Multilingual literature

„A unitary language is not something given, but is always in essence posited – and at every moment of its linguistic life it is opposed to the realities of heteroglossia.”
M. M. Bakhtin



Vladimir Nabokov’s bilingual, Russian and English work first drew my interest in multilingual writing, a practice that is always intimately related to the notions of translation and self-translation. I have worked on multilingualism and self-translation in Vilém Flusser and Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt, as well as on their significance for literary Modernism and the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk, also focusing on their multiple metaphoric role in the work of Julien Green, Louis Wolfson, Raymond Federman, Christine Brooke-Rose and Abdelkebir Khatibi.


nabokov.4[1]                                                                                             Vladimir Nabokov

I am a foreign correspondent of Équipe Multilinguisme, Traduction, Création:

Book in Progress

Figuren der Mehrsprachigkeit (Metaphors of Multilingualism). The changing metaphors of multilingual society and culture, the multilingual text, the multilingual self, multilingual writing.

This book project is going to incorporate some of the results of my teaching activity at the HSG in St. Gallen (Switzerland) – where in 2013 and 2015 I held a course on multilingual literature (to master students) – and my course Cultura e scrittura di lingua tedesca at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (for bachelor students) that deals with intercultural and multilingual writers. From 2014 to 2017 I have invited  a series of writers to this course: Franco Biondi and Catalin Dorian Florescu (2014), Yoko Tawada and Ilma Rakusa (2015), Thomas Meyer and Beat Christen (2016), Zsuzsanna Gahse and Carmine Gino Chiellino (2017).

Articles and Book Chapters

5. Literary Translingualism in Switzerland: Pierre Lepori and Beat Christen, in: Flusser Studies 22, December 2016.

4. Polyglot Poetry. Multilingualism and the Aesthetics of the Gesamt-Kunstwerk, in: The Aesthetics of the Total Artwork. On Borders and Fragments, ed. by A. Finger and D. Follett, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2011, p. 305-326.

3. ‘Das sonderbare Francodeutsch’. Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt: Übersetzer und Selbstübersetzer , in: Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt: 1/09 Text und Kritik, ed., by H. L. Arnold, 181, München 2009, p. 59-70.

2. ‘I believe that my two tongues love each other cela ne m’étonnerait pas’: Self-Translation and the Construction of Sexual identity, in: TTR, Vol. XX, n° 1, 2007, p. 193-214.

1.Verschiedene Wege zum selben Ziel. Zur Bilingualität im Werk Georges-Arthur Goldschmidts, in: Kultur und Gespenster, Georges Arthur Goldschmidt, Number 5, 2007, p. 102-119.

DT1240418077_2009_georges_arthur_goldschmidt                                                                                               Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt

Conference Presentations

4. Translating the Body Politic: On the Geopolitical Dimension of National Languages, Genealogies of Knowledge I, Translating Political and Scientific Thought across Time and Space, 7-9- December 2017, University of Manchester.

3. The Multiligual Body of Language, Corpus Historicus. The Body in/of History, Sosnowiec (Poland), June 30th- July 1st 2017 (June 30th).

2. Metaphern der Mehrsprachigkeit, 21st World Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA 2016), Universität Wien

1. Writing in a plurilingual context: Literary translingualism in Switzerland, Inverted Runes: New Perspectives on Literary Translingualism, Uppsala University, 4-5 September 2015.