Translingual Francophonie and the Limits of Translation  book cover
1st Edition

Translingual Francophonie and the Limits of Translation

ISBN 9780367549121
Published September 3, 2020 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Translingual Francophonie and the Limits of Translation proposes a novel theoretical lens for the study of translation as theme and practice in works by four translingual, francophone authors: Vassilis Alexakis, Chahdortt Djavann, Nancy Huston, and Andreï Makine. In particular, it argues that translation allows for the most productive encounter with otherness when it is practiced in its "estuarine" dimension. When two foreign bodies of water come into contact in an estuary, often a new environment is created at their shared border that does not, however, invalidate the distinctiveness (chemical, biological, geological etc.) of either fresh or sea water. Similarly, texts translated from one language to another, should ideally not transform into but rather relate to their new host’s linguistic and cultural codes in ways that account both for their undiluted strangeness and the missteps, gaps, and discontinuities, the challenging yet novel and productive articulations of relationality that proliferate at the border of the encounter.  

Table of Contents


a. The New Cosmopolitan

b. Translation Studies and the Estuary

c. Delimiting the Estuary


Andreï Makine and the Limits of Domestication

a. Le testament français as Faltering Estuary

b. Cultural Stratification and Hypoxic Environments


Nancy Huston’s Estuarine Ecosystems and the Minor

a. Palimpsestual Echoes in Trois fois septembre

b. Limbes/Limbo: Undermining the Major


Vassilis Alexakis and the Limits of Self-Translation

a. La langue maternelle and the Politics of Self-Translation

b. Eliding the Colonial: The Linguistic Ethics of Les mots étrangers


A Native Informant in the Estuary: Chahdortt Djavann and Iran

a. Cultural and Linguistic Multiplicities in Comment peut-on être français, Je ne suis pas celle que je suis and La dernière séance

b. Translational Stifling in La muette



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Ioanna Chatzidimitriou is Assistant Professor of French at Muhlenberg College. Her research interests lie in translingual francophonie, translation studies, and contemporary France. She has published widely on contemporary francophone authors and is currently co-editing an essay collection titled Vassilis Alexakis: chemins croisés.