David Bellos

Professor of French and Italian and Comparative Literature. Director, Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication.
Office Phone
330 East Pyne



Office Hours Spring 2024: Monday 2:30 - 4:00 PM and by appointment             

Period(s): Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Languages: French, with ancillary interests in German, Russian and Balkan literatures

Research Interests: Translation; nineteenth-century French fiction; experimental and formal writing; copyright issues

David Bellos was educated at Oxford and teaches French and Comparative Literature at Princeton, where he also directs the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He has written biographies of Georges Perec and Jacques Tati that have been translated into many languages, and an introduction to translation studies, Is That A Fish in Your Ear? He has translated numerous authors from French (Perec, Vargas, Kadare, Simenon, Antelme, Fournel) and offers a new understanding of the extraordinary life and work of Romain Gary in Romain Gary A Tall Story. His latest book is a study of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables.

Prof. Bellos is currently interested in developing a fuller understanding of the history of copyright and its role in shaping modern cultures and societies. He would be glad to supervise graduate students with similar interests.


The Novel of the Century. The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables. Penguin, 2017

Georges Perec, Portrait of A Man, transl. David Bellos. MacLehose, 2014

Ismail Kadare, Twilight of the Eastern Gods. Translated from the French of Jusuf Vrioni and with an introduction by David Bellos. Canongate, 2014

Is That A Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything. Penguin, 2011.