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October042010

Tonight at 92nd Street Y: Lydia Davis & 'Madame Bovary'

Filed under: On the Spot   Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Jonathan Taylor writes:

Tonight in New York City at 8:00, 92 Street Y hosts Lydia Davis for "An Evening of Madame Bovary."

Kathryn Harrison's Times review of Davis's new translation of Madame Bovary makes a great case for (re)reading the novel, but doesn't really flesh out why Harrison finds Davis's translation choices so convincing. "Faithful to the style of the original, but not to the point of slavishness, Davis's effort is transparent," she writes, but that only raises questions of the sort the translator herself will probably address tonight.

Davis is not only a translator of Flaubert, but a fellow novelist (something often overlooked in the attention to her distinctive short fiction), who, within her essential novel The End of the Story, writes about the process of constructing a novel with the something like the meticulousness of Flaubert's that Harrison describes. A good recent interview by the Rumpus does justice to The End of the Story.

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