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Nimble Tongues is a collection of essays that continues Steven G. Kellman's work in the fertile field of translingualism, focusing on the phenomenon of switching languages. A series of investigations and reflections rather than a single thesis, the collection is perhaps more akin in its aims—if not accomplishment—to George Steiner’s Extraterritorial: Papers on Literature and the Language Revolution or Umberto Eco’s Travels in Hyperreality.

Topics covered include the significance of translingualism; translation and its challenges; immigrant memoirs; the autobiographies that Ariel Dorfman wrote in English and Spanish, respectively; the only feature film ever made in Esperanto; Francesca Marciano, an Italian who writes in English; Jhumpa Lahiri, who has abandoned English for Italian; Ilan Stavans, a prominent translingual author and scholar; Hugo Hamilton, a writer who grew up torn among Irish, German, and English; Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, a Mexican who writes in English; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a multilingual text.



Publication Date

Winter 2-15-2020


Purdue University Press


West Lafayette


translingualism, immigrant memoirs, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Hugo Hamilton, Ilan Stavans, Jhumpa Lahiri, Francesca Marciano, Ariel Dorfman, switching languages, George Steiner, Umberto Eco, translation


Comparative Literature | Translation Studies


Open access publication of this title is supported by Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies.

Nimble Tongues: Studies in Literary Translingualism