11th seminar: Fabrizio De Donno
Fabrizio De Donno (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Linguistic Pilgrimages: Exophonic Writing in the Age of World Literature
Thursday, November 7th 2019
18:15 in Lossi 3-307
"This paper discusses a number of writings by Jhumpa Lahiri, Yoko Tawada and Ha Jin in order to explore these authors’ journeys out of their mother tongue and into a language – respectively Italian, German and English – they learnt as adults and used creatively in their literary endeavours. I look at how these authors betray an emotional relationship with their acquired language that intersects with their biographies and their diverse and yet similar experiences of migration.
I am particularly interested in how, in the exophonic works by these authors, language interacts with notions of identity, homeland and pilgrimage, in the context of narrations of estrangement, rootlessness and liberation. I also consider these authors’ engagement with the literary traditions and readerships of their writing languages, as well as translation, and the significance of such literary cosmopolitanism in current debates on world literature.
My main objective, in short, is to trace an exophonic paradigm on the notion of ownership of one’s non-native language (how does one own a non-native language?) in relation to the possibilities for artistic expression in the age of world literature."
Fabrizio De Donno is Senior Lecturer in Italian and Comparative Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author of Italian Orientalism: Nationhood, Cosmopolitanism and the Cultural Politics of Identity (2019).