Reading with Accents – Literature as Sounding Archive of the Multilingual Cultural Memories

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Mónika Dánél


Because of cultural interferences and historical juxtapositions, the inner heterogeneity and hybridity of East–Central Europe as a shared territory between different national and ethnic groups and as a “multilingual selfawareness” (Thomka 2018) could be seen and enforced as a common non – nationalistic local background. The multilingual poetics created by “commuting grammars” (Thomka 2018) of bi – or trilingual authors whose poetic languages create between different languages, transferring, juxtaposing, layering cultural worlds and social experiences.

Focusing on the accents, which always preserve the sounding memory of another language, the audible interaction of languages could transform the multi – ethnic memory of a multilingual region into a contemporary audible experience. Accents enable to turn the written and latent multilingualism into an oral manifest reading experience.

Reading with accents stages this literature as an oscillating – sounding archive with layered local multilingual memories and, at the same time, as a contemporary oral transnational medium. My corpus of the analysis will be the novels of Ádám Bodor, which transform the Hungarian language into an audible archival medium of multilingual cultural spaces, creating local perspectives by juxtaposing (conflicting) historical mnemonic legacies and divergences.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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