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Languages of Exile

Migration and Multilingualism in Twentieth-Century Literature


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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Part III Mediality and Multilingualism: Decentralizing Patterns of Western Thought and Aesthetics


Part III Mediality and Multilingualism: Decentralizing Patterns of Western Thought and Aesthetics Adam Wickberg Månsson Exile Writing and the Medium of the Book: Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela In 1963 Julio Cortázar’s novel Rayuela (Hopscotch, 1966) was published by Editorial Sudamericana, an Argentinean publishing house that distrib- uted the book throughout the world and back to Paris, where it had been written by its exiled Argentinean author. This publication was a big black brick of a book, with a picture of hopscotch squares on its cover. Once opened, the reader is presented with the statement that ‘A su manera este libro es muchos libros, pero sobre todo es dos libros’ [In its own way this book is many books, but above all it is two books].1 The book is divided into three parts; ‘Del lado de allá’ [From that side], ‘Del lado de acá’ [From this side] and ‘De otros lados’ [From other sides], and comes with a table of direction that will guide the reader through an alternate path jump- ing between the chapters in the three parts. Published two years before Ted Nelson coined the term ‘Hypertext’ and twenty years after Vannevar Bush dreamt of a Memex machine that would allow writing and reading in a manner that would resemble the associations of the human mind more than the printed book, Rayuela is a novel that in many ways points toward the digital organization of information.2 Cortázar’s novel has 1 Julio Cortázar,...

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