In Conversation: Joyce Zonana and Paul Eprile
February 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
About this Event
Join us Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Central for a virtual conversation between two writers and translators. Joyce Zonana will discuss her translation of Jóusè d’Arbaud’s The Beast, and Other Taleswith Paul Eprile.
About the book: A classic of modern Provençal literature, Jóusè d’Arbaud’s 1926 masterpiece “The Beast of Vacarés” (also known as “The Beast of Vaccarès”) is a haunting parable. Set during the fifteenth century, the tale is narrated by a solitary bull herder—known as a gardian—who stumbles upon a starving creature that is half man, half goat. Terrified, the gardian is nonetheless drawn to the eloquent Beast, a dying demigod who laments the loss of his glorious past even as he wields power over the animals around him. Torn between pity and fear, unable to understand his experiences and afraid he will be condemned for heresy, the gardian records his encounters in a journal, hoping that one day readers will make sense of what he cannot.
Set in the vast, lonely landscape of the Camargue delta, where the Rhône meets the Mediterranean, The Beast seamlessly melds fantasy with naturalistic detail about the region’s flora and fauna. Three additional stories—“The Caraco,” “Pèire Guilhem’s Remorse,” and “The Longline”—explore the lives of twentieth-century gardians in the region. Each man succumbs to fears and social pressure, tragically losing what he most loves.
About the translator: Joyce Zonana is an award-winning writer and literary translator. Her translations include Henri Bosco’s Malicroix (New York Review Books Classics) and Tobie Nathan’s A Land Like You (Seagull Books). A MacDowell Fellow, she is the author of a memoir, Dream Homes: From Cairo to Katrina, an Exile’s Journey, and is a regular contributor to the blog, Feminism and Religion. Her translation of Jóusè d’Arbaud’s The Beast, and Other Tales (Northwestern UP) was awarded the 2019 Global Humanities Translation Prize by Northwestern University’s Global Humanities Initiative.
About the interlocutor: Paul Eprile, a translator, poet, and beekeeper, lives in an orchard northwest of Toronto. His translations of Jean Giono’s Hill, and Melville: A Novel, have been published by New York Review Books. For Melville he received the French-American Foundation’s Translation Prize in 2018. A third Giono, The Open Road, is forthcoming in 2021. Eprile is currently retranslating Colette’s Chéri, and La fin de Chéri.
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