Call for Papers

« The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. »

(Wittgenstein quoted by Carter in her Journal of the Japan years)

This international conference under the aegis of the Angela Carter Society seeks to explore the transnational and translational dimension inherent in the emergence, development, dissemination and reception of Angela Carter’s œuvre in order to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the birth of one of the most original, thought-provoking and influential British writers of the late twentieth century.

The aim of the conference is two-fold: firstly, we will investigate an understudied aspect of her extremely rich and diverse output, i.e. the key role of translation in fashioning her unique voice and style. Translating indeed soon became inseparable from her creative practice, and stimulated her thoughts on language, reading, and writing encapsulated in the famous image of the ‘new wine in old bottles’ to capture her reading-writing method and literary project. Carter mostly translated from the French but she also had a keen interest in Middle English, German, Japanese, and Italian, among other languages, as well as accents, tones, registers and varieties of English. We will trace the impact of foreign languages on her versatile style and reflect more generally on the effects and implications of her philological curiosity that led her to experiment across languages, genres and media. Her fiction indeed reflects a taste for etymologies, antiquated forms of speech, foreign idioms, syntax and grammar, but also ideograms, visual signs, music (song, opera) and non-verbal forms of communication.

Secondly, we will trace the international dissemination and impact of her work in translation, including in Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese/Brazilian, Spanish, and Swedish, to supplement the issue of the Cahiers du CTL guest edited by Martine Hennard Dutheil in 2014. In recent years reprints of existing translations (e.g. Christian Bourgois in France), or retranslations of Carter’s fiction (e.g. in Italy and Japan), along with a second-wave of criticism, testify to a renewed interest in her oeuvre led by a new generation of Carter scholars applying new approaches to her work and inspired by her cross-linguistic, intercultural and transmedial creative method. To do so, we will examine specific (re)translation projects, illustrated editions such as Jesús Gómez Gutiérrez’s La cámara sangrienta with artwork by Alejandra Acosta, and Charlotte Croft’s film adaptation of ‘Flesh and the Mirror’, which all shed new light on Carter’s many-faceted and continuously inspiring work.

Participants will be expected to be members of the Angela Carter Society, so please join the association if you are not a member already. The conference is organized by the English department (UNIL) in partnership with the CIRPaLL (University of Angers), and supported by the Centre de Traduction Littéraire (CTL) and the Centre Interdisciplinaire d’Etude des Littératures (CIEL).

Please contact the organizers by 18 September 2019 if you are interested in the event. Abstracts for papers (c. 300 words), to be accompanied by a short bio-bibliographical note (c. 200 words), should be sent to Martine.HennardDutheil@unil.ch by 18 December 2019.

Keynote speaker : Prof. Marie Mulvey-Roberts, co-founder of the Angela Carter Society (UWE, Bristol)