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The Poets Tongues: Multilingualism in Literature: The de Carle Lectures at the University of Ot...

ISBN: 9780521129855 | 0521129850
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Pub. Date: 2/4/2010

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In this study of poetry written in languages other than the poet's native tongue Professor Forster begins with a general survey of multilingualism and its effects on literature. This is followed by a survey of medieval examples, with the main emphasis on Latin as lingua franca and language of scholarship. In the nineteenth century the concept of language as a function of nationality arose and 'language-loyalty' came to play an important part. With Dadaism and Surrealism language once again became simply material with which the poet worked and in principle any language was as good as another. Professor Forster examines with particular attention works by Milton, Stefan George, Rilke, T. S. Eliot and James Joyce. His discussion leads to more general questions of the relationship between the poet and his medium.

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