The Aesthetics and Politics of Linguistic Borders : Multilingualism in Northern European Literature book cover
1st Edition

The Aesthetics and Politics of Linguistic Borders
Multilingualism in Northern European Literature

ISBN 9780367203153
Published September 30, 2019 by Routledge
344 Pages

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Book Description

This collection showcases a multivalent approach to the study of literary multilingualism, embodied in contemporary Nordic literature. While previous approaches to literary multilingualism have tended to take a textual or authorship focus, this book advocates for a theoretical perspective which reflects the multiplicity of languages in use in contemporary literature emerging from increased globalization and transnational interaction. Drawing on a multimodal range of examples from contemporary Nordic literature, these eighteen chapters illustrate the ways in which multilingualism is dynamic rather than fixed, resulting from the interactions between authors, texts, and readers as well as between literary and socio-political institutions. The book highlights the processes by which borders are formed within the production, circulation, and reception of literature and in turn, the impact of these borders on issues around cultural, linguistic, and national belonging. Introducing an innovative approach to the study of multilingualism in literature, this collection will be of particular interest to students and researchers in literary studies, cultural studies, and multilingualism.

Table of Contents


Part I. Introduction

1. Introduction: The processes and practices of multilingualism in literature

Ralf Kauranen, Markus Huss & Heidi Grönstrand

Part II. Multilingualism as a challenge to national borders

2. Follow the translations! The transnational circulation of Hassan Blasim’s short stories

Olli Löytty

3. Broken lineages, impossible affiliations: The Russian Baltic subject in Andrei Ivanov’s "Zola" and Peotäis põrmu

Eneken Laanes

4. De-bordering comics culture: Multilingual publishing in the Finnish field of comics

Ralf Kauranen

5. The multilingual landscape of Sámi literature: Linguistic and cultural border crossing in the work of Sigbjørn Skåden

Kaisa Ahvenjärvi

6. Kjartan Fløgstad’s Pampa Unión: A travel on the border of languages in Latin America

Anne Karine Kleveland

7. Humour and shifting language borders in Umayya Abu-Hanna’s auto-fictional novel Sinut

Heidi Grönstrand

8. An author’s view: To be a bridge between cultures

Zinaida Lindén

9. The pilot’s son (short story)

Zinaida Lindén

Part III. Multilingualism as problematization of language

10. Language play and politics in contemporary Swedish hip-hop

Karin Nykvist

11. "Conversations in misspelled English": Partial comprehension and linguistic borderlands in Tomas Tranströmer’s Östersjöar. En dikt (Baltics)

Markus Huss

12. Transcending borders through multilingual intertextuality in Ville Tietäväinen’s graphic novel Näkymättömät kädet

Aura Nikkilä

13. Multilingualism and the work of readers: Processes of linguistic bordering in three cases of contemporary Swedish language literature

Julia Tidigs

14. "So let me remain a stranger": Multilingualism and biscriptalism in the works of Finland-Swedish writer Tito Colliander

Helena Bodin

15. Urbanized folk life: Multilingual slang, gender and new voices in Finnish literature

Kukku Melkas

16. The permeable border: Anxieties of the mother tongue in contemporary Nordic poetry

Elisabeth Friis

17. The small mysteries of code-switching: A practitioner’s views on comics and multilingualism

Interview with Mika Lietzén by Ralf Kauranen

18. 1917 – Libau (comics short story)

Mika Lietzén

List of contributors

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Heidi Grönstrand is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Slavic and Baltic languages, Finnish, Dutch and German at Stockholm University. She has published on literary multilingualism and language ideologies in a variety of journals and edited books. In 2014– 2017, she led the research group Multilingualism in Contemporary Literature in Finland.

Markus Huss is Assistant professor of German at the Department of Slavic and Baltic languages, Finnish, Dutch and German at Stockholm University. He has published on literary multilingualism, intermediality and multimodality, the relationship between historiography and literature, German and Swedish postwar literature and exile literature.

Ralf Kauranen is a sociologist and comics scholar based at the Department of Finnish Literature at University of Turku. He has written on Finnish comics culture from different perspectives, political cartoons, transnationalism, and social class. In 2018-2020 he leads the project "Comics and Migration: Belonging, Narration, Activism" (