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2017 Vol. 8 № 4

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Mapping Poetic Bilingualism in Europe: Language Contacts and Cultural Transfers

DOI
10.5922/2225-5346- 2017-4-2
Pages
16-30

Abstract

This article presents preliminary results of a project studying multilingualism in world poetry. Multilingual interactions are particularly persistent in the contexts where either writers (poets) exist in multilingual sociocultural environments or they are moving from one country to another throughout their literary career. Existing in two or more cultural and/or linguistic spaces at the same time and thus making transfers across the boundaries of different languages easier, more efficient, and more conscious, multilingual poets serve as exemplary agents of cultural transfer. This study analyses different cases of poetic multilingualism where poets who can speak and write freely in two or more languages and intentionally create either variants of the same text in two languages or different poems in two separate languages. The author outlines a geographical map, locating areas where multilingual poetic production is or was most active. The scope of the mapping is limited to European countries and areas with bilingual or multilingual population. The article also discusses theoretical and practical challenges in mapping poetic multilingualism in Europe.

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