Translation and response between Maurice Blanchot and Lydia Davis

Jonathan Evans

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The American writer and translator Lydia Davis’s first book as an author, The Thirteenth Woman and Other Stories, was published in 1976, a year after she published her first book length translation, Arabs and Israelis: A dialogue, by Saul Friedländer and Mahmoud Hussein, which Davis co-translated with her then husband Paul Auster. In her career, writing has always co-existed with translating. Her identity as a writer is sometimes overshadowed by her activity as a translator: as James Wood remarks, when he first heard of Davis in the mid-1990s, “[s]he was known as a translator of the French autobiographer Michel Leiris and the philosopher and critic Maurice Blanchot” (88). Since the 1990s, she has published two other major translations: The Way by Swann’s, a translation of Marcel Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann, in 2002 and a translation of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in 2010, showing a continuation of her translation activity throughout her career.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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