Charlotte Mandell: by Robert Kelly

Charlotte Mandell

Charlotte Mandell has translated over forty books from the French, including works by Flaubert, Proust, and Genet. In 2001 she received a translation prize from the Modern Language Association for her translation of Faux Pas by Maurice Blanchot, in 2010 her translation of Zone by Mathias Énard received a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2018 she won the National Translation Award in Prose for her translation of Compass by Énard. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband, the poet Robert Kelly.

Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants

Fiction by Mathias Énard

Translated by Charlotte Mandell

In 1506, Michelangelo—a young but already renowned sculptor—is invited by the sultan of Constantinople to design a bridge over the Golden Horn. The sultan has offered, along with an enormous payment, the promise of immortality, since Leonardo da Vinci’s design was rejected: “You will surpass him in glory if you accept, for you will succeed where he has failed, and you will give the world a monument without equal.” Michelangelo, after some hesitation, flees Rome and an irritated Pope Julius II—whose commission he leaves unfinished—and arrives in Constantinople for this truly epic project.…
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Compass

Fiction by Mathias Énard

Translated by Charlotte Mandell

With a contribution by Mathias Énard

As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting the important chapters of his life: his ongoing fascination with the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers, artists, musicians, academics, orientalists, and explorers who populate this vast dreamscape. At the center of these memories is his elusive love, Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French scholar caught in the intricate tension between Europe and the Middle East.…
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For all its sandstorm of scholarship, translated with tireless eloquence by Charlotte Mandell, Compass aches with…simple yearning.
The Economist
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