Émigrés and Exiles’ Search for Identity through Second Language Writing (NeMLA Panel)
Why do many émigré or exiled authors adopt the language of their host country, rather than write in their native tongue? Does this affect their sense of identity, or merely our identification of them?
Previous panels and round-tables at NeMLA have explored the connections between Language and Self, Language and Identity. Participants in this panel are asked to look specifically at émigrés and exiles who write in a second language, with an eye towards exploring whether this form of “self-translation,” this second-language writing, serves as method of creation of a new Self, or as a bridge between former and new identities. Plainly stated: why do many émigré authors adopt the language of their host country, rather than write in their native tongue? To what degree, if any, does this affect either the tenor or the quality of the literature they produce?
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