Nicola Denis

  • Honoré de Balzac: Cousin Bette
  • A new translation

Never before has erotic capital been so single-mindedly converted into luxury real estate and bond funds as in Balzac’s stunning Cousin Bette (1846). The French writer depicts the entanglements, blackmails, struggles, and passions, the vanities of men and their seductiveness, as a moral portrait of 19th-century Paris.

After translations by Paul Zech (1923) and Arthur Schurig (1909), Nicola Denis now presents a highly acclaimed new version. In conversation, she explains how the 100-year-old linguistic patina of the present versions had to be carefully removed in order to render Balzac’s language “true to the times and yet modern,” how she communicates with the voices of her translation predecessors, who sooner or later intervene in the dialogue with the original, and also what has happened to the image of women over the decades.

Nicola Denis, born in Celle in 1972, has been translating from French for many years, including Honoré de Balzac, Éric Vuillard, and Marie-Claire Blais. In 2021, she received the Prix lémanique de la traduction for her translation work. She lives in the west of France.

Moderation: Erika Mursa (dfk)

In cooperation with the German-French Cultural Circle Heidelberg (dfk)

On Tuesday, May 09 at 8 pm Nicola Denis will read from her own debut novel The Aunts (2022).

Admission free

Admission is free.