Publication details [#22685]

Simon, Sherry. 2011. Cities in translation: intersections of language and memory. London: Routledge. 204 pp.
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All cities are multilingual, but there are some where language relations have a special importance. These are cities where more than one historically rooted language community lays claim to the territory of the city. This book focuses on four such linguistically divided cities: Calcutta, Trieste, Barcelona, and Montreal. Though living with the ever-present threat of conflict, these cities offer the possibility of creative interaction across competing languages and this book examines the dynamics of translation in its many forms. By focusing on a category of cities which has received little attention, this study contributes to our understanding of the kinds of literary relations that sustain the diversity of urban life--and the dissonances that contribute to a culture of modernity. Each chapter follows translators across their cities, highlighting moments of significant cultural interchange. Each of the sites has been the scene of an intense translational culture where the presence of two strong identities were sources of both political friction and cultural interconnections. In each case a vehicular language cohabits with a vernacular, and history blows in the direction of the vernacular. Translation is a key to understanding the culture of the dual city, its uneasy mix of distancing and furthering.
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