Challenging the Classification of Literature: Crossing Linguistic Borders with the Heteronymic Speaker
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The current organization of Literature must be questioned and reexamined. Classifying literary works according to their language and/or the nation the author belongs to is outdated. It ignores the increasingly complex national and linguistic positioning of, for instance, multilingual and immigrant authors. In this thesis, I uncover the lack of tools to study texts positioned in the grey area, not belonging to any category. Therefore, I provide a new concept, the heteronymic speaker, to better analyze these specific texts. Firstly, I show the necessity for this concept through the study of Fernando Pessoa’s transnational anglophone poems. Secondly, I apply the heteronymic speaker as a close-reading tool to analyze Yara Rodrigues Fowler’s bilingual novel Stubborn Archivist. My discussion of these texts using the heteronymic speaker leads to the conclusion that monolingual and national literary categorization is now obsolete and restraining. It is necessary that literary scholars question this system of classification and participate in the formulation of a new framework and tools adapted to the study of multilingual texts and authors.