English Literature and the Other Languages

Front Cover
Ton Hoenselaars, Marius Buning
Rodopi, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 411 pages
The thirty essays in English Literature and the Other Languages trace how the tangentiality of English and other modes of language affects the production of English literature, and investigate how questions of linguistic code can be made accessible to literary analysis. This collection studies multilingualism from the Reformation onwards, when Latin was an alternative to the emerging vernacular of the Anglican nation; the eighteenth-century confrontation between English and the languages of the colonies; the process whereby the standard British English of the colonizer has lost ground to independent englishes (American, Canadian, Indian, Caribbean, Nigerian, or New Zealand English), that now consider the original standard British English as the other languages the interaction between English and a range of British language varieties including Welsh, Irish, and Scots, the Lancashire and Dorset dialects, as well as working-class idiom; Chicano literature; translation and self-translation; Ezra Pound's revitalization of English in the Cantos; and the psychogrammar and comic dialogics in Joyce's Ulysses, As Norman Blake puts it in his Afterword to English Literature and the Other Languages: There has been no volume such as this which tries to take stock of the whole area and to put multilingualism in literature on the map. It is a subject which has been neglected for too long, and this volume is to be welcomed for its brave attempt to fill this lacuna.

From inside the book


Language and Class in
Linguistic Confusion in
The Roles of Latinism in John Miltons Paradise Lost
Implicit Translation in Joseph Conrads Malay Trilogy
Kipling and the Use of
Eumaeun Language
Contemporary Scottish Novelists and the Stepmother Tongue
Literary Voices and the Projection of Cultural Failure
The Double Tongue
Language in Wole Soyinkas
Why Write in English? The Postcolonial Question
Notes on Contributors

English Words in Irish Mouths in English Books

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Page 78 - Indeed, any concrete discourse (utterance) finds the object at which it was directed already as it were overlain with qualifications, open to dispute, charged with value, already enveloped in an obscuring mist — or, on the contrary, by the "light" of alien words that have already been spoken about it.
Page 254 - On the stage one must have reality, and one must have joy ; and that is why the intellectual modern drama has failed, and people have grown sick "of the false joy of the musical comedy, that has been given them in place of the rich joy found only in what is superb and wild in reality.
Page 128 - O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away"; But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play— The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.
Page 128 - I WENT into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer, The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here. ' ' The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die, I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I : O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ; But it's
Page 192 - CATHLEEN [speaking softly]. You did not, mother; it wasn't Michael you seen, for his body is after being found in the far north, and he's got a clean burial by the grace of God. MAURYA [a little defiantly]. I'm after seeing him this day, and he riding and galloping. Bartley came first on the red mare; and I tried to say "God speed you," but something choked the words in my throat.
Page 177 - This, to be sure, is to admit that all translation is only a somewhat provisional way of coming to terms with the foreignness of languages.
Page 55 - ... medical doctrines which would disgrace an English farrier, astronomy which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, history abounding with kings thirty feet high and reigns thirty thousand years long, and geography, made up of seas of treacle and seas of butter.
Page 55 - We are a Board for wasting public money, for printing books which are of less value than the paper on which they are printed was while it was blank ; for giving artificial encouragement to absurd history, absurd metaphysics, absurd physics, absurd theology...
Page 301 - Rose was calm. Not all red and flustered like me. She took a big pull on the cigarette she had lit, squinted her eyes up and blew the smoke out gently. I knew something was coming. 'Don't they have names?' 'What. Who?' Jane was surprised and her face was getting pink. 'The people from down the road whom your husband is employing to cut scrub.' Rose the stink thing, she was talking all Pakehafied. 'I don't know any of their names.
Page 54 - I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.