Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dissertation on Alexakis

Today I read the introduction of the dissertation: Vassilis Alexakis: exorciser l’exil. Déplacements autofictionnels, linguistiques et spatiaux by Marianne Halloran (Date of defense: 2008-02-29, language: French; available online as pdf) which seems quite promising. Although she takes the fact into account that Alexakis does self-translations, she announces that she will not compare the different versions, which I think is a quite refreshing approach. On the other hand, she decided to limit herself to the french versions only, which at first glance I find a bit problematic.
In her introduction she discusses the use of the term "Francophonie" which Alexakis refuses to use for himself. She also refers to the manifesto " Pour une 'littérature monde' en français" which was published in Le Monde in 2007 and emphasizes the need to overcome old literary categories which are based on national aspects. How to "label" or "categorize" bilingual writers mainly self-translators is an issue still to be solved.
Halloran also draws attention to the fact that in France many literary prizes especially in 2007 have been given to foreign writers. A fact that was already discussed in 1997 in the New York Times by Alan Riding in a very interesting article: "An Invading Legion of Foreign Writers is Snapping up the Medals".
Alexakis himself also points out that he neither belongs to the French nor to the Greek literature. Halloran remarks that Alexakis is not even mentioned in the Encyclopedia of Modern Greek Literature which I think is quite remarkable and also quite disappointing.
Altogether, I am looking forward to read the whole dissertation and I am really grateful that she has made it available for all of us.


Anonymous said...

Dear Eva,
I am the author of this dissertation and, since we seem to share a lot of common interests, I would love to get in touch with you. How can I get in touch with you?

Eva said...

Dear Marianne, I somehow missed your comment. I will try to contact you.