The Queen’s Translation Exchange is delighted to co-host, with Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT), an evening organised by Queen’s DPhil candidate in French & German, Hannah Scheithauer.
Epic Annette: Podium Discussion with Anne Weber and Tess Lewis
Thursday, 8th February, 5-7pm, Shulman Auditorium, The Queen’s College
Registration free but essential: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFePK_VdFUD4kEHP-4lqc3I2qKpNeVV3j0GBKcfVsAiXzguw/viewform
Having grown up in Germany and later settled in France, Anne Weber is an author and translator whose work reaches across two distinct cultural contexts and linguistic traditions. Weber consistently completes both a French and a German version of her writings, engaging in practices of self-translation which maximise the creative potential of her two languages of expression. The stakes of translation, in this context, go far beyond the purely linguistic, as they necessitate an acute awareness to questions of history, memory, and cultural identity. This is aptly illustrated by her latest work. Published in 2020 and titled Annette, ein Heldinnenepos in German, Annette, une épopée in French, it retraces the life of a heroine of the French resistance, who came to fight for Algerian independence in the post-war era. Using a verse form inspired by ancient epic, Weber thus addresses the contested place of colonialism in French national memory. At the same time, the work speaks to distinctively German debates on the singular status of the Holocaust in the country’s memory culture and its relationship to other – and most notably, colonial – histories of violence.
The text was translated into English by Tess Lewis and published as Epic Annette: A Heroine’s Tale by Indigo Press in 2022. Having already won a PEN Translates Award for her skilful translation of the text’s unique form and style, Lewis has recently been shortlisted for the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, which will be awarded in February 2024. Lewis is an accomplished writer and translator from both French and German, with previous translation projects including a range of authors such as Peter Handke, Walter Benjamin, Montaigne, Lutz Seiler, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Christine Angot.
During the podium event, Weber and Lewis will discuss their work on the text, the relationship of translation and literary creation, and the challenges of conveying a complex and sensitive story to audiences with vastly different backgrounds, insights, and expectations. Their conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A and a drinks reception.