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Exile, language and identity

Magda Stroinska and Vittorina Cecchetto

‘Exile’ means a prolonged, usually enforced absence from one’s home or country. There is no paradigm for an exilic existence and no prescription of how to heal the loss of one’s home and one’s identity. Exiles move in space, migrating from one place to another, but they are trapped in time. They long for what they have lost and fear what is yet to come. Like the Roman god Janus, they constantly look both ways, often lacking language that would help them to reconnect with the world. This volume examines the process of the exile’s self-translation by rediscovering a way of expression for the ensnared experience. It requires a new language so that the self may take a new shape. By discussing the unavoidable losses wrought upon immigrants, exiles and refugees by the mere fact of being displaced, the authors hope to foster a better understanding of these problems and help to rebuild shattered identities and ruined lives.
Contents: Magda Stroińska/Vittorina Cecchetto: Introduction – Mary Besemeres: Cultural translation and the translingual self in the memoirs of Edward Said and André Aciman – Claire Burke: Exile from the inner self or from society? A dilemma in the works of Max Frisch – Ruth Burke: Persephone as paradigm: Fictional exiles in postcolonial francophone literature – Chantal Abouchar: Albert Memmi’s Agar: The paradox of the couple – Andrea Rinke: German films in a German exile – Magda Stroińska: The role of language in the re-construction of identity in exile – Natalia E. Rulyova: Joseph Brodsky: Exile, language and metamorphosis – Annabel Cox: Achy Obeja’s «Sugarcane» and Cuban-American bilingual literature: Language choices and cultural identities – Branka Popovic: The problem of identity and language in refugees from the (former)Yugoslavia – Vittorina Cecchetto: From immigrant to exile: Does language contribute to this process? – Anthony Purdy: Collage and chronotope in Régine Robin’s La Québécoite – Iris Bruce: Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles: Sprechen, schreiben, schweigen – Catherine Reuben: Exile, identity and memory: the boundaries of perception – Maroussia Hajdukowski-Ahmed: At the borders of language, language without borders: Non-verbal forms of communication of women survivors of torture.