French Books USA: Week in Review
Badiou a Success at Avignon
At the 69th edition of the Festival d'Avignon, French philosopher Alain Badiou's "hyper-translation" of Plato's Republic (which includes a radically updated cast, language, and interpretation) underwent a public reading with actors and festival attendees participating in the engagement. Under the aim of "establish[ing] true exchange at a time when people so often talk at cross purposes...in a world that seems to have lost all meaning," Badiou's Republic found itself at the heart of the festival (which finished this week) through daily readings and an adventerous interplay between actors and the public.
Piketty Review in New York Times
Nearly two decades after its initial release, Piketty's Economics of Inequality is being reissued, and noted New York Times writer Paul Krugman wonders why. In 2014, Piketty made a "huge splash" with Capital in the 21st Century, with his popularity among readers the world over leading to a second look at some of his earlier work. A rounding of Piketty's oeuvre, or an attempt to capitalize on his rockstar status?
Homme de Plume
Besides being women, what do Georges Sand and Eliot, the Brontë sisters, and J.K. Rowling have in common? They all have, at one point or during their entire careers, written under male pen names. It should come as no surprise that some women still write under male names for the sake of getting more recognition, eight times more recognition in fact, so with a problem ingrained into the issue itself, how does this impact works in translation? Alison Anderson takes a fascinating look at books written by women in translation and questions why, despite the fact that "two-thirds of the translators nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize along with their authors are women," women make up only one sixth of the eventual shortlists.
New York, NY