Subversive Translation and Lexical Empathy: Pedagogies of Cortesia and Transnational Multilingual Poetics

Merlinda Bobis

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Drawing on George Steiner’s concept of ‘lexical cortesia’ or ‘tact of heart’, this chapter offers an example of innovative embodied and embedded critical practice in which transnational author Merlinda Bobis combines her own complex perspectives as a multilingual writer, reader, teacher, translator and scholar. When facing linguistic and cultural difference in a predominantly monolingual hegemonic context, as is the case of the Australian literary landscape and the university classroom, subversive strategies are especially necessary so as not to mute artistic expression in other languages. Monolingual here does not stand for the person speaking only one language, but for the monolithic sensibility that hears and cares for only one tongue.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNarratives of Difference in Globalized Cultures: Reading Transnational Cultural Commodities
    Editors Belen Martin-Lucas and Andrea Ruthven
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-62132-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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