Cees Nooteboom (born 1933) is a writer of fiction, poetry and travel literature. Translated into at least thirty-four languages, his work raises important questions about the mobility of literary texts and invites a new theoretical approach, for to read Nooteboom straightforwardly as a Dutch author would be to do him an injustice. In this book, his fiction and travel writing are discussed on the basis of his English oeuvre, while the chapter on his poetry moves between Dutch and English editions. The first part of the study reflects on texts crossing boundaries and the ways in which literary theory and history have dealt with them. The author then brings nomadic philosophy to bear on translation studies, considering translation as the process through which a literary work is welcomed into a new culture. The second part of the book argues that Nooteboom’s themes and preoccupations are themselves nomadic, with their philosophical treatment of the subjective experiences of death, writing, love, sex and crisis as opportunities for becoming and self-exploration. Nooteboom’s imaginative worlds are constructed in language that is playful, laconic, meditative, witty and yet, especially in the poetry, deadly serious.
A View from Languages of the Wider World
Jane Fenoulhet and Cristina Ros i Solé
For most language learners, mobility is now the starting-point rather than the end-point of language learning. Rather than learning a language in order to go abroad, learners are used to moving from country to country, from culture to culture. This volume of essays explores the different attitudes to language learning generated by globalisation and shows how the local still has an impact on the language-learning classroom. The contributors have collaborated through the Languages of the Wider World Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning based at University College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies. The essays in the book span both reflection on language learners’ shifting identities and the pedagogies of a range of less widely taught languages in which the national language has acquired fresh emphasis in the context of globalisation. How might the tension between mobility and localisation best be exploited to the benefit of language learners?