Reference : Nomads’ Poetic Translingualism. Multiple voices, dialogical writing and space constru...
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Arts & humanities : Literature
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Nomads’ Poetic Translingualism. Multiple voices, dialogical writing and space constructions in the work of Liliane Welch and Pierre Joris
Pauly Ep Hansen, Marie Anne mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > >]
University of Luxembourg, ​Esch-sur-Alzette, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en sciences du langage
Hu, Adelheid mailto
Glesener, Jeanne E. mailto
Hallet, Wolfgang mailto
Schmeling, Manfred mailto
Conter, Claude D. mailto
[en] Anglophone poets from Luxembourg ; nomadic theory ; translingual writing ; between-ness ; imaginary spaces ; researching multilingually ; palimpsestic transformation ; heterolingual ethos
[en] In the past decades, multilingualism has developed into a highly researched topic in literary studies as well as in applied linguistics. Surprisingly, two Anglophone poets, Liliane Welch and Pierre Joris, originally from Luxembourg, have not been included in research despite the rich and manifold perspectives on languages that their work displays. They grew up and were educated in the multilingual environment of Luxembourg before they immigrated to North America while continuing to travel widely. For their writing, they rejected their earlier languages, Luxembourgish, French and German and opted for English as the language of their
These observations have motivated the overall research question: What multiple facets of translingualism does a nomadic approach of writing offer? Through close references to the work of Welch and Joris the study aims to investigate the impact of multiple languages on poetic writing, with a particular attention to poets’ linguistic meta-reflections and their positioning in relation to languages.
The dissertation is divided into three parts with separate yet related research aims and objectives. Part I sets out the context of the research while it also enquires into the pertinence of associating literary and linguistic dimensions with important features of nomadic theory. The definition of research aims and objectives motivates the description of a concept-based inquiry. An extensive review of relevant studies highlights the international and interdisciplinary character of recent research on multilingualism while nomadism appears as a rich resource for thinking about what moving means for writers. Both areas thus significantly contribute to the description of conceptual and textual cornerstones, which ensure the coherence of the study as a whole. Concepts need not come as abstract ideas only; the palimpsest as conceptual metaphor proves a fitting tool to investigate layers of texts, thoughts and locations. It is a golden thread that all along the dissertation functions as reminder of transformative processes.
A distinction between fact-oriented and poetic writing accounts for differences in focus in Parts II and III. Primary text resources in Part II comprise documentary and autobiographical writing as well as academic pieces. These texts help draw the poets’ itineraries, inquire into how they reconstruct former language experiences and develop key elements of a poetics for their creative writing. Gradually, the specificities of each poet’s conception of the role of language multiplicity emerges. Poetry as creative and imaginative work is at the centre of Part III, which scrutinizes texts for their various uses of translingualism in dialogical writing, in translational practices and in the creation of poetic spaces marked by superimposed voices, languages and texts.
Among the outcomes of the study, a few points stand out. The elaboration of an interdisciplinary framework stresses the benefits of crossing disciplinary perspectives and negotiating between terminologies in different languages. Part II shows that, contrary to widespread beliefs, both poets reject the mother tongue as language for writing; moreover, they demonstrate the rich cognitive, self- constructive and creative potential that a new self-selected language holds. The fundamental role that nomads’ ongoing reading in several languages holds for translingual writing is another crucial point that both poets constantly demonstrate. Differences, however, appear in their understanding of language multiplicity in texts. While Welch aims at a unified language, Joris is in search of new forms of writing that transgress borders of languages and genres. The analysis of poems in Part III confirms these diverse orientations and underlines the relevance of a distinction between implicit and explicit forms of heterolingualism, which account for a highly diversified range of writing across languages. For a study of all forms, the palimpsest remains a powerful conceptual metaphor to investigate the articulation of languages. The examples show that only an in-depth analysis can bring to light the nature of interactions and indicate their relevance for studies of multilingualism outside the literary context.
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