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Carroll en Francais

March 23, 2024 , 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

11:00AM Pacific / 2:00PM Eastern/ 6:00PM UK

Join this webinar on March 23.

Join us as Justine Houyaux and Douglas Kibbee explore French translations of Lewis Carroll’s works.

Surrealice-Adjacent: Three French Translators of Carroll in the Interwar Period with Justine Houyaux

After a brief contextualisation of the French reception (or lack thereof) of Lewis Carroll’s works, we will look into three of his translators of the late 1920s/early 1930s: Louis Aragon (1897-1982), Marie-Madeleine Fayet (1893-1963), and René Bour (1908-1934) through their translations of The Hunting of the SnarkAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There in order to discover what they had in common, and what they set them apart from each other— and from subsequent French translators.

Justine Houyaux is a PhD student at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies (CIRTI) at ULiège (Belgium) whose work focuses on the cultural elements in the French translations of Alice. Her latest work, Alice au Pays des merveilles, traduction et illustrations de René Bour (2023)is a new edition of Bour’s Carrollian endeavour (1937), presented together with the first-ever biography of the artist.

More curiouser and more curiouser! with Douglas Kibbee

“Lewis Carroll is untranslatable, and everywhere he has been translated” quipped Peter Rickard, a British scholar, back in 1975. At that point he identified sixteen translations of Alice in Wonderland into French. Now there are at least fifty-one. If translation of ordinary English is difficult, translating unconventional English is much more difficulter(!). We’ll examine the different rabbit holes followed by French translators in rendering one sentence: “Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice (she was so much surprised that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). Your contributions are welcome! No knowledge of French necessary.

Douglas Kibbee is professor emeritus of French Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over the years he has created a corpus of the fifty-one translations, organized sentence by sentence. He has also written several articles analyzing different aspects of these translations and translated himself folk tales from the Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).