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Discusses the work of 'migrant' writers, principally Eva Hoffman, Czeslaw Milosz, Vladimir Nabokov, Maxine Hong Kingston, Richard Rodriguez, Andrew Riemer, and Kazuo Ishiguro, writing in the English language.
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
yTranslating One's Self : Language and Selfhood in Cross-Cultural NarrativesMary Besemeres,
Canberra:1999Z11184331999single work thesis 'The immigrant experience of having to 'translate oneself' from one's mother tongue into a foreign language and losing part of oneself in the process, shows how deeply selfhood is bound up with natural language. Lost in Translation (1989) - the title of Polish- Canadian author Eva Hoffman's signal memoir - conveys with particular force the potential loss of self, of key aspects of what a person has been, in the course of migrating between languages. It is the author herself who is imagined as "lost in translation ", by analogy with the meaning of a text. The metaphor of fidelity to an original has immediate resonance in the context of an immigrant's life: are the cultural assumptions with which he or she arrives susceptible to extension and revision, and to what extent can a "self" be identified with them? Hoffman's metaphor of self -translation offers insights into the nature of relations between language, culture and selfhood which are of a broad theoretical and experiential interest, illuminating the condition of what I call 'language migrants' and native speakers alike.' (Paragraph one, Synopsis)