1st Edition

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

Edited By Heidi Grönstrand, Markus Huss, Ralf Kauranen Copyright 2020
    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    344 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    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


    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" (migrationcomics.fi).