Review Comment

[FREN BC3040] 20th Century French Literature

January 08, 2013

Connor, Peter Silver_nugget
[CPLT BC3110] Intro to Translation Studies and [FREN BC3040] 20th Century French Literature

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The best thing I can recommend is going to office hours; he does have a tendency to drone sometimes (in 20th Century French Literature, for sure), but the material he presents to you is engaging enough that it merits more conversation. You'll want to talk about these things, you'll want to think about them. He's also a funny guy and good to get to know. His office hours (when he remembers that he has them, I suppose) are very instructive, and I get the idea that he likes talking to his students more than reading them. Here he can explain why he doesn't explicitly advocate for the "faithful" translations or too "foreignizing" translations...(hint: can be the same thing). Professor Connor doesn't like grading papers. He leaves grading them, and assigning them, to the last minute. You want to know how you did in the class? Don't worry about it, you probably didn't get anything near a B. But if you don't want to do any work in the class, it's your loss, you're not learning anything he's teaching, which is actually pretty interesting. But at least if you don't show up and don't do your reading, go out and do something better with your time than laying in bed with your computer. At least in Translation Studies, the only way to really understand the material is if you start translating yourself.

Translations/commentary: 25%
Written critique/appreciation of a peer translation: 15%
Midterm: 20%
Class participation: 15%
Final project: 25%

Books (at CU Bookstore):
Lawrence Venuti (ed.), The Translation Studies Reader (2nd ed. 2004)
Brian Friel, Translations
Additional texts made available through Courseworks

Week I (6 and 8 September)
In the beginning…
*Genesis 11 : 1-9 (Tower of Babel)
*Lawrence Venuti, "How to Read an Translation"
*Hugo Friedrich, "On the Art of Translation"
Friedrich Nietzsche, "Translations"
Friedrich Nietzsche, "On the Problem of Translation"
Roman Jakobson, "On Linguistic Aspects of Translation"

Week II (13 and 15 September)
Some basic concepts
J. W. von Goethe, "Translations"
*W. von Humboldt, "Introduction" to his translation of Agamemnon
*A. Schopenhauer, "On Language and Words"
Friedrich Schleiermacher, On the Different Methods of Translating (ext.)

Week III (20 and 22 September)
Foreign languages, mother tongues
Tuesday: *Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation (ext.); *Vassilis Alexakis, Foreign Words (ext.); *Gilles Deleuze, "Louis Wolfson; or, The Procedure"

Thursday: *Alice Kaplan, French Lessons (ext.); *Jean Kwok, Girl in Translation (ext.); *Evelyn Nien-Ming Ch'ien, Weird English (ext.)

Week IV (27 and 29 September)
Tuesday 27 September: Guest, Sandra Smith, Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge University, and English translator of the works of Irène Némirovsky, will talk about her work as a translator.
Thursday: Antoine Berman, "Translation and the Trials of the Foreign"

Week V (4 and 6 October)
Translation, Conflict, War
Tuesday: *Lawrence Venuti, The Translator's Invisibility ch. 1; *Alice Kaplan, "Translation : the Biography of an Art Form"
Thursday: *Antoine Berman, "The Project of a Productive Criticism"

Week VI (11 and 13 October)
Translation Criticism
Tuesday: In-class discussion of peer translations (Assignment #1)
Thursday: *Mona Baker, "Narratives in and of Translation"

Week VI (18 and 20 October)
Philosophy and Translation
Tuesday: Walter Benjamin, "The Task of the Translator"
Thursday: Benjamin (cont.)/activity

Week VII (25 and 27 October)
Translation and Postcolonialism I
Tuesday: *Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "The Language of African Literature" and *Chinua Achebe, "The African Writer and the English Language"
Thursday: G. Spivak, "The Politics of Translation"

Week VIII (1 and 3 November)

Translation and Postcolonialism II
Tuesday 1 November: Preparation for guest visitor
Thursday 3 November: Guest, distinguished poet and translator Arvind Krishna Mehrota will talk about his translations of Kabir.

Week IX (10 November)
Thursday 10 November: Translation and/as (Re)writing
J. L. Borges, "The Translators of the Thousand and One Nights"
*J. L. Borges, "An English Version of the Oldest Songs in the World"

Week X (15 and 17 November)
Tuesday 15 November: Translation, Globalization, and Migration: Community interpreting
*Michael Cronin, "Babel Átha Cliath: The Languages of Dublin"
*L. Jiang, "Community Interpreting"
*Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation, "Community Interpreting"
*M. Baker, "Ethics and Translation"
Optional: Mary Phelan, "Legal Interpreters in the News in Ireland"
[in class] Excerpt from film Dirty Pretty Things

Thursday 17 November: Guest Lecturer Nancy Piore will speak to us about her experience interpreting for asylum seekers in the NY court system, and her work with women prisoners in Cameroon.

Week XI (22 November)

*Douglas Robinson, The Translator's Turn (ext.)


Week XII (29 November and 1 December)
Brian Friel, Translations

Itamar Even-Zohar, "The Position of Translated Literature Within the Literary Polysystem"
*Zohar Shavit. Poetics of Children's Literature, ch. V ("Translation of Children's Literature"
*Rachel Weissbrod, The Tel Aviv School
Thursday 1 December

Week XIII (6 and 8 December)
Sociology of translation
Lori Chamberlain, "Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation"
*Anna Bogic, "The Story of the First English Translation of The Second Sex"
Final project due

FINAL EXAM (see Registrar's site)

Travail du cours:

1. Participation (15%)
2. Exposé oral (15%)
2. Deux devoirs écrits (25% chacun)
3. Examen final (20%)


Semaine 1 (6 et 8 septembre)

Semaine 2 (13 et 15 septembre)
André Gide, La Symphonie pastorale

Semaine 3 (20 et 22 septembre)
André Gide, La Symphonie pastorale

Semaine 4 (27 et 29 septembre)
Georges Bataille, Le Bleu du ciel

Semaine 5 (4 et 6 octobre)
Georges Bataille, Le Bleu du ciel
Albert Camus, L'Étranger
Premier devoir

Semaine 6 (11 et 13 octobre)
Albert Camus, L'Étranger

Semaine 7 (25 et 27 octobre)
André Breton, Nadja

Semaine 8 (1 et 3 novembre)
André Breton, Nadja

Semaine 9 (jeudi 10 novembre)
(mardi 8 novembre: Election Day Holiday)
André Breton, Nadja
Marguerite Duras, Moderato cantabile

Semaine 10 (15 et 17 novembre)
(mardi 6 novembre: Election Day Holiday)
Marguerite Duras, Moderato cantabile

Semaine 11 (22 novembre)
(24 novembre: Thannkgiving)
Samuel Beckett, Nouvelles et Textes pour rien
Deuxième devoir

Semaine 12 (29 novembre et 1 décembre)
Michel Houllebecq, Extension du domaine de la lute

Semaine 13 (6 et 8 décembre)
Patrick Modiano, Dora Bruder

Examen final


One paper? Two short papers? Nothing really, mostly 30-40 pages of reading a week. Oral final exams.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
FRNB / FREN FRNB FREN BC3040: 20th Century French Fiction Peter Connor 2009 Fall TR / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1
FRNB / FREN FRNB FREN BC3040: 20th Century French Fiction Peter Connor 2007 Fall TR / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1
FRNB / FREN FRNB FREN BC3040: 20th Century French Fiction Anne Boyman 2004 Spring MW / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1
FRNB / FREN FRNB FREN BC3040: 20th Century French Fiction Peter Connor 2002 Fall MW / 10:35-11:50 AM 1