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Katherine Mansfield and Translation$
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Claire Davison, Gerri Kimber, and W. Todd Martin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781474400381

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400381.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 July 2021

Foreign Languages and Mother Tongues: From Exoticism to Cannibalism in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories

Foreign Languages and Mother Tongues: From Exoticism to Cannibalism in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories

Chapter:
(p.106) Foreign Languages and Mother Tongues: From Exoticism to Cannibalism in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories
Source:
Katherine Mansfield and Translation
Author(s):

Elisabeth Lamy-Vialle

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400381.003.0008

This chapter discusses the way Katherine Mansfield uses the French language in her short-stories, and specifically in the stories set in France. Mansfield does not only use the French language as a semiological tool but confronts English-speaking readers with a foreign language that constantly interacts with their mother-tongue, imposing on them the Other’s tongue – Derrida’s ‘monolingualism of the Other’. She opens up an in-between space in which the two languages are questioned and unsettled, a process echoing the ‘becoming-other of language’ described by Deleuze. This chapter examines how the tension between English and French reaches a climax in the schizophrenic process at work in ‘Je ne Parle pas français’; language becomes, between the English and the French characters, a ‘cannibal-language’, the aggressive appropriation of the Other through his/her language in order to leave him/her speechless and powerless.

Keywords:   Semiology, Monolingualism, Cannibal-language, Mother-tongue, Derrida, Deleuze

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