June 22, 2008

Julien Gracq, Chateau d'Argol

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:


  1. I found and enjoyed this very much trying to discover who had translated Gracq after Louise Varese.
    I had been given a copy of "Au chateau d'Argol", which I read as a teenager, thaat had made into a prisoner of war camp during WWII and bore a German rubber stamp and just gave it to a niece of Gracq's by way of her husband who is the soon of Michel Carouges and found me by way of a book I wrote on Duchamp. Old age has its surprises.
    I still love Gracq.

  2. Incredibly, this first novel by Julien Gracq has not been translated into English after Varèse. All English editions have used her translation and it is a truly awful translation. It is an extremely elegant book, and she does not do it justice. It is significant, I think, that her translation is dated 1951, the year that Gracq refused the Prix Goncourt. In other words, I believe it was a rush job, as Gracq was in the limelight at the time.

    I have just completed a new translation of the novel into English and hope to publish in North America before too long. (I am Canadian.)

    I was in touch with Gracq at the end of 2007, just before his death, through a French writer friend we had in common. He wished me luck, although he said that translation of his work into English and German had always been difficult.

    L Saint-Pierre