An ionarts post on the new French translation of Ulysses from Gallimard includes a tantalizing excerpt of Bruno Corty’s interview with the head editor of the translation, Jacques Aubert, in Le Figaro Littéraire. Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to get to the original interview (you get redirected to the Figaro home page; if you’re interested, a Le Monde interview with Aubert is here), but I’ll quote a couple of exchanges from the translation:
In 2000, Joyce’s grandson asked Gallimard to start a new translation of Ulysses, to be placed under your leadership. Why did you choose a team instead of a single translator?
It was clear to me from the start that this new translation should be entrusted to several people. This was not only to give in to the spirit of the times, by influence, by example, for a project like a new translation of the Bible. We were ordered to publish it in 2004, and the work that had to be done made it seem difficult to me to conduct this work in a rigorous way with only one translator. Group translation is not the easy solution at all. Particularly in this case, where there are resonances, echos, and repetitions in the text that are furthermore subjected to variation throughout.
Joyce plays constantly with words and languages. Isn’t that the biggest danger for this translation?
In effect, Joyce tells us that there is translation inherent in reading. He says that and he puts it into action. Buck Mulligan himself plays on his nickname from the second page of Ulysses. We made the decision not to translate the word “Buck.” Leaving the English nickname, from the moment where the rest of the text illuminates it, this is part of the mixture of languages that Joyce begins to unfold. In the third episode, among the traps that Joyce lays for us, there is “Los demiurgos.” You could read “Los” as the article that goes with “demiurgos.” In fact, the context indicates that this “Los” is a proper name borrowed from William Blake [The Song of Los] and that, as a result, it should not be put in italics like the word that follows it. This is just one of numerous polyglot traps. It’s one of those aspects by which Ulysses already has, I dare say, one foot in Finnegans Wake.
Ionarts adds that “the same team will proceed now to the even greater challenge of translating Finnegans Wake into French.”
(Via wood s lot.)