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Eva - A Novel by Carry van Bruggen - Translated and with a Commentary by Jane Fenoulhet - cover

Eva - A Novel by Carry van Bruggen - Translated and with a Commentary by Jane Fenoulhet

Carry van Bruggen

Translator Jane Fenoulhet

Publisher: UCL Press

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Summary

Eva
(1927), a novel by Dutch writer Carry van Bruggen, is an experiment in depicting a
woman’s life from girlhood to marriage, and beyond, to sexual freedom and
independence. At the same time, the narrative expresses Eva’s dawning sense of
self and expanding subjectivity through a stream of consciousness told by a
shifting narrator. Burdened all of her life by feelings of shame, at the end of
the novel Eva overcomes this legacy of her upbringing and declares that it is
‘bodily desire that makes love acceptable’.

 
Carry van Bruggen’s rich and varied language conveys Eva’s
experience of the world. Powerful memories of an orthodox Jewish childhood
pervade the novel with its fluid sense of time. As Eva puts it, ‘I let these
years slip through my fingers like a stream of dry, glinting sand.’

 
Jane Fenoulhet makes this important, modernist novel accessible
to English readers for the first time. While it can be described as a
becoming-woman of both Eva and her creator, so can the translation be seen as
the translator’s own becoming, as Fenoulhet explains in the accompanying commentary,
where she also describes the challenges of translating van Bruggen’s dynamic,
intense narrative. For Fenoulhet, translation is more a matter of personal
engagement with the novel than a matter of word choice and style. In this way,
the emotional and intellectual life of the main character is re-enacted through
translation.   ,

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