) and participants will be invited to collaborate when they focus on similar topics, to respond to a paper given in the previous section or to publish co-authored essays. This platform may also be used to work with graduate or post-graduate students in collaborative transatlantic seminars in translation.
If you wish your abstract to be considered for the first installment of the Symposium in Lille, France, please send your abstract by September 1, 2017, and by May 1, 2018, for Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
This project is organized with the French Society Vladimir Nabokov – Les Chercheurs Enchantés, The Université of Lille, SHS (France) (Unit Research CECILLE) and the Center for Slavic Eurasian and East European Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA).