Visit from Emeritus Professor Brian Nelson

Last week, the School of Languages and Cultures and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation / Te Tumu Whakawhiti Tuhinga o Aotearoa had the pleasure of welcoming Emeritus Professor Brian Nelson for the Centre's Annual Lecture 2017.

Victoria University's Jean Anderson and Luo Hui with guest presenter from Monash University, Brian Nelson.
Associate Professor Jean Anderson (left) and Dr Luo Hui (right) of Victoria University, with guest lecturer, Emeritus Professor Brian Nelson (centre).

In honour of St Jerome's day, patron saint of translation, Emeritus Professor from Australia's Monash University, Brian Nelson, joined guests of the School of Languages and Cultures and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation for a discussion of 19th-Century French writer Emile Zola's work and the challenges facing translators of his novels.

Professor Nelson, who has translated the work of great 19th-Century novelists for the Oxford University World Classics series, including Zola and Marcel Proust, has spent much of his career promoting literary translation as an invaluable academic pursuit, fully deserving of greater recognition. His lively and entertaining presentation focused on the importance of identifying and endeavouring to accurately reproduce tone, style and register.  Professor Nelson vividly illustrated these features with detailed discussion and specific examples from his work on Zola.

This was the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation's tenth annual guest lecture and it continued the tradition of diverse, robust discussions with highly-acclaimed experts in their fields. Past presenters include composer, researcher and teacher, Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, interpreting ‘The Bacchae’ by Euripides in Māori and Professor Jonathan Stalling, University of Oklahoma and executive editor of Chinese Literature Today, who discussed Chinese-English translation, transliteration, and interlanguage.

Please visit the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation for more details on the Centre and its past lectures.