<<< Literaturen der Migration / Migration Literatures / Les littératures „migrantes“ / Las literaturas “migrantes”
The Reconstitution of the Self in Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation and in Lubomir Kanov’s Between Two Hemispheres
Stefana Roussenova (Department of English and American Studies, St. Kliment of Ohrid University of Sofia, Bulgaria) [BIO]
The paper studies the close relationship between language, writing and the reconstitution of the self in exile in the two immigrant autobiographies within the theoretical context of Julia Kristeva’s Strangers to Ourselves, structuralist and psychoanalytic theory. It is argued that both Hoffman and Kanov re-enact a similar model of readjustment of the self based on the endorsement of creativity and the role of the imagination as factors transforming exile into a positive and empowering event. Both narratives challenge the traditional assimilative model of cultural death and emphasize the importance of finding a channel along which to transplant the old-world culture onto the new life. The paper pays special attention to the psychological stage when logic and language disintegrate and compares it to infant development in psychoanalytic theory. The role and functions of metaphorics are also discussed for the representation of the readjustment process.