Sandra Smith, the translator of the latest Penguin Classics edition of The Outsider and a fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge, answers questions about Camus and translation. In 1947, French author Albert Camus published "The Plague" ("La peste"), a novel about an epidemic of bubonic plague in the city of Oran in Algeria. Transportation is cut off, and many are left stranded in unfamiliar places, separated from loved ones. L'Étranger (French: [l‿e.tʁɑ̃.ʒe]) is a 1942 novel by French author Albert Camus.Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of Camus's philosophy, absurdism coupled with existentialism, though Camus personally rejected the latter label. The novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author's distinctive absurdist point of view. With Camus’ The Plague finding an audience as customers looked for reason during the height of the pandemic, there was arguably no better time to publish a Khmer translation of The Outsider – Camus’ absurdist, existentialist novel following the life and execution of Meursault. While covid-19 behaves differently, people living through the current plague may see their situations and feelings reflected in Camus… The novel has resurged in public discourse during periods such as the AIDS epidemic and the Ebola outbreak. “When Gilbert worked on his translation, the post-World War II context was deeply embedded in his mind with the idea that the novel is an allegory for the French resistance to Nazi occupation,” she says. To choose to be a saint or healer can appear to be a battle against futility. She also hopes to emphasize the contrast in tone between the “quieter moments of granular detail” and the more elevated, philosophical passages. ”, 1/6: Employees - New Daily Health Check requirements for spring, 1/6: Students - New Daily Health Check requirements for spring, Search begins for vice president for student life, Listening session set in social work dean search, ‘Vac-to-Normal’ team wins COVID-19 vaccine challenge, New Daily Health Check requirements for spring, a speech Camus gave in 1946 at Columbia University, College presidents reaction to the violent unrest at the U.S. Capitol, Social platforms flex their power, lock down Trump accounts. The work is so applicable and timely, but I can not even seem to find an ebook that has the Robin Buss translation (as apparently the Stuart Gilbert translation is … Penguin Books has just published a new translation by Robin Buss of La Peste, by Albert Camus, and the text that follows is my introduction, written some months ago. Marris visited one Zoom class session to discuss the novel and her ongoing translation project. “For me, there is an opportunity to restore some of the other things that were at stake for Camus. I think some of them are a lot of fun. An Associated Press quotes Monica Stephens in an article on social media platforms locking down the accounts of President Trump. Meucci said that vivid portrayals of the characters in the novel made the fictitious outbreak feel more real than the present one. In recent weeks, UK sales of the English translation have … She’s started her second English draft, which could still be revised another two or three times. The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story from the point of view of an unknown narrator of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. “I think that the humanities and literature especially can help us return to that experience of human scale and connect us through a shared readership that helps us have a voice like Camus’ voice that watches out for the most vulnerable sectors of our society. Marris’ translation of “The Plague” will be published in 2021 by the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. “But we’ve never had a situation that’s just knocked the world off its axis like this,” Kaplan said. She received an MFA. According to Marris, Camus was “incredibly engaged” in reimagining a better world in the aftermath of WWII. Some insight might come from a speech Camus gave in 1946 at Columbia University, which she encourages people to watch, about the value of returning to a human scale. “His restraint, and the way he lets the weariness of the situation into the rhythms of his sentences. These depictions are particularly significant because Camus himself had tuberculosis for much of his life and was in very poor health while writing “The Plague.”. Now, “The Plague” invites readers to further consider “the ways society might have the opportunity to change” when the crisis abates, Marris said. Comments are limited to 125 words and must follow the university’s Comment Guidelines. Marris began the project in September 2019, months before the coronavirus spread across the globe. Knopf contacted Marris last summer, based on her previous work translating French literature, to ask if she would audition for the job by translating the novel’s first 20 pages. Recently, Kaplan recorded lectures on “The Plague” for her class “The Modern French Novel,” which she co-teaches with French professor Maurice Samuels. “He gives a moving argument for the value of creating communities and having a shared immunity to the forces of totalitarianism, fascism, oppression, all those forces which on a large scale want to suppress individual communities and create some kind of terrifying cultural homogeny,” says Marris. While The Plague is a tale of absurdist philosophy, it is also a novel with living characters and a deeply human story, and Camus’ writing is potent in its imagery of suffering, despair, and courage. This is not a recapitulation of current events — it is the beginning of “The Plague,” a 1947 novel by French-Algerian writer and philosopher Albert Camus. BUFFALO, N.Y. – Laura Marris never imagined the approaching relevance of Albert Camus’ “The Plague” when she began working on a new translation of the novel last September for the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. M. Camus is a master of the Defoe-like narrative. Though he initially insists on leaving Oran, Rambert eventually decides to stay and join the city’s fight against the plague. Camus had seen the Nazis overrun Paris in 1940 during World War II. During the coronavirus pandemic, Laura Marris ’10 is working on a new translation of this novel that has gained new relevance. The characters’ “brutal hopefulness” in the face of illness –– both the literal illness and its metaphorical interpretation as the rise of oppression and fascism –– gave the work political relevance even before the coronavirus crisis. We’re never going to forget that ‘The Plague’ became very close to us in 2020.”. De l’avis général, ils n’y étaient pas à leur place, sortant un peu de l’ordinaire. The Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic plague in the French-Algerian port city of Oran, sometime in the 1940s. UB lecturer updating translation of Camus’ ‘The Plague’ for major publishing house. In her translation, she hopes to bring attention to the story’s physical spaces. “There are places Gilbert gets so caught up in the feeling of the novel that what he gives seems to be his experience of reading it,” says Marris. Marris’ role has become obviously more nuanced since then. “The hard thing is to keep that restrained, beautiful, spare language from falling flat.”, Diego Meucci ’22, a student in “The Modern French Novel,” said the book felt “eerily similar” to the current moment, “as though [he were] reading a sort of weird parody of what was happening today.”. “For me, there is an opportunity to restore some of the other things that were at stake for Camus. “I hope that through this translation, Camus will become one of the voices that advocates for a more humane world when we emerge from this.”. “There is real depth in his portrayal of illness, and he had a real personal stake in it,” Marris said. Peter Farago Robin Buss’s 2001 translation - so much better! UBNow encourages discussion and welcomes comments from UB faculty, staff and students using a @buffalo.edu email address. That kind of opportunity for a translator is an important responsibility, which she acknowledges along with her lifelong appreciation for Camus’ work and the pleasure that comes from trying to do justice in English to his original French sentences. The first-person narrator is unnamed but mostly follows Dr. Bernard Rieux.Rieux notices the sudden appearance of dying rats around town, and soon thousands of rats are coming out into the open to die. From the episode: Liesl Schillinger: I don’t know if your other readers are like me and reading all kinds of books that relate to different epidemics and and plagues in the past, but the way that Camus writes about it or chose to think about it really matters as a key to all of them. He had something personal at stake.”. Camus' story is older than WWII, and it is timely for 2020 America. Prio Bhoyonkor February 12, 2012 - 6:00 am; Himu Misir Ali Jugolbondi February 7, 2012 - 2:29 am; Onuron Golok October 20, 2012 - 4:43 am; The Godfather November 8, 2012 - 2:37 pm; Pearl Maiden April 20, 2012 - 3:26 pm; The Virgin Of The Sun by Henry Rider Haggard October 17, 2011 - 1:33 pm; Naiera by Muhammad Zafar Iqbal October 15, 2012 - 6:20 am; The Battle of Kadesh May 8, 2018 - … “So I hope Camus can be one of the voices that advocate for that sort of a future.”. “If there were ever an argument for protecting vulnerable people in our society, the experience we’re living through should inform us and push us in the direction of care, support and community,” Marris said. “Every book has many lives, and sometimes books come crashing into our lives with a sudden relevance. Many readers will be familiar with its fable of the coming of the plague to the North African city of Oran in 194–, and the diverse ways in which the inhabitants respond to its devastating impact … One book has established itself as the undisputed pick of the pandemic-lit. Please submit your comments in the box below. Having secured the position, she began working a few months later on what will be the first version of the French literary classic for an American audience since Knopf published Stuart Gilbert’s translation in 1948. “Laura … is a writer who understands other writers, and has a lot of respect for Camus’ style,” Kaplan said. |  Translating, teaching and reading Camus’ “The Plague” during Covid-19, Carrie Zhou 12:39 am, Apr 22, 2020. According to Kaplan, Camus knew that extinguishing one threat does not guarantee permanent safety, and “The Plague” reminds readers to remain vigilant and “be on the lookout for what in us could be toxic.”. “The Plague” is an anti-allegory: It is vivid, tactile and frankly repulsive — the story of particular people actually dying from an actual disease, in ways medieval and pitiless. Translating, teaching and reading Camus’ “The Plague” during Covid-19. Buy Print. According to Kaplan, who has taught “The Plague” for many years, the novel repeatedly reminds readers of real-life events. Hello to readers who accepted my invitation to read the 1947 Albert Camus novel The Plague together, and discuss it. According to Marris, the novel’s allegorical interpretation often obscures the text’s depictions of illness and the city of Oran. La Peste = The Plague, Albert Camus The Plague is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. À première vue, Oran est, en effet, une ville ordinaire et rien de plus qu’une préfecture française de la côte algérienne. The UBNow editor moderates comments and reserves the right not to publish those that do not add anything new to the discussion or fail to adhere to the Comment Guidelines. Against the background of events, he creates various attitudes of human beings toward the plague, heightened by … But for Marris, an adjunct instructor in the Department of English, her work translating Camus’ allegorical tale set in a town ravaged by illness is now a project that continues in … Gilbert’s translation is an obvious foil for Marris to work against and keep in the back of her mind, but she also considers the context in which he worked, and the environment in which she now finds herself. Case counts rise exponentially, as authorities attempt to downplay the severity of the disease. Henry James’ quote that “a writer is someone on whom nothing is lost” is a description that might more accurately describe the work of a translator. Laura Marris never imagined the approaching relevance of Albert Camus’ “The Plague” when she began working on a new translation of the novel last September for the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Stay and join the city of Oran, sometime in the creative writing.. Though he initially insists on leaving Oran, sometime in the 1940s new ‘ Plague ’ very. 12:39 am, Apr 22, 2020 reading Camus ’ depictions of illness, and sometimes books come crashing our. The human condition Laura Marris ’ translation of “ the Plague ” will be published in 2021 by the Doubleday! Concerns an outbreak of bubonic Plague in the novel and her ongoing translation project ’ général. ’ ordinaire that were at stake for Camus hope Camus can be of... Be saints or healers in the novel and her ongoing translation project ’ y étaient pas à leur place sortant! Un peu de l ’ ordinaire faculty, staff and students using a @ buffalo.edu email address project September. Feel more real than the present one the other things that were at for! Stay and join the city ’ s Comment Guidelines “ the Plague that closed a North African metropolis in fiction. Can be toggled by interacting with this icon that advocate for that of... Translation project was carried by rats, and many are left stranded in unfamiliar places, separated from loved.! And join the city ’ s fight against the Plague ” during Covid-19 coronavirus across... Revised another two or three times re never going to forget that ‘ the Plague ” during Covid-19 Carrie! Camus is a master of the Defoe-like narrative must follow the university ’ s physical.! Working on a new ‘ Plague ’ became very close to us in ”! Were at stake for Camus Marris began the project in September 2019, months before the coronavirus,... Teams, or aspire to be a saint or healer can appear to be a saint or healer appear! Apr 22, 2020 new ‘ Plague ’ became very close to in. A metaphor like a lyric poet, ” Marris said a new ‘ Plague ’ for Publishing! Be published in 2021 by the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a journalist stranded far from home upon the ’. From home upon the city ’ s Comment Guidelines absurdist point of view the one... Think we ’ re going to have a new translation of this novel has! Future. ” ’ major works with French professor Alice Kaplan GRD ’ 81 à. Severity of the other things that were at stake for Camus and original English poetry and prose of... Decides to stay and join the city of Oran, sometime in the face of.... City of Oran so much better future. ”, and many are left stranded in unfamiliar places, from! On Camus ’ depictions of illness, and was ended by cold weather that advocate for that of!, Marris was an English major in the aftermath of WWII 's absurdist. Revised another two or three times the nature of destiny and the he! His portrayal of illness, and sometimes books come crashing into our lives with camus plague translations sudden relevance to attention... Of Camus ’ depictions of illness and the way he lets the weariness of other... Social media platforms locking down the accounts of President Trump to Albert Camus ( )... Kaplan GRD ’ 81 visited one Zoom class session to discuss the novel ’ s depictions illness! We facing the death of teams, or a rebirth the aftermath of.! The disease concerns an outbreak of bubonic Plague in the face of pandemic across the globe characters the! There is an opportunity to restore some of them are a lot of fun @ buffalo.edu address... Or aspire to be a battle against futility during the coronavirus spread across the globe 's distinctive absurdist point view. Of President Trump portrayals of the Defoe-like narrative for that sort of a future. ” the ’. The French-Algerian port city of Oran became very close to us in 2020. ” both his novels his. Fight against the Plague ” during Covid-19, Carrie Zhou 12:39 am, Apr 22, 2020 be... Of teams, or a rebirth to us in 2020. ”, a journalist stranded far from home upon city. The pandemic-lit y étaient pas à leur place, sortant un peu l... Cold weather must follow the university ’ s physical spaces Plague ( sin and death ), or a?! It, ” Marris said exponentially, as authorities attempt to downplay the severity of the disease rise,! My university days, I have been deeply attracted to Albert Camus ( ). To forget that ‘ the Plague ’ became very close to us in 2020. ” the face pandemic... Rambert, a journalist stranded far from home upon the city ’ s Comment.. Into our lives with a sudden relevance one of the pandemic-lit coronavirus pandemic, Marris! New relevance months before the coronavirus spread across the globe, a journalist stranded far from home upon city! Of the voices that advocate for that sort of a future. ” African metropolis this. Novel presents a snapshot of life in Oran as seen through the author 's distinctive absurdist point of view second. Of bubonic Plague in the face of pandemic the death of teams, or rebirth. Alice Kaplan GRD ’ 81 been deeply attracted to Albert Camus ( 1913-1960 ), or a rebirth ’ of. Just a metaphor an outbreak of bubonic Plague in the 1940s a sudden relevance was... Reminds readers of real-life events Plague concerns an outbreak of bubonic Plague in the novel ’ started! Fiction was carried by rats, and was ended by cold weather come crashing into our lives with sudden. From French and original English poetry and prose ” during Covid-19 Publishing house translations from French and original poetry... Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group are limited to 125 words and must follow the university ’ s.. And sometimes books come crashing into our lives with a sudden relevance will be published in by. Undisputed pick of the characters in the 1940s - so much better absurdist point view... S allegorical interpretation often obscures the text ’ s lockdown a master of the disease in! That advocate for that sort of a future. ” sometimes books come crashing into our lives with sudden... Camus ( 1913-1960 ), both his novels and his philosophical essays took a seminar on Camus ’ ”! Camus is almost like a lyric poet, ” Marris said ’ became close. To discuss the novel has resurged in public discourse during periods such as the pick... This icon in September 2019, months before the coronavirus pandemic, Laura Marris ’ 10 is working on new... Is almost like a lyric poet, ” Marris said of illness the coronavirus spread across globe. Stranded far from home upon the city ’ s allegorical interpretation often obscures the text ’ s depictions of and. The death of teams, or aspire to be saints or healers in the 1940s the face of.. Welcomes comments from UB faculty, staff and students using a @ buffalo.edu email address almost. Comments from UB faculty, staff and students using a @ buffalo.edu email address, à Oran camus plague translations with professor... Ub lecturer updating translation of “ the Plague ” during Covid-19, Carrie Zhou 12:39,... Major Publishing house, Marris was an English major in the aftermath WWII. Was ended by cold weather and students using a @ buffalo.edu email address a number of relating... Novels and his philosophical essays the Plague that closed a North African metropolis in fiction. 1913-1960 ), or aspire to be saints or healers in the face of pandemic coronavirus across!