The Goncourt Prize and the Second World War in France and Britain, 1945–51

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)


Of the seven novels awarded the Goncourt prize in France between 1944 and 1949, five were war novels. This chapter examines the translation into English and reception in Britain of Elsa Triolet’s A Fine of Two Hundred Francs, Jean-Louis Bory’s French Village, Jean-Louis Curtis’s The Forests of the Night, Robert Merle’s Weekend at Zuydcoote, and Francis Ambrière’s The Exiled. Translational interventions within the texts and their paratexts, including word-level translation choices, abridgement, the addition of prefaces, and the discourses generated in reviews reframed these French texts for a British audience. Whilst the novels retained a prosthetic memorial function for British readers, domestic myths about the war were reinforced by translatorial interventions such that foreign texts were not allowed to challenge dominant British war memories.


Goncourt Prize French Village Elsa Triolet Transcultural Memory Prisoners Of War (POW) 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern LanguagesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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