Transnational Literature and Words in Flight
The paper looks at transnational literature, and in particular the bilingual novel, suggesting a reading practice that does not rely on translation to create meaning but instead acknowledges the silences and gaps caused by the untranslatable as sounds that offer their own meanings. The reader's expectations of translatability in a literary work are thus challenged.
The paper proceeds from Paul Carter’s theory of a postcolonial collage of sounds which emphasises fragmentation and the openness of meanings.
Among bilingual novels such as Emin Sevgi Özdamar’s MUTTERZUNGE, Yann Martel’s SELF, Gloria Anzaldúa's BORDERLANDS, I will discuss my own novel, entitled SOULTRAUME, in which I use code switching and code mixing between English and German. Complementing the linguistic web with images of landscapes, I create a Carterian collage not only of sounds but images as well – a 'langscape'.
Keywords: Literature, Translation, Bilingual, Postcolonial, Code-switching
Dr Sabina Hopfer
Freelance writer and researcher, -