Migration and Literature: Gunter Grass, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, and Jan Kjaerstad

Overview

We live in an age of migration and more and more authors have migrant backgrounds. Migration and Literature offers a thorough and thought provoking examination of the thematic and formal role of migration in four contemporary and canonized novelists, Günter Grass, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, and Jan Kjærstad. This book examines how these novelists reflect, problematize, and “resolve” the problems set by the migratory world and analyzes how the novels employ discursive strategies which emphasize their migratory...

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Migration and Literature: Gunter Grass, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, and Jan Kjaerstad

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Overview

We live in an age of migration and more and more authors have migrant backgrounds. Migration and Literature offers a thorough and thought provoking examination of the thematic and formal role of migration in four contemporary and canonized novelists, Günter Grass, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, and Jan Kjærstad. This book examines how these novelists reflect, problematize, and “resolve” the problems set by the migratory world and analyzes how the novels employ discursive strategies which emphasize their migratory and homeless form.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Frank’s study presents a rigorously constructed new paradigm for understanding the multiply centered experiences of migration and displacement. The literary expression of modern exilic experience emerges from a spatially and culturally complex map and calls for a redefinition of such categories as migrant and exile literature. Theoretically well-grounded, historically informed, and written in a clear and fluid style, Migration and Literature refines and redefines the parameters of exilic writing by shifting the focus from authorial biography to the concept of literature of migration, as marked by our social and textual experience of modernity rooted in migratory sensibilities. The book is an outstanding contribution to the growing body of critical work on transnational literatures.”—Azade Seyhan, Fairbank Professor in the Humanities and Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Bryn Mawr College and author of Writing Outside the Nation

“In this important contribution to the contemporary debate on the novel, Frank argues that the postcolonial theme of migration in an increasingly changing world is also profoundly relevant for the late twentieth-century European novel.  The book blends insightful analyses of works by Günter Grass, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, and Jan Kjærstad with a superb discussion of narrative theories from Hegel to Franco Moretti.”—Thomas Pavel, Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Chicago and author of La pensée du roman

“Thanks to Frank’s book, the concept of ‘homelessness’ has now morphed from a trope of self-indulgent intellectual masochism into an angle describing a basic epistemological condition and the dominant form of the novel in the early twenty-first century.”—Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Albert Guérard Professor in Literature, Stanford University and author of Production of Presence

"While at first glance the comparison of the four chosen authors seems a daring project, Frank conceptualises his Ansatzpunkt well and manages to broaden the scope of migration on both the formal and thematic levels . . . Frank’s approach of incorporating biographical information in the interpretation of the literature where appropriate works well with the novelists chosen. In including an author who does not have a personal migratory background, Frank convincingly argues for expanding the literary designation of migrant literature to migration literature and thus draws attention to the ongoing social processes which find their way into the aesthetics of a 'migration literature'."--Kult Online 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230608283
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Søren Frank is Assistant Professor, University of Southern Denmark. He is the author of Salman Rushdies kartografi, and the forthcoming Giganternes skuldre: En fortælling om Manchester United. In addition, he has published a number of articles on Rushdie and Grass and translated Gilles Deleuze’s book on Proust into Danish.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations xi

Prolegomena: Toward a Literature of Migration 1

1 Gunter Grass 31

The Birth of the Trilogy 34

Heroes against Absurdity 38

Territories and Histories 48

Linguistic Diarrhea 64

Return of the Storyteller 69

2 Milan Kundera 79

Heroes of Nonbelonging 84

The Modern Homecoming 95

The Art of Composition 111

Return of the Authorial Narrator 119

3 Salman Rushdie 129

Heroes of Disorientation 132

Language Deterritorialized 152

DissemiNation 156

Rhizomatic Forms 162

4 Jan Kjaerstad 177

Narratorial Oscillations 181

Norway Glocalized 187

Kaleidoscopic Form and Human Identity 191

Epilegomena: Literary Studies and the Canon 197

Notes 205

Bibliography 217

Index 229

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