icon-arrow-down icon-arrow-left icon-arrow-right icon-arrow-up icon-calendar icon-check icon-close icon-compass icon-email icon-facebook icon-instagram icon-linkedin icon-map icon-play icon-plus icon-search icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube

by Eva Gudbergsdottir

Abel Vuillard
Middlebury Institute Professor Christiane Abel interpreted for the celebrated French author Eric Vuillard during his recent U.S. book tour.

Middlebury Institute translation and interpretation faculty member Christiane Abel recently interpreted for celebrated author Éric Vuillard, winner of the Prix Goncourt 2017. Mr. Vuillard was touring the United States to promote the publishing of the English translation of his award-winning novel L’Ordre du Jour or The Order of the Day.

"I was quite excited by this relatively rare opportunity to work with a prestigious author," Abel shares. She adds that Mr. Vuillard gave very elaborate and dense answers, with multiple references to literature, social sciences and politics. "I had prepared by reading his book obviously, watching past TV and radio broadcasts in French where he was a guest, and beefing up my knowledge about the Anschluss. But I also had to trust myself and the fact that I have always been an avid reader… And indeed, Mr Vuillard illustrated his point by mentioning  Gogol, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn… Flaubert, Balzac, Zola, all the way to Allen Ginsberg, and then all the way back to Dante!"

Abel says that sharing this experience with her students helps her stress the importance of constantly working on improving your general knowledge, being well read, and "also the fact that even experienced interpreters can be stressed and have to work on managing their adrenaline."

Abel Vuillard group
From left to right, Christiane Abel, Éric Vuillard, Laura Sheppard, director of events for Mechanics Institute, and Émilie Passerieux, cultural affairs attaché at the French consulate in San Francisco.
Abel Vuillard on stage
Professor Abel interpreting for Vuillard in his conversation with novelist Cara Black at the Mechanics Institute. The event was co-sponsored by Alliance Francaise San Francisco.

For More Information

Jason Warburg
jwarburg@middlebury.edu
831-647-3516

Eva Gudbergsdottir
evag@middlebury.edu
831-647-6606