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Languages of Exile

Migration and Multilingualism in Twentieth-Century Literature

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Edited By Axel Englund and Anders Olsson

Languages of Exile examines the relationship between geographic and linguistic border crossings in twentieth-century literature. Like no period before it, the last century was marked by the experience of expatriation, forcing exiled writers to confront the fact of linguistic difference. Literary writing can be read as the site where that confrontation is played out aesthetically – at the intersection between native and acquired language, between indigenous and alien, between self and other – in a complex multilingual dynamic specific to exile and migration.
The essays collected here explore this dynamic from a comparative perspective, addressing the paragons of modernism as well as less frequently studied authors, from Joseph Conrad and Peter Weiss to Agota Kristof and Malika Mokeddem. The essays are international in their approach; they deal with the junctions and gaps between English, French, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and other languages. The literary works and practices addressed include modernist poetry and prose, philosophical criticism and autobiography, DADA performance, sound art and experimental music theatre. This volume reveals both the wide range of creative strategies developed in response to the interstitial situation of exile and the crucial role of exile for a renewed understanding of twentieth-century literature.

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Acknowledgements ix Axel Englund and Anders Olsson Introduction: Twentieth-Century Ruptures of Location and Locution 1 Part I Identity and Ethics: Three Anglo-Slavic Prose Virtuosi 19 Ulf Olsson Evil Freedom: Linguistic Confusion and Convention in Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent 21 Maria Kager To ‘Fondle in Humbertish’: Vladimir Nabokov’s Linguistic Exile 37 Ljubica Miočević ‘What’s Dif ference?’: On Language and Identity in the Writings of Aleksandar Hemon 55 Part II Shifting Language, Shifting Thought: Philosophical and Stylistic Ef fects of Migration 81 Tobias Dahlkvist Exile as a School of Scepticism: Emil Cioran 83 vi Arthur Rose Insomnia and Exile: Cioran’s Separate Man 101 Gabriela Seccardini Exile in the French Language: Assia Djebar and Malika Mokeddem 119 Katharina Birngruber Language Shift and the Experience of Exile: Agota Kristof ’s Prose in the Context of Migration 141 Part III Mediality and Multilingualism: Decentralizing Patterns of Western Thought and Aesthetics 165 Adam Wickberg Månsson Exile Writing and the Medium of the Book: Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela 167 Jesper Olsson Speech Rumblings: Exile, Transnationalism and the Multilingual Space of Sound Poetry 183 W.C. Bamberger Language and Alternate History in Mauricio Kagel’s Mare Nostrum 201 Part IV Re-appropriating Language and History from the Traumas of the Past 219 Anders Olsson Aching Through: Nelly Sachs’s Poetics of Exile 221 vii Markus Huss The Linguistic Outlaw: Peter Weiss’s Return to German as Literary Language 243 Axel Englund Bleston Babel: Migration, Multilingualism and Intertextuality in W.G. Sebald’s Mancunian Cantical 261 Katarina Båth The Meaning of...

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