Stuart Gilbert  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Arthur Stuart Ahluwalia Stronge Gilbert (25 October 1883 – 5 January 1969) was an English literary scholar and translator. Among his translations into English are works by Alexis de Tocqueville, Édouard Dujardin, André Malraux, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Georges Simenon, Jean Cocteau, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre. He also assisted in the translation of James Joyce's Ulysses into French.

He was born at Kelvedon Hatch, Essex, on 25 October 1883, the only son of a retired army officer, Arthur Stronge Gilbert, and Melvina, daughter of Randhir Singh, the Raja of Kapurthala. He attended Cheltenham and Hertford College, Oxford, taking a first in Classical Moderations. He joined the Indian Civil Service in 1907 and, after military service in the First World War, served as a judge in Burma until 1925. He then retired, settling in France with his French-born wife Moune (née Marie Douin). He remained there for the rest of his life, except for some time spent in Wales during the Second World War.

Gilbert was one of the first Joycean scholars. He first read Ulysses while he was in Burma and admired it greatly. According to his wife, she and Gilbert were taking a walk in the Latin Quarter of Paris when they passed Shakespeare and Company, and saw some typescript pages of a French translation of Ulysses by Auguste Morel and Valery Larbaud displayed in the window. Gilbert noted several serious errors in the French rendering and introduced himself to Sylvia Beach, who was impressed by his criticisms of the translation. She took his name and telephone number, and suggested that Joyce, who was assisting in the translation, would contact him. This began many years of friendship between Joyce and Gilbert. He published James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study in 1930 (revised edition 1950); contributed an important chapter, "Prolegomena to Work in Progress," to Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress (1929), a collection of perspectives on the fragments of Joyce's "work in progress," later completed as Finnegans Wake (1939); and published a collection of Joyce's letters in 1957.

One of Gilbert's major projects was the translation from French of Roger Martin du Gard's novel sequence Les Thibault. Running to nearly 1,900 pages in translation, it was published by the Viking Press in the United States in two volumes, The Thibaults (1939) and Summer 1914 (1941).

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