Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature by Rebecca Walkowitz

Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature

byRebecca Walkowitz

Hardcover | August 4, 2015

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As a growing number of contemporary novelists write for publication in multiple languages, the genre's form and aims are shifting. Born-translated novels include passages that appear to be written in different tongues, narrators who speak to foreign audiences, and other visual and formal techniques that treat translation as a medium rather than as an afterthought. These strategies challenge the global dominance of English, complicate "native" readership, and protect creative works against misinterpretation as they circulate. They have also given rise to a new form of writing that confounds traditional models of literary history and political community.

Born Translated builds a much-needed framework for understanding translation's effect on fictional works, as well as digital art, avant-garde magazines, literary anthologies, and visual media. Artists and novelists discussed include J. M. Coetzee, Junot Díaz, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mohsin Hamid, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jamaica Kincaid, Ben Lerner, China Miéville, David Mitchell, Walter Mosley, Caryl Phillips, Adam Thirlwell, Amy Waldman, and Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries. The book understands that contemporary literature begins at once in many places, engaging in a new type of social embeddedness and political solidarity. It recasts literary history as a series of convergences and departures and, by elevating the status of "born-translated" works, redefines common conceptions of author, reader, and nation.

About The Author

Rebecca L. Walkowitz is professor and director of graduate studies in English and affiliate faculty in comparative literature at Rutgers University. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation (2006) and the editor or coeditor of several books, including A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism (2016, with Eric H...
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Details & Specs

Title:Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World LiteratureFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.03 inPublished:August 4, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231165943

ISBN - 13:9780231165945

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Theory of World Literature Now1. Close Reading at a Distance2. The Series, the List, and the Clone3. Sampling, Collating, and Counting4. This Is Not Your Language5. Born Translated and Born DigitalEpilogue: MultiplesNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Walkowitz's book is well informed by theories of world literature and translation, and her prose is never less than readable and accessible. She shows us in Born Translated how important the role of translation is in contemporary Anglophone literature and, at the same time, how it complicates that very notion.