Brian Nelson

Emeritus Prof

Accepting PhD Students

1982 …2018
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Personal profile


A graduate of the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Brian Nelson was lecteur d’anglais at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Paris, and taught at Aberystwyth University, Wales, before being appointed Professor of French at Monash in 1985. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has been editor of the Australian Journal of French Studies (which is based at Monash) since 2002.

He is the author or editor of 24 book-length publications. He is best known for his translations and critical studies of the novels of Emile Zola. These include The Cambridge Companion to ZolaZola and the Bourgeoisie and translations (for Oxford World’s Classics) of The Belly of Paris, Earth (with Julie Rose), The Fortune of the Rougons, His Excellency Eugene RougonThe KillThe Ladies’ Paradise and Pot Luck. He has also translated Swann in Love by Marcel Proust. He won the 2015 New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Translation.

His most recent critical works are Perspectives on Literature and Translation: Creation, Circulation, Reception, co-ed. with Brigid Maher (Routledge, 2013), and The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is currently completing a new translation of Zola's L'Assommoir and Zola: A Very Short Introduction.

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Research Output 1982 2018

Émile Zola: His Excellency Eugène Rougon: A new translation by Brian Nelson

Nelson, B. (Translator), 2018, Oxford UK: Oxford University Press. 335 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


Nelson, B., 2017, A Love Story, Emile Zola: Translated by Helen Constantine. Nelson, B. (ed.). 1st ed. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press, p. 7-23 17 p. (Oxford World's Classics).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

Swann in Love: Marcel Proust

Nelson, B. (Translator) & Watt, A. (ed.), 2017, 1st ed. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press. 194 p. (Oxford World's Classics)

Research output: Book/ReportBookOtherpeer-review

Swann's way: Translation as literary criticism

Nelson, B., 2017, In : In Other Words: the journal for literary translators. 49, p. 67-69 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

Earth / Emile Zola: A New Translation by Brian Nelson and Julie Rose

Nelson, B. (Translator) & Rose, J., 14 Apr 2016, 1 ed. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press. 433 p. (Oxford World's Classics)

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review