Exile, Non-Belonging and Statelessness in Grangaud, Jabès, Lubin and Luca

No mans language

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Publisher Description

At least since the
Romantic era, poetry has often been understood as a powerful vector of
collective belonging. The idea that certain poets are emblematic of a
national culture is one of the chief means by which literature historicizes
itself, inscribes itself in a shared cultural past and supplies modes of
belonging to those who consume it. But what, then, of the exiled, migrant or
translingual poet? How might writing in a language other than one’s mother
tongue complicate this picture of the relation between poet, language and
literary system? What of those for whom the practice of poetry is inseparable
from a sense of restlessness or unease, suggesting a condition of not being
at home in any one language, even that of their mother tongue?

These questions are crucial for four
French-language poets whose work is the focus of this study: Armen Lubin
(1903-74), Ghérasim Luca (1913-94), Edmond Jabès (1912-91) and Michelle
Grangaud (1941-). Ranging across borders within and beyond the Francosphere – from Algeria to Armenia, to Egypt, to Romania – this book shows how a poetic
practice inflected by exile, statelessness or non-belonging has the potential
to disrupt long-held assumptions of the relation between subjects, the language
they use and the place from which they speak.

Praise for Exile, Non-Belonging and Statelessness in Grangaud, Jabès, Lubin and Luca

'Kerr’s book is a major contribution to Francophone studies, and to modern poetry studies more generally, in its penetrating exploration of the migrant, the stateless, and the diasporic writer. Engaging with current thought in philosophy of language, translation studies, and word-and-image studies, Kerr opens readers’ eyes and minds to how poetry undoes national and linguistic orthodoxies and makes its counterblast.' – Susan Harrow, University of Bristol

Fiction & Literature
7 June
UCL Press

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