Brice Matthieussent, "Revenge of the Translator," with Emma Ramadan
April 17, 2019, 7:00 PM
“At once a powerful satire and an ode to a collaborative art form, this delightful novel will have readers scratching their heads, retracing their steps, and delighting anew in the art of translation, including Ramadan’s own skillful work here.” — Publishers Weekly
Revenge of the Translator follows Trad, who is translating a mysterious author’s book, Translator’s Revenge, from English to French. The book opens as a series of footnotes from Trad as he justifies changes he makes. As the novel progresses, Trad begins to take over the writing, methodically breaking down the work of the original writer and changing the course of the text. The lines between reality and fiction start to blur as Trad’s world overlaps with the characters in Translator’s Revenge, who seem to grow more and more independent of Trad’s increasingly deranged struggle to control the plot. Revenge of the Translator is a brilliant, rule-defying exploration of literature, the act of writing and translating, and the often complicated relationship between authors and their translators.
Brice Matthiessent will be joined in conversation by translator Emma Ramadan.
Brice Matthieussent is an award-winning translator of over 200 books from English into French, works by Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Bret Easton Ellis, Thomas Pynchon, Jim Harrison, and Charles Bukowski. He graduated from the École nationale supérieure Mines de Paris in 1973, and earned his PhD in philosophy in 1977. Matthieussent currently resides in Marseille, France, where he teaches the history of contemporary art and aesthetics at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Revenge of the Translator, awarded the Prix du style Cultura, is his debut novel, and his first to appear in English. He is also the author of the novels, Good Vibrations (2014), and Luxuosa (2015), all published by P.O.L.
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, Rhode Island, where she co-owns Riffraff bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of the 2018 Albertine Prize, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, an NEA Translation Fellowship, and a Fulbright fellowship for her work. Her translations include Brice Matthieussent's Revenge of the Translator, Anne Garréta's Sphinx and Not One Day, Ahmed Bouanani's The Shutters, and Virginie Despentes's Pretty Things, among others.