By Daniel Katz
This examine takes as its aspect of departure an important premise: that the common phenomenon of expatriation in American modernism is much less a flight from the fatherland than a dialectical go back to it, yet one that renders uncanny all tropes of familiarity and immediacy which 'fatherlands' and 'mother tongues' are frequently noticeable as offering. during this framework, equally totalizing notions of cultural authenticity are visible to manipulate either exoticist mystification and 'nativist' obsessions with the purity of the 'mother tongue.' whilst, cosmopolitanism, translation, and multilingualism develop into frequently eroticized tropes of violation of this version, and consequently, at the same time courted and abhorred, in a flow which, if crystallized in expatriate modernism, persevered to make its presence felt beyond.Beginning with the overdue paintings of Henry James, this e-book is going directly to study at size Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, to finish with the uncanny regionalism of mid-century San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer, and the deterritorialized aesthetic of Spicer's peer, John Ashbery. via an emphasis on modernism as an area of generalized interference, the perform and trope of translation emerges as primary to the entire writers involved, whereas the booklet continues to be in consistent discussion with key contemporary works on transnationalism, transatlanticism, and modernism.
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Extra resources for American Modernism's Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation (Edinburgh Studies in Transatlantic Literatures)
208) In “Occasional Paris” James will ironically assert that this unfair displacement has at least the benefit of saving humanity as a whole from opprobrium––one particular ethnic group becomes the scapegoat preserving “humanity” as a category, for such a group does “. . not represent the human race for you, as in your native town your fellowcitizens do” (722). Whatever the benefits or drawbacks of this procedure, then, it points to a fascinating economy, in which a failure of introjection, where the “absoluteness” and “sanctity” of primary identifications begin to fade, can only be compensated by an exaggerated projection, which will then apply to a given cultural group the reification of “natural” qualities the expatriate can no longer identify with himself or herself.
Transference, for Laplanche, exists to produce––to reproduce––the “drive to translate” which he sees as originary. What is key for James, as well as other writers to be studied here, is Laplanche’s correlation of this translation drive with libidinal M856 KATZ TEXT M/UP 22 ] 14/6/07 10:10 am Page 22 American Modernism’s Expatriate Scene energy, and the paradoxes it produces. For this implies not only the libidinal investment in exoticisms of all sorts, but also, if for all humans the “originary” affective situation is in fact one of translation, as Laplanche suggests, that the desire for the enigmatic novelty of the other––person, language, culture––becomes nothing so much as the desire to repeat archaic scenarios depicted as originary.
Recurrent in this study will be paradigmatic scenes of such uneasy desires, articulated between total reification of the other and total untethering from one’s own identifications, and at times through the complicity between the two. An especially revealing scene of this sort is found in Henry James’ discussions of what he calls the “cosmopolite,” and the economics of estrangement it implies. The Cosmopolite, The Patriot, The Apparition That James saw expatriation as being of value to the writer as a form not only of assimilation of otherness but also of invigorating estrangement, leaves little doubt.