NABOKV-L post 0000567, Fri, 28 Apr 1995 16:02:15 -0700

Call for papers on literary bilingualism
EDITORIAL NOTE: The projected volume of papers described below cries out
for contributions from Nabokovians. DBJ

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 14:31:33 -0600
From: Ton Hoenselaars <Ton.j.hoenselaar@LET.RUU.NL>
Subject: Call for Papers

25 April 1995

The following *Call for Papers* has been posted to a.o. RENAIS-L,
SHAKSPER, REED-L and FICINO. We apologize for any convenience caused by
multiple posting. Should you know of anyone interested in the proposal, but
who cannot be reached via E-mail, please feel free to pass on this Call for


English Literature and the Other Languages

Eds. Marius Buning and Ton Hoenselaars

The aim of this volume is first of all to explore a variety of instances
where English literature relies for its means of expression on languages
other than English, or dialects that may in context be considered inferior
to the English standard. The editors also wish to investigate cases where
different languages (one of which English) are simultaneously at play in
the production of texts.

On one level, the type of linguistic contiguity as defined by the editors
may occur as a feature within the text. Examples of text-internal
contiguity in our working definition include, for example, macaronic verse,
but also the use of dialect in the *Second Shepherd's Play*, Chaucer's
*Reeve's Tale*, the novels of Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Hardy (*Mayor of
Casterbridge*), Charles Dickens (*David Copperfield*, and Emily Bronte's
*Wuthering Heights*, as well as the use of Welsh in the novels of John
Cowper Powys, and the colonial dialect in Kipling. Other instances of
text-internal bilingualism deserving attention are Shakespeare's Latin, the
use of nonsense language in *All's Well That Ends Well*, the coded language
of More's *Utopia*, the secret language of *Gulliver's Travels*, Joyce's
distribution of foreign tongues, and T.S. Eliot's foreign quotes. Broken
English, as in Shakespeare or in Nadine Gordimer's *July's People* deserves
to be investigated as well. In a large number of cases, the issue of the
other language as juxtaposed to English will involve non-native speakers
or characters; reflections on the (frequently stereotyped) foreign
character and his idiosyncratic speech in English literature are also
invited. Is the foreigner endowed with a type of archaic English to set him
off against the Englishman (the past as another country)? Which verbal
cliches and stock phrases does the English author have at his disposal to
convey the impression of a foreign language being used.
On another level, we are thinking of contributions focusing on bi-
lingualism in a broader sense, namely as a phenomenon existing between the
text and the author. In the past, authors not native to the English
language have nevertheless adopted it partly or entirely for their prose.
Joseph Conrad is the classical example, but Vladimir Nabokov is a good
runner-up. Also Jerzy Kosinski deserves attention, like Isak Dinesen. At
which point is an author simply being translated, and at which point may he
or she be considered part of the tradition of literatures in English. In
order to illustrate the issue of various languages at the author's
disposal, we are also thinking of contributions involving the political
choices involved in the literature of the Empire that writes back.
In the same way that authors who were not native to the English language
employed it for their literary statements, so authors who were native
speakers of a variety of English wrote in another language. We would wel-
come contributions on literature and the *lingua franca*, on John Milton's
Latin and/or Italian verse, or Samuel Beckett's work in French. Clearly,
the author versed in more than a single tongue, and also using both,
introduces the issue of self-translation.

Ideally, the volume should be a collection of provocative papers presenting
a wide range of ventures into a field that has remained largely neglected.
In no way should the material be exhausted; rather, the appeal of the
volume ought to be its exploratory character. The editors envisage a volume
containing 20-25 articles of approximately 4,000-5,000 words in length. The
deadline for contributions is 1 April 1996.
Should you wish to contribute an article to our volume on *English
Literature and the `Other' Languages* ! to be published in the DQR Studies
in English Literature series (Rodopi: Amsterdam and Atlanta, Ga.) ! please
submit your proposal of 250-300 words by 15 September 1995. Proposals
should be sent to:

Dr. Marius Buning, Dr. Ton Hoenselaars,
Department of English, Department of English,
Free University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University,
De Boelelaan 1105, Trans 10,
1081 HV Amsterdam, 3512 JK Utrecht,
The Netherlands. The Netherlands.

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