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 'Through the Outward Calm: Translating Separation and Porousness in Camus's 'The Plague'

For our 60th anniversary season, we are thrilled to welcome acclaimed author and translator Laura Marris to the university. She is a writer and translator. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Yale Review, The BelieverThe Point, and elsewhere. Her recent translations include Albert Camus’s The Plague, Geraldine Schwarz’s Those Who Forget, Paol Keineg’s Triste Tristan (with Rosmarie Waldrop), and To Live Is to Resist, a biography of Antonio Gramsci. 

Marris is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a grant from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. Books she has translated have been shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize, and the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. With Alice Kaplan, she is the co-author of States of Plague: Reading Albert Camus in a Pandemic (out in October 2022 from University of Chicago Press). She is currently at work on her first solo-authored book, The Age of Loneliness, which will be published by Graywolf. She lives in Buffalo, New York, where she is a Writer in Residence at UB’s Coalesce BioArt Lab.

Her presentation, "Through the Outward Calm: Translating Separation and Porousness in Camus's The Plague," will discuss Camus's ecological imagination and how it relates to the practice of translation during a pandemic. How do the nested perspectives of narrator, author, and translator shape the ways a text carries the memory of a crisis? She will focus on ideas of separation and porousness, and on how the plague-chronicle form invites reimagining or retranslation. I'll also read a few passages from the novel.

Her talk is free and open to the public.

Since 1962, the University of Rochester English Department has been celebrating the life and poetic achievements of Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962), critically-acclaimed poet and UR faculty member, by bringing the Rochester community readings by the finest contemporary literary artists. The Plutzik Series is one of the most prestigious and longest-running reading series in the country. 

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  • Rohitkumar Marol

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