Steven G. Kellman

What is a translingual poem?

In The Translingual Imagination Steven G. Kellman applies the term “translingualism” to writing in more than one language or a language other than one’s primary one. The translingual author, he states, is “an author whose linguistic medium is a matter of option.” Not surprisingly, he limits himself to novelists, including well-known examples like Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, and Samuel Beckett. It appears that a translingual poem, while possible, is not very common — and even then seriously compromised as a poem.

In The Translingual Imagination Steven G. Kellman applies the term “translingualism” to writing in more than one language or a language other than one’s primary one. The translingual author, he states, is “an author whose linguistic medium is a matter of option.” Not surprisingly, he limits himself to novelists, including well-known examples like Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, and Samuel Beckett. As he notes,

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