Adam Thorpe’s translation of Madame Bovary was published by Vintage in 2011. Prior to its release, he wrote a piece for The Guardian explaining his approach to translating the text, and justifying what he believed set his translation apart from that of Lydia Davis, whose own translation predated Thorpe’s by only a year.
Writing for The Guardian in 2006, Julian Barnes reimagined the end of Flaubert’s iconic novel and provided Emma with opportunity to “correct” her story. This alternative ending was originally published in The Guardian on 30th September 2006 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first part of Madame Bovary in the Revue de Paris.
Julian Barnes compares translations of Gustave Flaubert’s great novel, on the occasion of the publication of Lydia Davis’ translation in 2010. Read an extract from Barnes’ article here.
In a review for Observer.com, Rex Reed savaged Sophie Barthes’ 2015 film adaptation of Madame Bovary, awarding it only 2/4 stars and ultimately declaring, “the movie suffers from too much respect and not enough passion”. Read on for a brief extract.
Following her 2010 translation of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Lydia Davis wrote about her experience and some of the vagaries inherent in any act of translation for The Paris Revue.
Our third BookTalk event of 2019 takes place on Wednesday 15th May 2019 at 6.30 pm (for 7.00 pm), and will combine discussion of classic and translated literature with the influential French classic Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
A report by Caleb Sivyer on the first BookTalk of the 2015/16 season, which took place on 19 Nov 2015: a “dark listening” of Emile Zola’s turgid tale of sexuality and insanity, La Bête humaine.
But by now every telegraph bell along the line was ringing, and every heart beat faster at the news of this ghost train that had just been seen passing through Rouen and Sotteville. People were afraid: there was an express travelling further up the line, it would surely be caught. Like a wild boar charging through a forest, the train continued on its way, oblivious to red signals and detonators alike. At Oissel it nearly collided with a pilot-engine; it brought terror to Pont-de-l’Arche, for its speed showed no sign of slackening. Once more it vanished, and on it raced, onward and onward into the dark night, bound they know not where, simply onward. What did it matter what victims it crushed in its path! Was it not, after all heading into the future, heedless of the blood that was spilled?— Émile Zola, La Bête humaine (1890), ch. 12
In the frenzy of his desire to have her, and excited by her caresses, Jacques, having no other weapon, was already stretching out his fingers to strangle Severine when she herself, from habit, turned and put out the lamp. Then he took her, and they lay together. It was one of their most passionate nights of love, and best of all, the only time when they had felt completely merged together, completely obliterated each in the other.— Émile Zola, La Bête humaine (1890), ch. 11