Challenges to Monolingual National Literatures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Both social-existential and literary forms of multilingualism pose meaningful challenges to monolingual national literatures, but the reverse is also true. Claudio Guillén’s typology of responses to the “latent” multilingualism of many societies distinguished between mere Sprachmischung and a more radical literary bilingualism, and was conscientiously attentive to the social dynamics of domination and subordination that guide the choice of a language of expression for multilingual or equilingual writers. And yet, like most who have written on this subject, Guillén had little to say about what I consider the the primary counter-challenge posed by monolingual national literatures to the literary multilingualism that challenges them: the organization of the book and other print publication industries, which all too often block the publication of radically multilingual literature at the point of entry to the market or even at the creative source, barring access to the literary posterity of the library and archive or even dissuading multilingual writers from undertaking multilingual writing projects altogether.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Multilingual Challenge
Subtitle of host publicationCross-Disciplinary Perspectives
EditorsClaire J. Kramsch, Ulrike Jessner-Schmid
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-1-61451-216-5
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameTrends in Applied Linguistics


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