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EN373 - Exophony or Writing Beyond the Mother Tongue

Tutor: Dr Chantal Wright (H523),

Term 2; 15 CATS

2016/17, Thursdays 16:30 - 18:00. Room G03, Millburn House.

**Please access Talis Aspire via the library webpage for the up-to-date 2016-17 reading list.**

This module is an option for all pathways.

What do Samuel Beckett, Joseph Brodsky and Milan Kundera have in common? All three writers were exophonic: they chose to write in a language that was not their mother tongue. This new course will look at the phenomenon of exophony in the modern era, considering how the adoption of a foreign literary language intersects with experiences of trauma, exile and migration, with the nation state, the postcolonial, globalisation and late capitalism. It will look at the implications of exophony for the self, the text, the reader and society, and investigate the extent to which translational processes - in the widest sense - might play a role in exophony. We will read a variety of twentieth-century and contemporary exophonic literary texts - some originally composed in English and others translated from languages including Japanese and German.
Assessment: 5,000-word essay.

Illustrative Bibliography (NB: The tutor reserves the right to make changes to this bibliography; students will be given ample notice of any changes.)

Introductory/theoretical texts:

Ashcroft, B. Griffiths, G. and Tiffin, H., 2002. The Empire Writes Back. 2nd ed. London: Routledge. (extracts)
Barthes, R., 1982. Empire of Signs. Translated from French by R. Howard. New York: Hill and Wang. (extracts)
Brodsky, J., 1986. Less Than One. Selected Essays. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ('To Please a Shadow' and 'In a Room and a Half')
Coates, J., 1999. Changing Horses. Nabokov and Translation. In: J. Boase-Beier and M. Holman, eds. The Practices of Literary Translation. Manchester: St. Jerome.
Derrida, J., 1998. The Monolingualism of the Other or The Prosthesis of Origin. Translated from French by P. Mensah. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Jin, H., 2008. The Writer as Migrant. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Yildiz, Y., 2012. Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition. New York: Fordham University Press. (extracts)

Translating the self

Emine Sevgi Oezdamar, The Bridge over the Golden Horn. Trans. M. Chalmers (2007)

Shirin R. Fazel, Far from Mogadishu (2013)

Memoir and auto-fiction

Aleksandr Hemon, Love and Obstacles (2010) and 'From Sarajevo to Chicago and back' (2011)

Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation (1989)

Political exile

Ha Jin, Waiting (1999)

Milan Kundera, Ignorance (2002)

Into and out of Japanese

Levy Hideo, A Room Where the Star-Spangled Banner Cannot Be Heard. Trans. C.D. Scott (2011)

Yoko Tawada, Portrait of a Tongue. Trans. C.Wright (2013) and 'Canned Foreign' and 'The Talisman'. Trans. S. Bernofsky (2002)

Style in exophony

Samuel Beckett, Molloy. Trans. P. Bowles in collaboration with the author and edited by S. Weller. (2009)

Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin. (1957)


Joseph Brodsky, Collected Poems in English (2000)

Tzveta Sofronieva, A Hand Full of Water. Trans. C.Wright. (2012)

After Empire

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart. (1958)

Elias Canetti, The Tongue Set Free. Trans. J. Neugroschel. (1979)