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D’une langue à l’autre. Auto-traduction et décentrement

Thibaut Chaix-Bryan

Pages 223 - 231

The following essay presents several well-known bilingual authoresses and authors of our present time
who have resorted to the practice of poetic self translation and who have reflected on this special type
of literary translation in a philosophical and auto-reflexive way. The bilingual and multilingual modes
of writing focused on here prove to be typical and symptomatic of our times since they correspond to
an internationally widespread and topical situation of writing in the wake of globalization and diverse
migration processes. The interest of this contribution resides in very different types of writers like
Anne Weber, Yoko Tawada and Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt, who have in common that they are no
longer producing literary texts in their mother tongue, or not primarily, instead they have adopted the
language of their host country as poetic medium. By experimenting with the formerly foreign language
the authors also participate in a movement of decentring as it has been described and theoretically
explained by Gilles Deleuze. In the process of self-translation into one’s own mother tongue the
decentralized position thus attained is not lost, but sustained, and the productive distance gained by the
authors can be employed in order to achieve a more accomplished and self-confident handling of their


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