"Poetics of Work," with translator Sophie Lewis & Kate Briggs
March 9, 2021, 5:00 PM
Sophie Lewis discusses her new translation of Noémi Lefebvre's Poetics of Work, in conversation with Kate Briggs. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here:
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A state of emergency has been declared in France. In Lyon, protesters and police clash in the streets. At the unemployment office, there are few job opportunities for poets going around. So the poet reads accounts of life under the Third Reich and in Nazi language, smokes cannabis, walks through the streets, and eats bananas, drawn by an overbearing father into a hilarious and often cynical exploration of the push to be employed and the pull to write. In this Oulipian experiment written without gender markers for its narrator, Noémi Lefebvre presents us with a comic and irreverent reckoning with the rise of nationalism and the hegemony capitalism has on our language, actions, and identities.
Sophie Lewis is a literary editor and translator from French and Portuguese into English. While senior editor at fiction publisher And Other Stories, she edited authors both writing in English and in translation, including Deborah Levy, Lina Wolff and Juan Pablo Villalobos. She has translated Stendhal, Jules Verne, Marcel Aymé, Violette Leduc, Emmanuelle Pagano and João Gilberto Noll, among others. In February 2017, she was commended for the Scott Moncrieff Prize for her translation of Héloïse Is Bald by Émilie de Turkheim.
Kate Briggs is the translator of two Roland Barthes lecture volumes and seminar notes at the Collége de France: The Preparation of the Novel and How to Live Together, both published by Columbia University Press. She teaches at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam.