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Translingual poetics and the politics of language: the case of Katalin Molnár

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Forsdick, Charles 


The corpus of contemporary translingual writing in French is varied in terms of both the origins of the authors associated with this burgeoning literary phenomenon and the range of topics that writers address. Studies of this translingual corpus tend to focus nevertheless on a recurrent set of aspects including the fictionalization of language acquisition and the active intertextual engagement of authors with canonical French literature. These emphases often feed into a set of assumptions regarding the translingual author, who is read as seeking integration, through a process of progressive accumulation of linguistic and literary competence, into a long-standing French literary tradition. This article engages with the work of the author of Hungarian origin Katalin Molnár to interrogate and disrupt this model. Molnár’s oeuvre shows similarities with that of other translingual writers in that if focuses on processes of language acquisition and provides evidence of intertextual engagement. Drawing on recent scholarship on glottophobie, I demonstrate through the study of Molnár’s work the under-explored potential of exophonic writing to contribute to processes not of continuity but of a more disruptive renewal of a French literature that seeks to develop a literary praxis where translingual poetics converge with a critical politics of language.



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Contemporary French and Francophone Studies

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