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Layers of Translation: Multilingualism in War and Holocaust Fiction

  • Angela Kershaw
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)

Abstract

This chapter considers the functions of multilingualism and translation within texts even before they are translated. In the war novels examined in Chap.  5, the presence of the translating language—English—in the French source text poses particular problems for translation. In the more complex case of Holocaust novels by translingual writers, multilingualism is an aesthetic resource used to convey trauma. Multilingualism cannot resolve the problem of Holocaust representation, but can function as what Michael Rothberg terms ‘traumatic realism’. In André Schwarz-Bart’s Le Dernier des Justes, translation remains when language breaks down in the face of horror. In Anna Langfus’s fiction, instability and confusion around the languages characters are speaking draw the reader’s attention to language as the medium of communication of trauma.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Kershaw
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Modern LanguagesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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