Translingual Identities

Translingual Identities

Language and the Self in Stefan Heym and Jakov Lind

Tamar Steinitz


Camden House



Explores the psychology of literary translingualism in the works of two authors, finding it expressed as loss and fragmentation in one case and as opportunity and mediation in the other.
The works of translingual writers-those who write in a language other than their native tongue-present a rich field for study, but literary translingualism remains underresearched and undertheorized. In this work Tamar Steinitz explores the psychological effects of translingualism in the works of two authors: the German Stefan Heym (1913-2001) and the Austrian Jakov Lind (1927-2007). Both were forced into exile by the rise of Nazism; both chose English as a language of artistic expression. Steinitz argues that translingualism, which ruptures the perceived link between language and world as the writer chooses between systems of representation, leads to a psychic split that can be expressed in the writer's work as a schizophrenic existence or as a productive doubling of perspective. Movement between languages can thus reflect both the freedom associated with geographical mobility and the emotional price it entails. Reading Lind's and Heym's works within their postwar context, Steinitz proposes these authors as representative models, respectively, of translingualism as loss and fragmentation and translingualism as opportunity and mediation.

Tamar Steinitz teaches English literature at Queen Mary and Goldsmiths colleges, University of London. She has also worked as a literary translator.


September 2013
224 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135476
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004020, SOC007000
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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
In Other Words: Jakov Lind's Translingual Autobiography
Fighting Words: Propaganda and Ideology in Stefan Heym's The Crusaders
The Writer and His Languages
The Wandering Jew


(M)akes an important contribution to the critical reception of the two modernist writers and to the study of translingual literature and the phenomenon of translingualism in general. FOCUS ON GERMAN STUDIES

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