Call for submissions Registration open

Translating Sounds in Proust / Traduire la sonorité dans l’œuvre proustienne

Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

25-26 June 2015

Translation is inherent to Proust’s idea of literary creation, and his work develops a rhythmical, musical conception of literary language as foreign in and of itself. What then happens when Proust’s work is translated, and, more specifically, how does the practice of translation shed light on his understanding of the relationship between sound and language, between phonè and writing? Bringing together critics and translators, this conference draws on the English-language translations of Proust’s work in order to explore the way sound plays out in his work, disrupting the lines that separate the “original” or source text from its echo in translation. This, in turn, interrogates the distinctions in his work between silence, noise, music and language, and between experience, representation and memory.


Thursday 25 June (afternoon)

Salle des colloques, bâtiment B, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

Françoise Asso, Université de Lille III

Traduire “Zut, zut, zut, zut”

Margaret Gray, Indiana University, Bloomington

Voices Off: Translating the Sounds of Silence in Proust

Christopher Prendergast, University of Cambridge, editor, In Search of Lost Time (Penguin 2002)

Bells Across the Water: The Place of Sound in the Recherche

Stéphane Heuet, Illustrator

Title to be confirmed

Friday 26 June (all day)

Institut d’Etudes Avancées, Hôtel de Lauzun, 17 quai d’Anjou, Paris (75004)

Daniel Karlin, Bristol University

Translating “les cris de Paris” in Proust’s La Prisonnière

Lydia Davis, translator, Du côté de chez Swann (Penguin 2002), Author

Hammers and Hoofbeats

James Grieve, translator, Du côté de chez Swann (Canberra, 1982), À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (Penguin, 2002), Visiting Fellow, Australian National University

Voix proustiennes à l’anglaise : l’idiolecte des personnages de la Recherche selon treize traducteur

William C. Carter, translator, Du côté de chez Swann, University of Alabama at Birmingham

“Le Devoir et la tâche” : Proust, Montcrieff et nous (paper read by Elyane Dezon-Jones)

Translators’ round table with Lydia Davis, James Grieve, Ian Patterson (Cambridge University), translator, Le Temps retrouvé (Penguin 2002), and Christopher Prendergast


Papers will appear in a publication (in French) following the conference. Please note that we welcome submissions of additional articles on this question for inclusion in the final volume. Abstracts should be sent to Emily Eells (


There is no fee for attending the conference, however participants should register beforehand by sending an email to Emily Eells and Naomi Toth (

This conference is organized by Emily Eells and Naomi Toth for CREA’s Confluences research group, as part of the Sounds Foreign seminar, with the support of the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures and the Doctoral College of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, and the Institut d’études avancées de Paris.

For further details, please consult the conference website: