French Books USA: Week in Review

August 6, 2015 | By Arian Murati
Alain Badiou

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 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.

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
Paying "tribute to all the ways parents can drive their kids crazy, and vice versa," Guy Delisle's The Owner's Manual to Terrible Parenting is a rip roaring series of comic vignettes centered around the little moments of madness that face all parents. Delivered with excellent pacing and wit, Delisle culls hilarity from the mundane. Published by Drawn and Quarterly and translated by Helge Dascher,The Owner's Manual to Terrible Parenting will see release this month. On the subject of comics, we recently covered the launch of ComiXology, and this week Delcourt have set up a section of their website dedicated to the digital publication of French comics in English.

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