Daewoo, by François Bon - Part Two   > read more...


Monday 25 November 2013

Part Two: Fameck, May 2003: Waiting for the mailman, and Sylvia

Literary translation is a seemingly impossible task – which explains why it is so fascinating. The English-language side of the literary magazine Salon .ll. is the go-to place for discussions which make translation possible. On its French side, Salon .ll. offers an excerpt from Daewoo (Fayard, 2004), a novel by the French writer François Bon,  side-by-side with an as yet unpublished English-language translation of the same text by New Yorkers Alison Dundy and Emmanuelle Ertel. The United States does not have the reputation of a country that translates a lot. Even so, literature likes to scoff at borders and there is no lack of readers, in the United States and elsewhere, when it comes to indulging oneself in the pleasure of discovery combined with the more intellectual exercise of comparison. It is to this subtle dialogue of languages that we now invite you.   

Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Translated by Ellen Sowchek


When the Korean conglomerate Daewoo proposed setting up new electronics plants in the economically devastated Lorraine region of France, it seemed like a win-win situation. It would prove to be the contrary. Following revelation of accounting fraud, one of the largest in history, in which millions of dollars, including public subsidies were embezzled by management, Daewoo closed up shop and went home. And although the company's president eventually stood trial in Korea, it was small consolation to the workers left behind, their lives and livelihoods destroyed by the scandal.

Daewoo, an evocative historical novel by François Bon, gives voice to these (mostly women) workers who were the ultimate victims of this corporate crime. Based on documentary research and personal interviews with some of the workers, Bon has created a work that captures the very human and often tragic side of this drama. As he himself describes it, "If these female workers no longer have a place anywhere, let this novel be their memoir."

Presentation by Alison Dundy et Emmanuelle Ertel

Daewoo, by François Bon - Part One   > read more...


Friday 15 November 2013

Literary translation is a seemingly impossible task – which explains why it is so fascinating. The English-language side of the literary magazine Salon .ll. is the go-to place for discussions which make translation possible. On its French side, Salon .ll. offers an excerpt from Daewoo (Fayard, 2004), a novel by the French writer François Bon,  side-by-side with an as yet unpublished English-language translation of the same text by New Yorkers Alison Dundy and Emmanuelle Ertel. The United States does not have the reputation of a country that translates a lot. Even so, literature likes to scoff at borders and there is no lack of readers, in the United States and elsewhere, when it comes to indulging oneself in the pleasure of discovery combined with the more intellectual exercise of comparison. It is to this subtle dialogue of languages that we now invite you.   

Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Translated by Ellen Sowchek


When the Korean conglomerate Daewoo proposed setting up new electronics plants in the economically devastated Lorraine region of France, it seemed like a win-win situation. It would prove to be the contrary. Following revelation of accounting fraud, one of the largest in history, in which millions of dollars, including public subsidies were embezzled by management, Daewoo closed up shop and went home. And although the company's president eventually stood trial in Korea, it was small consolation to the workers left behind, their lives and livelihoods destroyed by the scandal.

Daewoo, an evocative historical novel by François Bon, gives voice to these (mostly women) workers who were the ultimate victims of this corporate crime. Based on documentary research and personal interviews with some of the workers, Bon has created a work that captures the very human and often tragic side of this drama. As he himself describes it, "If these female workers no longer have a place anywhere, let this novel be their memoir."


Presentation by Alison Dundy et Emmanuelle Ertel

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