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Die Entstehung der Rubrik wurde durch eine Förderung des Hauptstadtkulturfonds ermöglicht. 

Monique Rival


Im Wald
© WBrunner


Born: 3.4.1953
Birthplace: Grenoble / Isère
Country of birth: France
Lives in: Berlin, Schöneberg

Source language: German
Target language: French
Working language: French + German


Monique Rival was born and raised in Grenoble among many amazing brothers and sisters in an unclassifiable and declassified family that didn’t care for discipline. Her school years were affected by severe health issues  and a rebellious behavior. She studied German in Paris, Munich and in Berlin were she moved in 1986 and where she still lives up to today. Reading books and meeting people are the most important things in her life.
She is a translator for German>French since 1992.
In 2000, she participated in her first summer academy at the LCB, as well as in translator workshops in Straehlen and Looren in the following years.
She was happy to get a three-week Elmar-Tophoven working scholarship in CITL/Arles where she continued her translation work of Nino Haratischwili’s „Das achte Leben – Für Brilka“. The same year, the Bosch Foundation financed her and her co-translator Barbara Fontaine a research trip to Georgia.
Monique Rival translates novels, essays and books about art and art history.

6 Questions

What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?

Love and history.

What do you love about Berlin?

The many diverse ‚Kieze’ [sort of neighborhoods], the water, the parks and woods, the cafés, the cosmopolitanism.

What do you miss in Berlin?

Many friends and the sky above the Seine’s bridges in Paris.

What is your favorite spot in Berlin?

The Matthäus graveyard in Schöneberg

Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?

I feel more free and open.

Which existing literary work do you wish you had written?

Bartleby by Hermann Melville


Translated publications

Point de fuite - La Méditerranée et la crise européenne

Editions Hermann - Paris, 2019 Sciences humaines

Harun Farocki - Reconnaître & Poursuivre, zusammen übersetzt mit B. Vilgrain

TH.TY / Centre Pompidou, 2017 Essays/Filmographie

Autoportraits - De Rembrandt au selfie

Snoeck - Köll / Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, 2016 art


Piranha - Paris, 2016 essay

Paul Klee et sa théorie de l'art - Regine Bonnefoit

PPUR, Lausanne, 2013 art theory

Francis Bacon, Le corps comme réceptacle - Christoph Heinrich

Skira - Milan, 2008 art

Le surréalisme et son temps - Werner Spies

Gallimard / Paris, 2008 art essays

Films - Harun Farocki, translated with Bénédicte Vilgrain et. al.

TH.TY - Courbevoie, 2007 essay

Contre-Chant, Harun Farocki

Contrat Maint, Toulouse, 2004 essay

Étrange Matière - Terézia Mora

L'esprit des péninsules, Paris / MEET, Saint-Nazaire, 2002 stories

Média, Art, Interaction. Les années 60, 70, 80

ZKM Karlsruhe / Springer WienNew-York, 2000 art

Niko Pirosmani - Promeneur entre les mondes. Exposition à Arles

Hatje Cantz / Berlin, 2018

La huitième Vie - Pour Brilka - Nino Haratischwili (translated together with B. Fontaine)

Piranha - Paris, 2017 novel

Paul Klee et les surréalistes

Hatje Cantz, 2016 art

Localisations de l'art: conceptions d'une esthétique du froid, Stephanie Wodianka

Babel, Littératures plurielles, Université Sud/Toulon, 2015 literature studies

Sigmar Polke, La démultiplication de l'humour

Snoek / Kölln - Les abattoirs - Toulouse, 2013 art

La respiration du silence - Max Wechsler

Jovis - Berlin, 2008 art

Vers une île (aus dem Englischen), Shim Moon-Seup

Skira-Flammarion, 2008 art

Borderline, H.D. (from English)

Héros-Limite, Genève, 2006 story/film essay

Allemands, Walter Benjamin - translated with Bénédicte Vilgrain

ThTy - Courbevoie, 2002 + 1992 essay

Reconnaître et poursuivre, Harun Farocki, übersetzt mit Bénédicte Vilgrain et al.

TH.TY - Courbevoie, 2002 film essays