Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Introduction and revised deadline for PCA conference

Dear all,

My name is An Goris and it has appeared in the right-hand column of this blog for over a year now, but aside from some brief comments I haven't posted anything and I presume most of you don't know me. Let me therefore begin by briefly introducing myself. I'm a young (24) graduate student from Belgium, where I have been pursuing a PhD at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven since October 2007. My research focusses on the interaction between genre and authorship in popular culture. I do this by analysing a wide selection of novels from Nora Roberts, one of the most prolific and popular romance authors today. To my surprise, there is relativelty little serious academic work on Roberts' oeuvre out there; it's my intention to change that in the years to come. While I work on Roberts' novels primarily in English, I'm also pursuing a project on romance novels in translation (Dutch and French for the time being) together with my fellow Belgian romance scholar Séverine Olivier.

I would love to get in touch with anybody else who is working on Nora Roberts, romance in translation, authorship and genre or other related topics, so feel free to leave comments or email me. Or meet up with me at the PCA conference in New Orleans next Spring - which brings me to the second part of my post today:

The deadline for submitting a proposal for the romance area of the 2009 PCA/ACA conference is November 30 2008 (and not November 15 as the original CFP states). Eric and Darcy have received relatively few submissions, so we want to actively encourage people to send something in. The conference has been an absolute delight in the past; it's a blast to meet up with fellow romance scholars. As a young graduate student myself I can testify that the romance area is very welcoming of both beginning and experienced scholars, so do feel encouraged to send something in and join us in the Big Easy next Spring!


  1. Well I've already sent mine in and am very much looking forward to New Orleans. The PCA chooses pretty good cities for these things:)

  2. I'm so glad you've made the leap into posting, An!

    I know you know about this already, but for anyone else who hasn't read it but would like to, the details of Séverine's latest article, about Nora, are:

    Olivier, Séverine, 2008. "«Femme, je vous aime...»? Nora Roberts, une inconnue sortie de l'ombre dans l'univers sentimental." Belphégor: Littérature Populaire et Culture Médiatique 7.2.

    In the spirit of continuing your and Séverine's research into translation, and in the hope that it might be useful to any readers of TMT who don't know French, I put the text of the article into Google Translate. Unfortunately the result doesn't make a great deal of sense. Looking on the bright side, though, that's good news for human translators, as it doesn't look like they're going to be superseded by machine translation any time soon.

  3. Thanks for posting Séverine Olivier's article, Laura. What an interesting use of Nora's characters to illustrate her career.

    I couldn't resist looking at the translation. Oh my. That's one of the worst I've seen. I clicked on "Suggest a better translation" a few times, but I don't know whether my suggestions will be used. Some of the more offensive bloopers:

    "Sandra Brown was dummy". Doubtful ;) She was probably a model.

    (In the same paragraph, I'm surprised it didn't translate "Kleypas est une ancienne Miss Massachusetts" as "Kleypas is an ancient Miss Massachusetts". Former, that's the word.)

    Nora Roberts is an "illegitimate author" with a "literary friend negro". That's probably a ghostwriter friend.

    And after footnote (40), given it's about giving up virginity, I think in this instance "ravi" really should mean "ravished", not "pleased". Heh. That can't be a frequent usage these days. (Speaking of which, how odd and telling that "ravished" can mean either "raped" or "overcome and delighted".)

    Obviously I enjoyed both versions of the article, albeit in rather different ways :)

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  5. I couldn't resist looking at the translation. Oh my. That's one of the worst I've seen. I clicked on "Suggest a better translation" a few times

    You're much, much braver than I am, RfP. I didn't get nearly as far through the mangled piece of text that was trying to pass itself off as a translation. I just skimmed the first paragraph and then scuttled back here to report on it.