By Daniel Katz
This research takes as its aspect of departure a necessary premise: that the frequent phenomenon of expatriation in American modernism is much less a flight from the fatherland than a dialectical go back to it, yet one that renders uncanny all tropes of familiarity and immediacy which 'fatherlands' and 'mother tongues' are usually noticeable as supplying. during this framework, equally totalizing notions of cultural authenticity are noticeable to control either exoticist mystification and 'nativist' obsessions with the purity of the 'mother tongue.' whilst, cosmopolitanism, translation, and multilingualism turn into usually eroticized tropes of violation of this version, and consequently, concurrently courted and abhorred, in a flow which, if crystallized in expatriate modernism, persisted to make its presence felt beyond.Beginning with the past due paintings of Henry James, this ebook is going directly to learn at size Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, to finish with the uncanny regionalism of mid-century San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer, and the deterritorialized aesthetic of Spicer's peer, John Ashbery. via an emphasis on modernism as an area of generalized interference, the perform and trope of translation emerges as primary to the entire writers involved, whereas the e-book is still in consistent discussion with key fresh works on transnationalism, transatlanticism, and modernism.
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Extra resources for American Modernism's Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation (Edinburgh Studies in Transatlantic Literatures)
8 Furthermore, the reference in the Marble Faun to the “Illyrica Lingua” might help explain James’ odd discussion of “Roumelian,” for if “Illyrian” is an obsolete term for Serbo-Croatian while Roumelian indicates dialects of Greek spoken in the Southern Balkans, it is easy to imagine that, given the rarity of the languages involved and their relative geographical proximity, James either remembered wrongly, or chose to package his allusion in a slight displacement. In either event, the passage in The Marble Faun is one of the most important in the novel, and clearly relevant to James’ concerns in The Ambassadors.
Strether makes this plain enough when he claims Chad and Marie to be the youth he never had, his trip to Europe the great indulgence compensating a lifetime of renunciation. And for the payoff to be valid, Chad and Marie must be virtuous and true, which they are not, and Europe must be, well, Europe. These two affective constructions are of course intimately linked. Regarding the former, Strether suffers two major disappointments: first, that he has been deceived regarding the nature of the lovers’ “virtuous attachment,” but second, and far worse, that the love Strether feels Marie and all she represents deserves, is not one Chad seems to share.
In light of these problems, it seems fair to suggest that the book’s interest in the “international theme” consists less of epistemological questions of cross-cultural comprehension, than of affective ones concerning the role of radical difference in the construction of love objects: it is less a question of how Strether the New Englander can come to “understand” Europe, than of why he wants there to be “Europe” at all. What is the foreign, what is experience, what is an impression, that their conjugation can reward him so fully for a dull life of petty affairs?