Challenges to monolingual national literatures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Both social-existential and literary forms of multilingualism pose meaningful challenges to monolingual national literatures, but the reverse is also true. Claudio Guillen'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, Guillen had little to say about what I consider 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
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781614512165
ISBN (Print)9781614515555
StatePublished - Sep 25 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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