Publication Details

Jacklin, M. R. "Review of "Persuading Plato"." Transnational Literature 7 .2 (2015): 1-3.

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Transnational Literature


Translingual writing is an aspect of literary production that is receiving increasing attention from scholars worldwide. In a recent issue of L2 Journal, editors Stephen Kellman and Natasha Lvovich argue that although translingual writing – that is, writing across languages, or writing in a language that is not the author’s first – may be as old as the earliest forms of alphabetic script, its practice has become especially widespread in contemporary culture.1 With the mass movements of peoples through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the works of writers who have chosen to write in a language which is not their first provide scholars with diverse sources for critical reflection on literature, language, identity and place. It is surprising, therefore, that the term ‘translingual literature’ has limited currency in Australia, a nation in many ways defined by the multicultural composition, if not the multilingual capabilities, of its peoples. Is this apparent lack of interest in the translingual dimensions of Australian writing a symptom of the lingering assumption that Australian writing is monolingual, regardless of the linguistic background and heritage of its writers? (A notable exception to this lack of attention to translingual literature among Australian scholars is to be found in the work of Mary Besemeres, to whom I am grateful for pointing me towards the issue of L2 Journal cited above.)