Journal Article

The Politics and Poetics of Transliteration in the Works of Olga Broumas and George Economou

George Fragopoulos


Published on behalf of The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States

Volume 39, issue 4, pages 140-161
Published in print December 2014 | ISSN: 0163-755X
Published online November 2014 | e-ISSN: 1946-3170 | DOI:
The Politics and Poetics of Transliteration in the Works of Olga Broumas and George Economou

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While a great deal of critical and theoretical attention has been paid to the political, aesthetic, and social possibilities of translation, surprisingly little work has been done on transliteration. This article seeks to remedy this critical lacuna by focusing on how two unjustly neglected poets, Olga Broumas and George Economou, deploy transliteration as a means of critiquing ideologies of linguistic and bodily belonging and differences in relation to the nation-state. A poetics of transliteration, as opposed to one of translation, can illuminate certain counter-hegemonic trends that would otherwise be neglected. This is accomplished, in part, through a “poetics” of self-fashioning, an aesthetic creation of subjects who do not quite fit into the nation-state's desire for establishing and maintaining a homogenous body politic. Such heuristic moves create conceptual and theoretical spaces, allowing for different forms of American identity in political and social credence, illustrating that there is no American subject that is not constituted by a multiplicity of cultural, linguistic, and historical influences.

Journal Article.  9072 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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