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Type of publication: Konferencijų tezės nerecenzuojamuose leidiniuose / Conference theses in non-peer-reviewed publications (T2)
Field of Science: Filologija / Philology (H004)
Author(s): Bonda, Moreno;Macijauskaitė-Bonda, Jurgita
Title: Bellybable: non-human multilingualism in European literature
Is part of: Sustainable multilingualism 2017 : 4th international scientific conference of Institute of Foreign Languages, Vytautas Magnus University; 11th international scientific conference of language Teachers’ Association of Lithuania, May 26–27, 2017 Kaunas, Lithuania: conference abstracts / editors Nemira Mačianskienė, Servet Çelik. Kaunas : Vytautas Magnus University, 2018
Extent: p. 95-95
Date: 2018
Keywords: European literature;Multilingualism;Comparative analysis
ISBN: 9786094673481
Abstract: In a global and multilingual society, indubitable is the importance of a reflection on the Self and the Other as defined by language. In our study we investigate a centenary trend in European literature, which identifies a peculiar form of multilingualism with the non-human. From Dante’s Inferno to Joyce’s The cat and the Devil, the netherworld, its inhabitants and captives are characterized by the use and coexistence of several (usually not intelligible) languages. According to this representation, while the clarity and precision of a single language contributes to define a human identity, the plurality of languages is often a sign of a lost identity and of not being human anymore. It is not by chance that the verses of Dante “There sighs and wails and piercing cries of woe / […] Strange languages, and frightful forms of speech, / words caused by pain, accents of anger, voices / both loud and faint” are echoed in Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man (1946). The multilingualism is a central point in Levi’s memories of the time spent in the concentration camp where “languages absolutely not understandable [...], the orders shouted in languages [we] were not able to recognize”and the “endless Babel where everyone is shouting” symbolise the lost human condition. Both the damned souls and the prisoners of the camp are not human anymore because they have lost their language and, with it, their identity. In our study, a comparative analysis of the narrative and the lexicon of (semi)fictional multilingualism in European literature reveals a strong connection between human identity and purity of language – a manifestation of human rationality and humanity tout court. On the contrary, a number of recurrent lexical choices and figures of speech seem to define the non-human as a multilingual world characterized by sighs, wails and strange languages, like the bellybable of Joyce’s devil
Affiliation(s): Humanitarinių mokslų fakultetas
Užsienio kalbų, lit. ir vert. s. katedra
Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas
Appears in Collections:Universiteto mokslo publikacijos / University Research Publications

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