“Traduit du flamand”? How Les Noceurs (2010) by Brecht Evens found its way to France and French-speaking Belgium

Tuesday 25 April 2023, 13h00-15h00 | UGent, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2: Faculteitszaal (1st floor)

The lecture by Timothy Sirjacobs (KULeuven, FWO) will be followed by a group discussion of the book in open access How Comics Travel by Katherine Kelp-Stebbins (only the introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 3).


In 2010 the French publishing house Actes Sud issued ‘Les Noceurs’ (original Dutch title: ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’; English title: ‘The Wrong Place’) by the Flemish graphic novelist Brecht Evens (1986). Despite the financial aid by a prominent literary institution of his home region and its promotion of Evens’ work at the international festival of Angoulême (2009), this was still a seemingly audacious endeavor. Especially considering that at the moment of purchasing the translation rights (2009) the graphic novel was an unpublished graduate project of a then 22-year-old Flemish-Belgian graphic artist. In spite of these obstacles, the translation of the Dutch language original found its way in the catalog of an Arles-based publishing house that promotes writers such as W.G. Sebald, Imre Kertész and recent Goncourt-winning author Nicolas Mathieu. This presentation will thus be centered around the following questions: “How did ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’ find its way to a French literary publisher, how was it received in France, and to what extent did this ‘French mobility’ influence Evens’ reception in the French-speaking part of Belgium?”

This case study is situated within the framework of BELTRANS, a joint project of KULeuven, UCLouvain and the Belgian National Library (KBR) that aims to analyze intra-Belgian literary translation flows between 1970 and 2020.

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