Language as neurosis or language as 'super-tongue for intercontinental expression'? For Eugene Jolas, a self-described 'American in exile in the hybrid world of the Franco-German frontier, in a transitional region where people swayed to and from in cultural and political oscillation, in the twilight zone of the German and French languages' (MB. p. 5), language was clearly both. For his was not just the usual bilingualism (or, more properly, the linguistic divisionism) of the Alsace-Lorraine citizen at the turn of the century; it was compounded by the acquisition of American English (already, so to speak, Jolas's birthright, born as he was in Union, New Jersey) in the years between 1909 when, .as a fifteen-year old, he emigrated to New York, and 1923 when he returned to Europe.



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