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 9789004363243, 9789004363236

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Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writers since 1945

Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft Series Editor Norbert Bachleitner (University of Vienna) Founded by Alberto Martino Advisory Board Paul Ferstl (University of Vienna) Rüdiger Görner (Queen Mary, University of London) Stephanie M. Hilger (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Achim Hölter (University of Vienna) John A. McCarthy (Vanderbilt University) Alfred Noe (University of Vienna) Manfred Pfister (Free University of Berlin) Sven H. Rossel (University of Vienna)

volume 196

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/favl

Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writers since 1945 Fourteen National Contexts in Europe and Beyond Edited by

Wiebke Sievers Sandra Vlasta

leiden | boston

Cover illustration: The fifth blot of the Rorschach inkblot test, by Hermann Rorschach. Public Domain. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Sievers, Wiebke, editor. | Vlasta, Sandra, editor. Title: Immigrant and ethnic-minority writers since 1945 : fourteen national contexts in Europe and beyond / edited by Wiebke Sievers, Sandra Vlasta. Description: Leiden ; Boston : Brill / Rodopi, 2018. | Series: Internationale forschungen zur allgemeinen und vergleichenden literaturwissenschaft ; Volume 196 | The 14 chapters cover Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018024206 (print) | LCCN 2018030898 (ebook) | ISBN 9789004363243 (e-book) | ISBN 9789004363236 (hardback : alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Literature--Minority authors--History and criticism. | Immigrants' writings--History and criticism. | Ethnicity in literature. | Emigration and immigration in literature. | Multiculturalism in literature. Classification: LCC PN491.5 (ebook) | LCC PN491.5 .I46 2018 (print) | DDC 809/.89206912--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018024206

Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download: brill.com/brill-typeface. issn 0929-6999 isbn 978-90-04-36323-6 (hardback) isbn 978-90-04-36324-3 (e-book) Copyright 2018 by Koninklijke Brill nv, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill nv incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi, Brill Sense and Hotei Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill nv provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, ma 01923, usa. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

Contents Preface vii List of Contributors x Introduction 1 Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta 1 From White Australia to the Asian Century: Literature and Migration in Australia 9 Sneja Gunew and Wenche Ommundsen 2 New Austria, Old Roots: Writers of Immigrant Origin in Austria 43 Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta 3 Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in Brazilian Literature: A Fundamental Presence 77 Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida and Maria Zilda Ferreira Cury 4 Encountering Canada: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing 106 Christl Verduyn 5 A Belated Arrival: Flemish Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing 151 Sarah De Mul 6 Somewhere Between ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’: Immigrant and EthnicMinority Writing in France 172 Laura Reeck 7 From the Exclusion of Individual Authors to the Transnationalisation of the Literary Field: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in Germany 219 Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta 8 Learning New Languages: A Literature of Migration in Greece 259 Maria Oikonomou

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The Politics of Changing National Identity: Migration Literature in Italy 288 Marie Orton

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Challenging the Myth of Homogeneity: Immigrant Writing in Japan 318 Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt

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Oscillating between Margin and Centre: Dutch Literature of Migration 355 Liesbeth Minnaard

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The Faces of a New Transnational Swiss Nation 388 Daniel Rothenbühler, Bettina Spoerri and Martina Kamm

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From Commonwealth Literature to Black and Asian British Writers: The Long History of Migration and Literature in the United Kingdom 429 Sandra Vlasta and Dave Gunning

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Immigration and the United States: Immigrant Writing and Ethnic American Literature 463 Cathy J. Schlund-Vials



Conclusion: How Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writers Have Become a Vanguard of Cultural Change: Comparing Historical Developments, Political Changes and Literary Debates in Fifteen National Contexts 499 Wiebke Sievers Index 519

Preface Over the past three to four decades, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has attracted the attention of scholars in many countries; accordingly, research on the subject in various national contexts has grown significantly. Lately, there has been a trend to write historical overviews of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in individual national contexts (Cheesman 2007; Innes 2002; Kamm et al. 2010; Mathis-Moser and Mertz-Baumgartner 2011; Parati 2005). Furthermore, scholars have begun to compare various literary traditions in this writing (Geiser 2015; Minnaard 2008; Seyhan 2001; Vlasta 2016). In line with this trend, several edited volumes have appeared that include essays on immigrant and ethnic-minority writers residing in various countries (Behschnitt et al. 2013; Gebauer and Lausten 2010; Hoff 2008; Ponzanesi and Merolla 2005). However, what has been missing thus far is a comprehensive overview of the emergence and study of immigrant writing in different representative national contexts. It is therefore the aim of this volume to do exactly that: we felt that it was time to bring together the research on literature and migration in various national contexts and show what has been achieved thus far in the individual disciplines and in literary studies in general in this particular field. We proposed to edit a book which would analyse how literary scholars have studied immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in different national contexts over the last three decades. We invited international specialists in the field to contribute to our volume and we worked together through an intense process: first drafts of the individual chapters were discussed together with the contributors at a workshop in Vienna in 2012. These discussions formed the basis for the revised versions of the texts that can be found in this volume. Furthermore, at the workshop we made the joint decision to include further national contexts such as Japan and Brazil in the book and subsequently invited more experts to join the project. Thus, this book is the result of a collective and laborious effort and we would like to thank all the contributors for the time, effort and expertise they have put into this enterprise. We would also like to thank Satu Gröndahl, who was part of this project during its early stages and who wrote a first draft of a chapter on Sweden. In the end, however, the chapter could not be completed for the publication for personal reasons. We will, nevertheless, include the case in our introductory and concluding chapters. The developments in Sweden differ so much from all other contexts discussed here that we feel they should also be mentioned in our volume. We would like to thank a number of institutions for supporting this project at various stages: the Institute for Urban and Regional Research at the Austrian

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Academy of Sciences and the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna, for facilitating our research on this project. We also address our thanks to the Commission for Migration and Integration Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies of the University of Vienna, the Research Platform Migration and Integration Research of the University of Vienna and the Mayor of Vienna for their financial contributions to our workshop. In addition, the Institute for U ­ rban and Regional Research and the Commission for Migration and Integration ­Research generously funded both the translation into English of the Swiss contribution and the proofreading of all but one of the articles. Proofreading of the chapter on the uk that was added at a later stage of the publishing process was financed by the Research and Technology Transfer Unit of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz. Many thanks go to Jenny Money for correcting and proofreading this book in such an excellent and swift manner. Last but not least, we would like to thank Masja Horn at Brill | Rodopi for her help with the manuscript, and the anonymous reviewers of this volume for their valuable comments. Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta Vienna and Mainz, February 2018 References Behschnitt, W., S. De Mul and L. Minnaard, eds (2013) Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Cheesman, T. (2007) Novels of Turkish German Settlement: Cosmopolite Fictions. ­Rochester: Camden House. Gebauer, M. and P.S. Lausten, eds (2010) Migration and Literature in Contemporary Europe. Munich: Martin Meidenbauer. Geiser, M. (2015) Der Ort transkultureller Literatur in Deutschland und in Frankreich. Deutsch-türkische und frankomaghrebinische Literatur der Postmigration. ­Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. Hoff, K., ed. (2008) Literatur der Migration – Migration der Literatur. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Innes, C.L. (2002) A History of Black and Asian Writing in Britain, 1700–2000. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kamm, M., B. Spoerri, D. Rothenbühler and G. D’Amato, eds (2010) Diskurse in die Weite: Kosmopolitische Räume in den Literaturen der Schweiz. Zurich: Seismo.

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Mathis-Moser, U. and B. Mertz-Baumgartner, eds (2011) Passages et ancrages. Dictionnaire des ‘littératures migrantes’ en France depuis 1981. Paris: Honoré Champion. Minnaard, L. (2008) New Germans, New Dutch. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Parati, G. (2005) Migration Italy: The Art of Talking Back in a Destination Culture. ­Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press. Ponzanesi, S. and D. Merolla, eds (2005) Migrant Cartographies: New Cultural and Literary Spaces in Post-Colonial Europe. Lanham: Lexington. Seyhan, A. (2001) Writing Outside the Nation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Vlasta, S. (2016) Contemporary Migration Literature in German and English. A Comparative Study. Leiden: Brill | Rodopi.

List of Contributors Prof. Dr Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida Faculty of Letters and the Graduate Program in Literary Studies, Federal University of Minas Gerais/CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa/National Research Council), Brazil Prof. Dr Maria Zilda Ferreira Cury Faculty of Letters and the Graduate Program in Literary Studies, Federal University of Minas Gerais/CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa/National Research Council), Brazil Dr Sarah De Mul Faculty of Law and Cultural Studies, Open University, The Netherlands Prof. (Emerita) Dr Sneja Gunew Department of English and The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, University of British Columbia, Canada Dr Dave Gunning Department of English Literature, University of Birmingham, uk Prof. Dr Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University, Japan Martina Kamm Founder and Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Platform Face Migration, Zurich, Switzerland Dr Liesbeth Minnaard Department of Film and Literary Studies, Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (lucas), The Netherlands Dr Maria Oikonomou Research Associate, Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature, University of Vienna, Austria Prof. Dr Wenche Ommundsen School of the Arts, English and Media, University of Wollongong, Australia

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Dr Marie Orton Department of French and Italian, Brigham Young University, Provo, usa Dr Laura Reeck Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, usa Dr Daniel Rothenbühler Swiss Literature Institute, Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland Dr Cathy J. Schlund-Vials Department of English and Asian/Asian American Studies, University of ­Connecticut, usa Dr Wiebke Sievers Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, ­Vienna, Austria Dr Bettina Spoerri Freelance Researcher in Literary and Cultural Studies, Zurich, Switzerland Prof. Dr Christl Verduyn Department of English and Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University, ­Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada Dr Sandra Vlasta Gutenberg Institute for World Literature and Written Media, Department of General and Comparative Literature, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Introduction Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta Abstract This volume studies immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in fourteen national contexts from a comparative perspective. When literary scholars historicise immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in their respective national contexts, they usually only focus on how this writing has become visible and how it has come to challenge the respective national literatures; they rarely tell us why this writing has remained invisible for such a long time in many of the contexts discussed here. Yet, as soon as we move beyond national contexts, this is the first question which comes to mind: How can we explain these differences, especially between countries that have very similar immigration histories? With this question in mind, we developed a comparative framework that would bring to light both of these perspectives in each chapter. The introduction serves to explain this framework as well as the selection of countries included in this volume.

This book studies immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in fourteen national contexts from a comparative perspective.1 Our analysis starts from national contexts because we are particularly interested in how, and how far, these writers – who arrived in the host country as immigrants or are the descendants of immigrants – have managed to question national cultures, identities and literatures, and in whether these processes vary across national contexts. We selected a diverse sample of contexts for our comparison, including classical immigration countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, countries where immigration became an issue after World War ii – such as France and Germany – and countries that have only become countries of ­immigration in the last two decades, such as Italy and Greece. We have

1 Although Flanders is not a nation-state, the strong nationalism characterising this region justifies its categorisation as a national literary context in no way related to Francophone Belgium, but strongly dependent on the Dutch literary field. This also becomes evident in the fact that we could not identify a single expert willing to write a chapter on both the Flemish and the Francophone regions of Belgium.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���8 | doi 10.1163/9789004363243_002

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also included countries rarely discussed in this field of study, such as Brazil and ­Japan.2 This seemingly Westernised, if not Eurocentric, sample has not resulted from a Eurocentric approach but from empirical reality. This does not mean that there is no migration in other countries. On the contrary, while large numbers of immigrants live in Western countries such as the United States and Germany, this also holds true for countries not included in our study, such as the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Migration, however, does not necessarily result in the emergence of an immigrant or ethnic-minority literature, as shown with labour migration in Austria and the Netherlands compared to Germany (Minnaard 2011; Sievers 2008). This is due partly to the limited cultural and social capital of the immigrants and partly to the closed structures of the literary fields in their host countries. These factors may also serve to explain why we have not been able to identify any researchers working on writers of immigrant origin in Russia, Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates. Indeed, the fact that, in Japan and Brazil, there are so few scholars working on this topic demonstrates how relatively new and marginal it is in these two contexts. Unlike many other publications in this field, we do not intend to develop new concepts for describing immigrant and ethnic-minorty writers and their works, or for grasping the specific inbetweenness of their writing in a literary world that has generally become more international over recent decades. This does not mean that the individual chapters do not raise these issues. They provide information on the most important writers and their works in the respective national context. They highlight how the groups of writers discussed have changed over time; how those initially regarded as strangers – such as Eastern European Jewish immigrants who fled to the United States in the early twentieth century – or those who have fallen into oblivion – such as Italian migrants to Germany in the 1960s – have melted into the national imaginary, and how others – such as Asian writers in the United States and Turkish writers in Germany – have taken their place. They also explain how the interpretation of these writers has changed in many contexts – from them being regarded as representatives of their countries of origin or ethnic groups to them being discussed as a vanguard questioning the idea of homogeneous ethnic and cultural

2 The project also contained a chapter on Sweden written by Satu Gröndhal. However, for personal reasons, this chapter could not be completed for this publication. We will, nevertheless, include the case in our introduction and conclusion. The developments in Sweden differ so much from all other contexts discussed here that we feel they should also be mentioned in our volume.

INTRODUCTION

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identities. Nevertheless, the focus is not on the writers as such, but on how the context in which these writers have become known has influenced their emergence, recognition and interpretation. The fourteen chapters in this volume tell us how immigrant and ethnicminority writers have fought for recognition, have challenged the understanding of national literatures and have markedly changed these in some contexts. They have been the most successful in reaching this aim in the Anglophone world, where authors such as Salman Rushdie, Michael Ondaatje or Maxine Hong Kingston have not only become an integral part of national literatures, but have almost come to represent them. While immigrant and ethnic-­minority writers have certainly not reached this stage in all fourteen contexts discussed here, they have clearly become more visible over the last three decades. In fact, the growing visibility of these writers in other countries seems to have motivated Flemish literary institutions, amongst others, to support the emergence of such writers in the Flemish literary landscape, where no immigrant writing existed before the turn of the century. As Sarah de Mul stated at our preparatory workshop for this book project, it almost seemed as though Flemish literature could not be regarded as a fully-fledged literature at the beginning of the twenty-first century unless it also included publications by immigrant and ethnic-minority writers. This example clearly shows that these authors have challenged our understanding of national literatures as monolingual and monocultural, to the extent that such a homogenous view is now considered unnatural, even in contexts where no such writers have emerged. At the same time, this book also explains how the challenge these writers pose to national literatures has been contained in some national contexts. It tells us about the ideologies and institutions that have prevented immigrant writing from being recognised. The most impressive example of such national containment is France, where the strict distinction between French writers in France and Francophone writers of the former colonies has kept in check the challenge these writers pose to French culture and literature. Such strong ideologies make it difficult to name, let alone discuss, immigrant and ethnic-­ minority writers who, in this example, were mainly categorised as F­ rancophone writers even if they were born in France or had resided there for most of their lives. Such ideological barriers explain why the first research on these writers often emerged outside the national contexts within which they wrote. The only exceptions to this rule are the classic immigration countries and those countries where a pointed questioning of cultures took place in other areas – such as in the field of postcolonial studies in the uk – or where literary r­esearch institutions emerged that adopted a new approach to the study of national literature, as in Germany.

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The fourteen chapters in this volume highlight the fact that the stories of challenge and containment vary massively between the countries discussed here. They sometimes also differ within these national contexts. This particularly holds true for those nation-states that consist of several recognised official language communities (i.e. Belgium, Canada and Switzerland). However, when literary scholars historicise immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in their respective national contexts, they usually only focus on how this writing has become visible and how it has come to challenge the respective national literatures, whereas they rarely tell us why this writing has remained invisible for such a long time in many of the contexts discussed here. Yet, as soon as we move beyond national contexts, this is the first question which comes to mind: How can we explain these differences, especially between countries – such as Canada and Australia, Britain and France or Germany and Austria – that have very similar immigration histories. With this question in mind, we developed a comparative framework that would bring to light both of these perspectives in each chapter. We provided a working definition of the word immigrant, a definition not stemming from any of the contexts discussed in the volume, but allowing each of the contributors to take a step back from their national contexts and to rethink these through this new lens. We decided to use the definition of a long-term immigrant, as devised by the United Nations: ‘A person who moves to a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of at least a year (twelve months), so that the country of destination effectively becomes his or her new country of usual residence’ (United Nations 1998: 18). Hence, our volume focuses on all writers of immigrant origin – in the sense of the un definition of a long-term immigrant – in the respective national contexts, as well as on writers who are the descendants of such immigrants. Such a definition may seem outdated at a time when literary studies tends to move beyond biographical concepts to describe these writers and analyse their works. It may also seem very constricting when compared to the many concepts that have emerged from the literary analyses of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. These authors have been described as hybrid (Bhabha 1994), transnational (Seyhan 2001), cosmopolitan (Cheesman 2007) or n ­ omadic (Harrington 2013) in order to stress the fact that they question our usual understanding of nations, cultures and belonging. However, our working definition for this volume is not meant to add to this discussion. It is merely a heuristic tool that guarantees that we are comparing like for like across the different national contexts. This is necessary because immigration means so many different things in the fourteen contexts discussed here and these meanings also influence the way in which literature is perceived. In Germany,

INTRODUCTION

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for example, immigration has mainly come to mean Turkish immigration in public discussions of this phenomenon, at least until 2015 when a large number of refugees entered the country. Similarly, literary analyses have, over the years, increasingly focused on Turkish-German writing – while largely ignoring ­African-German writing, for example, or the literature written by ethnic Germans originating from Russia. These latter are not defined as immigrants in German official concepts of immigration, though they would be regarded as such under the un definition. In the Dutch context, on the other hand, discussions of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing have tended to focus on labour immigrants and their descendants only, while colonial and post-colonial immigrants and their descendants were discussed in the framework of post-colonial literatures. Our working definition is designed to highlight these blind spots in literary analyses of the writing of immigrants and their descendants in each of these national contexts. At the same time, we intend to make visible the long history of this writing which is not perceived as such. Again, France is the most striking example. A large number of writers have moved to France from the former colonies since the end of World War ii, but they are still perceived as Algerian, Moroccan etc., whereas authors such as Samuel Beckett or Eugène Ionesco were simply integrated into the national canon without further discussion of the fact that they had come to France as immigrants. In addition to defining our field, the un definition also serves as a foil for defining the concepts that have emerged from the literary study of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in the national contexts under discussion in this volume. It is a reference point for explaining who is included and excluded in the respective terminology used. Moreover, in many of the national contexts the term ‘immigration’ is no longer in use in literary studies because of the negative connotations it has acquired over the course of time. While early immigrant writers were often also described as such (or as foreigners or migrants), the negative images associated with these terms have led to their replacement by new concepts in almost all cases presented here. However, immigration was the starting point for all the literatures discussed in this volume, even if it is no longer visible in current definitions of the field – such as minoritised writing in Canada, for example. It may be easiest, in fact, to return to this initial moment from the neutral perspective of a un definition. Last but not least, we also intended to clearly distinguish immigrants and their descendants from other minorities in the respective contexts, such as indigenous peoples – including Aborigines in Australia and American I­ndians in the United States – and autochthonous national or ethnic minorities, such as Slovenes in Austria. However, our workshop has shown that these different  groups are not as clearly distinguishable in many of the contexts as we

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­originally thought. Sometimes immigrants entered a context where officially recognised minorities already existed, such as the Slovenes in Austria. ­Although the newcomers have usually been discussed as writers of immigrant origin, they were often anthologised and studied together with writers stemming from these recognised minorities who suffer from similar exclusion despite the fact that Austrian legislation granted specific rights to them after World War ii. In the United States, the Black Civil Rights Movement has been of major importance for the recognition of writers of immigrant origin while the indigenous peoples of Canada, usually referred to as First Nations, have profited enormously from the recognition of immigrants and their descendants as writers since the 1980s. Such links are highlighted whenever they are deemed important for the respective context. However, the chapters do not specifically discuss the literatures written by autochthonous minorities in detail as these are not intended to be our main focus. It would be virtually impossible to recount the complete history of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in the wider sense of the un definition in many of the chapters in this volume. This holds particularly true for Australia, Brazil, Canada and the United States, where almost all writing would fall into this category except for the texts written by indigenous people. However, we also did not want our authors to relate the whole history of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in this sense. As mentioned above, we wanted them to explain when and why this literature began to pose a challenge to national ­literatures. It is therefore this particular dimension that is discussed in more depth in the individual chapters, which means that the main body of the text in most chapters focuses on the literary debates about immigrant and ethnicminority writing since the 1980s. Writers of immigrant origin may have been discussed before that date, but this was often in the context of their countries of origin (i.e. as Caribbean or Indian writers in the United Kingdom or as ­Francophone Algerian writers in France). Even if they were discussed as ­immigrant writers, as has been the case in the United States since the beginning of the twentieth century, they were mainly read as describing the integration of new immigrants into the American melting pot rather than as c­ hallenging such ideas. Such early debates, where they exist, are included in the first section of each chapter, without describing them in as much detail as the approaches developed after 1980. However, in many contexts, this is not an issue at all, since the first literary studies on immigrant and ethnic-minority writers only emerged in the 1990s (see France and the Netherlands) or even later (see ­Austria and Flanders). The initial cut-off point for the chapters was 2012 when first drafts of the chapters were discussed in Vienna. Although all authors have tried to include the most relevant recent developments, the chapters have not

INTRODUCTION

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been systematically updated to discuss all research published up to the present day. Especially in those contexts where the authors covered thirty years of research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, an update would have meant a lot of extra effort without yielding major new insights. Apart from the working definition, we also provided our country experts with an outline for their chapters in order to facilitate comparison between the national contexts. All chapters are therefore structured along similar lines. They start with an introduction which provides general information on the respective national context and helps to explain the very specific trajectory which immigrant and ethnic-minority writing and the study of this writing have taken. This may include information on ideologies governing the field (such as multiculturalism in Australia, Canada and the us) or hampering its emergence (such as la Francophonie and republicanism in France). Another important factor may be the structure of the literary field, such as its dependence on another major literary field (as in Switzerland with regard to ­Germany, France and Italy) or the importance of specific genres (such as workers’ literature in Germany). Last but not least, the authors may highlight specificities in the field of literary studies in their particular context (such as the focus on the literary past rather than contemporary literature and the resulting ignorance of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in many contexts). The next section of each chapter, entitled ‘Historical background and development of the field’, describes when and how immigrant and ethnic-minority writing and the study of it first emerged in the respective national context. Of particular interest in this section are the organisations and instruments that facilitated the emergence of both this writing and the literary study of it. This may include journalists, critics, publishers and a variety of civil organisations establishing writing laboratories and competitions, resulting in anthologies or founding publication series and online journals in the first case, and new institutions for the study of literature and specific conferences in the second. This is followed by a section on data collection, though only in certain chapters since, in contexts such as Australia and Italy, the gathering and archiving of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has been a major part of the work done within literary studies thus far. Often this has also resulted in the edition of bibliographical works and anthologies as the first instruments of canonisation of this writing. The subsequent section, which constitutes the main body of the text in most chapters in this volume, is devoted to descriptions of how literary studies have interpreted individual texts written by immigrants and their descendants in the respective national context over the course of the last thirty years. It describes the different approaches taken and related concepts used to read

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these writers, explains how these approaches have changed over time (if they have not emerged simultaneously, as is the case in many countries where immigrant and ethnic-minority writing is a recent phenomenon) and illustrates how these changes were linked to new readings of existing authors or first readings of new authors. All chapters close with an evaluation of the impact of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing and the literary study of it in the respective national context. This section, on the one hand, answers the question of whether immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has brought about change, be that in the political or in the literary sphere. On the other hand, it discusses whether the study of this literature has led to a more general change in literary studies. This may include a new understanding of literature no longer regarded as monocultural or monolingual as well as re-readings of well-established authors in the light of these new developments. Finally, this section serves to highlight gaps in the research and to chart possible future developments in the field. The conclusion summarises and compares the findings of the individual chapters and thus highlights the differences and similarities in the processes of emergence and recognition of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers. References Bhabha, H. (1994) The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge. Cheesman, T. (2007) Novels of Turkish German Settlement: Cosmopolite Fictions. Rochester: Camden House. Harrington, K.N. (2013) Writing the Nomadic Experience in Contemporary Francophone Literature. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth: Lexington Books. Minnaard, L. (2011) ‘Between exoticism and silence: a comparison of first-generation migrant writing in Germany and the Netherlands’, Arcadia, 46(1): 199–208. Seyhan, A. (2001) Writing Outside the Nation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sievers, W. (2008) ‘Writing politics: the emergence of immigrant writing in West ­Germany and Austria’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(8): 1217–1235. United Nations (1998) Recommendations on Statistics of International Migration. Revision 1. New York: United Nations.

Chapter 1

From White Australia to the Asian Century: Literature and Migration in Australia Sneja Gunew and Wenche Ommundsen Abstract While Australia is a settler-colonial nation built on immigration, the category ‘migrant literature’ (or, more commonly, ‘multicultural literature’) has largely been reserved for writers of non-Anglo-Celtic background, and its integration into Australian literature has been slow and contested. This chapter traces the history of multicultural writing in English in relation to the cultural politics of Australia over the last four decades, along with its critical reception and theoretical framing. Virtually invisible within the canon of Australian literature until the 1980s, multicultural writers have gradually received greater recognition and some are now regarded as part of the mainstream literary tradition. However, while the critical focus on Australian literature has shifted from national to transnational, multicultural writing in global languages other than English has barely been analysed. We argue that residual resistance to cultural diversity still prevents many writers from receiving the critical recognition they deserve.



Introduction

Settled by British colonists in 1788, achieving independent-nation status in 1901, Australia is a nation of immigrants – according to the latest national census (2011), only 2.5 per cent of the population identify as being of Indigenous (Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) background. Of the 2011 population of 23 million (by 2016, 24 million), 26 per cent were born overseas, and a further 20 per cent have at least one overseas-born parent (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012–2013). However, there is little consensus about who counts as an ‘immigrant’ in the Australian context: caught up in debates about what it means to be Australian, in controversies around related terms such as ‘multiculturalism’, and in disagreements about how many and what kind of immigrants should be accepted into the country, the term has come to carry many different connotations. In the field of literature, the cultural politics surrounding the question of who is and who is not a migrant writer has played itself out in particular ways, © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���8 | doi 10.1163/9789004363243_003

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closely related to the relatively recent emergence of Australian literature as a distinct national tradition within the wider field of literature in English. ‘We grew here, you flew here’ read a slogan printed on the T-shirts of one of the opposing youth groups during what has become known as the ‘Cronulla riots’ of 2006, a brief episode of unrest in an otherwise mostly peaceful history of cultural co-habitation. Objecting to ‘gangs’ of minority ethnic (primarily Middle Eastern) youth occupying the beach of this Sydney suburb, young men of British descent mobilised to chase the invaders from what they regarded as their exclusive territory. The slogan speaks of a sense of entitlement: as members of the majority culture, they conveniently set aside their own migrant background to claim ownership over this quintessentially Australian topography. Another T-shirt slogan, ‘We are all boat people’, was used to very different effect in demonstrations against the government’s policy of detaining refugees arriving by boat to seek asylum in Australia – a hotly debated topic in the recent decade. In this case, demonstrators were reminding the government, and those Australians who feel threatened by the new arrivals and would prefer to see them detained or deported, that most Australians (or their ancestors) came to the country under similar circumstances – fleeing oppression, seeking a better life or, as in the case of large numbers of early arrivals, banished and deported from their countries of origin. Meanwhile, Indigenous Australians, who had their land taken from them by the settlers, have launched numerous campaigns, and especially their land rights claims, with slogans reminding other Australians that they are all immigrants, illegal occupants of Aboriginal territory, and that the infamous concept of ‘Terra nullius’1 was a spurious ploy to legitimate Indigenous dispossession. By referring to these controversies, we want to suggest that they carry important parallels with debates surrounding ‘migrant’, ‘multicultural’ or ‘ethnic-­ minority’ literature over the last three decades, which can be understood to relate to questions of ownership over cultural capital. Who ‘owns’ Australian literature, by what authority is ownership established, and by what means can newcomers lay claim to such authority and to the cultural rights that flow from it? In order to address these questions, it is important to understand that ­‘Australian literature’ is, itself, a recent category, struggling for recognition in a global market where (at least until the most recent decades) literature in ­English was primarily understood as writing from Britain and the usa. 1 ‘Terra nullius’ was the claim by the early settlers that the land was unoccupied prior to their arrival and thus available for them to take possession of it. Aboriginal occupancy was not recognised because the Aboriginal population was seen as nomadic, thus not ‘owning’ the land according to European notions of ownership.

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­ ustralian writing can be traced back to the early days of European settlement, A and ­Indigenous story-telling much further still, but ‘Australian literature’ as a distinct national tradition did not achieve full recognition until the second half of the twentieth century: the first major history, the first academic journals and the first university courses dedicated to Australian literature emerged in the 1960s. In its early phase, ‘Australian literature’ (sometimes referred to as Austlit, or even Ozlit) was marked by the search to define a literary and cultural identity – a national, often nationalist, endeavour to acknowledge roots in the British tradition while, at the same time, charting those departures from that tradition which could be classified as distinctly Australian. It is one of the great ironies of Australian cultural history that, at precisely the same time as cultural historians looking to define national identity focused on rural life and on early settlers from England and Ireland, a massive population shift was under way which would produce a very different national make-up (Jupp 2001). Multicultural, multilingual, predominantly urban, contemporary Australia is a far cry from the imagined community envisaged by colonists at the time of the nation’s birth and perpetuated in the nationalist phase of literary and cultural commentary from the 1950s to the 1970s. When, in the 1980s, some critics started to question prevailing views, pointing to the increasing discrepancy between the white Anglo-Celtic literary canon and the much more diverse literary and cultural scene which was emerging, the reaction by literary establishments was swift: attacking the national tradition was regarded as betrayal, the denigration of a hard-fought heritage and the willful promotion of foreign, mostly inferior writers. Thus the scene was set for an often polarised and highly politicised literary debate which, in some form, has survived to the present day – to what has been described as the new paradigm for Australian literature and literary criticism, its ‘transnational’, or even ‘post-national’, phase.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

Patterns of immigration into Australia closely reflect shifts in immigration policy. Throughout the nineteenth century, Australia – initially established as a penal colony – welcomed free settlers, primarily from Britain. Immigrants from non-British and non-European countries were initially tolerated but, as the nineteenth century drew to a close, the colonies increasingly legislated to restrict entry and to ban non-white immigration (Jupp 2007). The Immigration Restriction Act, also known as the White Australia Policy, was the very first legislation to be passed by the newly formed Australian parliament in 1901, and would effectively bar non-white migration for more than half a century.

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­ on-British European migration was also discouraged but, in the post-World N War ii period, labour shortages led to active recruitment, initially from Northern Europe and later from Southern and Eastern Europe. The gradual easing of restrictions in the postwar period also saw some Asian migration, but this was a mere trickle compared to the large-scale European immigration programme. Under pressure from anti-racist campaigns, the White Australia Policy was finally abandoned in the early 1970s, and the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 made racially based selection criteria illegal. In the most recent decades, immigration from Asian and Middle Eastern countries has gathered pace, including refugees from Vietnam and, later, Afghanistan and Iraq. Current immigration policy tends to favour business migrants and international students who, on completion of their studies, have applied for permanent residency. The 2011 census offers an indication of the cultural diversity of today’s Australian population: when asked about their cultural origins, respondents named over 300 different ancestries (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012–2013). In 1981, the editor of The Oxford History of Australian Literature offered the following observation: The diversification of personal histories that one would expect to result from the influx of migrants from many countries of the world has not yet become a marked feature of Australian writing. kramer 1981: 8

What might be the reason for such a statement, since such ‘personal histories’ have indeed existed since colonisation began in 1788? Presumably the editor meant that postwar migrants in particular should or would contribute to the founding narratives of migration as well as offer different perspectives on ­‘Australia’. We now know that many postwar migrants, and indeed migrants from culturally diverse backgrounds who arrived before this large influx, did write and publish, but their output went mostly unnoticed except in their home countries or their own language communities. Dimitris Tsaloumas, who came to Australia from Greece in 1952, had published poetry in Greece before he migrated, and continued to do so to considerable acclaim. Gradually he also started to publish in English, but it is only in the last 20 years that he has received some recognition in Australia. Judah Waten (1911–1985), whose Jewish family emigrated to escape the pogroms of Czarist Russia and arrived in Australia in 1915, was a prolific writer who published fiction, criticism and journalism from the 1940s on. However, although his writing often took migrants and migration as its theme, he was initially known as a socialist writer, not a migrant writer (Carter 1998). There are many other examples.

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In the first p ­ ublished overview of migrant writers, Australian Writing: Ethnic Writers ­1945–1991, Annette Corkhill (1994) presents an active literary scene in which dozens of w ­ riters of (­ mostly) European background published both in English and in their languages of origin. She nevertheless comments on the ‘conspicuous absence of a collective history of the immigrant literary presence in ­Australia from the inception of mass immigration to the concluding years of the 1980s’ (1994: 1). It would be reasonably safe to say that ‘migrant writing’ as a category did not exist in Australia until the 1980s, and what migrant writing did exist was either not recognised at all, or was not recognised as such. There were some exceptions to the rule of the invisible migrant writer, however. As early as 1946, the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society was awarded to Herz Bergner for his novel Between Sky and Sea, a work originally published in Yiddish. In his ‘Foreword’, Vance Palmer, a major literary figure of the time, voiced his hesitation about whether or not this novel could be regarded as Australian: ‘This is a strange book to come out of our country. In a sense we may claim it’ (Palmer 1946: 8, cited in Corkhill 1994: 19). The best-known exception, however, turned out to be a fabrication. The year 1957 saw the publication of a novel entitled They’re a Weird Mob by ‘Nino Culotta’ (O’Grady 1957), presented as an autobiographical narrative by an Italian journalist who, on arrival in Australia, became a builder’s labourer. The story details Nino’s adventures as he navigates the incomprehensible Australian dialect and the odd social and cultural ways of his hosts. It pokes gentle fun both at Nino’s naïve assumptions and at the weird ways of the ‘typical’ Australian worker, but ends happily for all as Nino is accepted into the brotherhood of ‘mates’, marries an Australian girl and, in the process, learns to admire the stoic solidarity and egalitarianism of his new friends. They’re a Weird Mob is a migrant success story and Nino was hailed as precisely the kind of migrant whom Australia welcomed. As it was later revealed, however, Nino was not a postwar migrant writer but an invention by the Anglo-Irish journalist John O’Grady, whose main purpose, it would seem, was to celebrate the Australian way of life and give migrants a lesson in how to adjust to it. When O’Grady was unmasked, his hoax was quickly forgiven: his humorous, self-congratulatory endorsement of Australian working-class values earned him enduring respect rather than censure. ‘Nino Culotta’ reflects the assimilationist attitudes which prevailed at the time: the new migrants were encouraged to leave their own language and culture behind and to blend into the Anglo mainstream (also an immigrant culture, but rarely acknowledged as such). In order to account for the shift in the status of migrant writing that started in the 1980s, we need to look beyond literature to the wider arena of cultural politics. By the early 1970s there was growing recognition that assimilation did

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not work: migrants willingly embraced Australia as their new homeland but their attachment to their original culture and language remained strong and had to be acknowledged and managed. Introduced by the Whitlam Labour government in 1973, the policy of multiculturalism brought in a new era in Australia’s immigration history, an era which continues to the present day, although the policy has been under frequent criticism and has regularly been amended. During the 1970s and 1980s, multiculturalism was consolidated as government policy (Jupp 2007; for a definition of state multiculturalism see Office of Multicultural Affairs 1989). Initially the dominant emphasis was on questions of social justice, such as access and equity, and a welfare model of ‘lack’, according to which minority groups were regarded as being disadvantaged (referred to now as a ‘deficit model’, see Gunew and Rizvi 1994). In other words, Australians were asked to think in terms of a migrant/ethnic ‘problem’, which often led to the construction of the migrants themselves as the problem.2 In 1978, the government-sponsored Galbally Report (Galbally 1978) made a recommendation that the Australia Council for the Arts (the main government body supporting the arts) develop closer links with ethnic communities and that it reassess its budgetary allocation in order to ensure that ethnic arts receive a more equitable amount (see Blonski 1992, 1993, 1994). As a result, the Council and its subsidiary boards (such as the Literature Board) supporting particular art forms, were under pressure to support art and artists from migrant backgrounds; however, such support met with considerable resistance from within the Council itself. As Annette Blonski, author of an overview of Australia Council policies relating to multicultural arts, remarks, ‘The Council was a territory marked by competing cultural discourses’ (1992: 3). ‘Equal opportunity’ was pitched against ‘excellence’, which was the main criterion by which the boards assessed funding applications (often oblivious to the fact that ‘excellence’ is a culturally relative term). ‘Ethnic arts’ were associated primarily with community or ‘folk’ art and less with contemporary arts practice such as writing. The 1980s were marked by a series of initiatives aimed at supporting multicultural arts, though also by considerable impediments and setbacks, as more-established cultural forces defended their territories. There is no doubt, however, that ‘migrant’, ‘ethnic’ or ‘multicultural’ arts (as they were increasingly called) were on the agenda, and more specific thinking about cultural difference as a source of enrichment increasingly challenged the deficit model and led to more-nuanced debates about art in a multicultural society. In 1979 a collection of short stories, English and Other Than English: Anthology in Community Languages, was published (Dezséry 1979). In his preface to 2 This is akin to recent pronouncements by European leaders that ‘multiculturalism has failed’.

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this publication, Al Grassby, former Immigration Minister and one of the major architects of Australian multiculturalism, wrote: This multilingual anthology makes history in Australia. It is a first attempt by anyone anywhere in Australia in 200 years to produce an anthology which recognizes the multilingual and poly-ethnic nature of the Australian people. It is a rock on which to build the cultural revolution which is necessary to ensure that Australia’s silent voices are heard. grassby 1979: 1, cited in Corkhill 1994: 26

Also in 1979, Pino Bosi published the article ‘The lonely road of a writer’, in which he outlined the unique problems facing authors from non-Englishspeaking backgrounds, such as the lack of interest in their work by the Australian literary establishment, including academics. His article anticipated the wave of critical and theoretical work which was to follow in the next decade. In 1984, the Literature Board of the Australia Council sponsored two weekends devoted to the theme Writing in Multicultural Australia in Sydney and Melbourne and, on these occasions, there were numerous comparable statements by the writers present, captured in the publication from these meetings (­ Delaruelle and Karakostas-Seda 1984). In his opening remarks, the Director of the Literature Board, Tom Shapcott, stated that ‘The next two decades would see the real flowering of the non-anglo cultures and their effect on Australian creativity’ (Shapcott 1984: 8). With hindsight, it can be argued that such optimism was misplaced, and that the ‘flowering’ has been more muted than Shapcott promised, but it is also true that a number of initiatives of the 1980s advanced the cause of migrant writing: subsidies for journal and book publishing, and for translation, fellowships to writers of non-English-speaking background (nesb) and ethnic representation on some major Australia Council committees. Journal publication was an important means of making multicultural writing available to a wider public. The appearance in the mid-1980s of Manfred Jurgensen’s journal Outrider indicated a different perception of multicultural literature by linking it with notions of world literature. Within the ambit of the ‘best’ of ‘world literature’, the journal incorporated creative and critical writings by overseas writers and Anglo-Celtic as well as non-Anglo-Celtic Australian writers.3 This represented another tactic for attempting to integrate

3 Outrider appeared between 1984 and 1996. It never enjoyed a wide circulation but the effort was heroic and included early essays on featured writers, most of whom have sunk back into oblivion, at least for the moment. For Jurgensen’s view of these matters see his essays, both in Delaruelle and Karakostas-Seda (1984) and in Gunew and Longley (1992).

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multicultural productions with Australian literature. Other journals and magazines to receive Literature Board funding included Scopp (which commenced publication as early as 1977) and Migrant Seven but, in the absence of longterm funding subsidies, most of these publications were short-lived and their impact limited. Similarly, a number of small and specialised publishers with particular interest in multicultural writing appeared (and, in many cases, subsequently disappeared), many of them receiving temporary funding from the Literature Board or other funding bodies. Early examples include Hodja Publications, Dezséry Ethnic Publications and Phoenix Publications (the publisher of Outrider), none of which have survived. Currently active publishers include Owl Publishing, whose publisher, Helen Nickas, mostly serves the large GreekAustralian community, whereas Ivor Indyk’s imprint, Giramondo Publishing, is more widely interested in transnational contemporary and experimental writing. Until the 1990s, the general shorthand term for minority ethnic writings in Australia was ‘migrant literature’; in other words, it was seen as transitory and not really rooted in the place at all. It was often talked about in the marketplace as a literature that dealt with themes, characters and events situated ‘outside’ Australia.4 To rectify these misleading generalisations, a small group of academics (identified in Corkhill 1994; Delaruelle and Karakostas-Seda 1984; Gunew and Longley 1992) laboured to change this picture and align it more closely with comparable international models. Five kinds of activity were involved in setting up multicultural literary studies in Australia: the production of anthologies and bibliographies; the establishment of material collections of multicultural literature; the framing of theoretical structures for the study of such materials, including the setting up of academic courses; the reviewing and publishing of multicultural writing; and working with government funding agencies such as the Australia Council to produce appropriate ­multicultural policies. All involved making an absence visible as well as correcting prevailing stereotypes (Gunew 1984).

Archives, Bibliographies and Anthologies

Once immigrants and their descendants became interested in drawing attention to the whole field of ‘migrant writing’, it was clear that the necessary first stage in the enterprise was the strategy of ‘making an absence visible’, in part to correct the caricatures which already proliferated (in publications 4 As exemplified in the discussion of Kefala’s work in this chapter.

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such as They’re a Weird Mob, discussed above). In the 1980s, the foundation of migrant or multicultural literary studies was consolidated through the work of a handful of scholars who identified and defined the field by approaching it on various fronts. Around 1979, according to the experience of Sneja Gunew, it was a matter of sifting through old journals and anthologies in order simply to come up with the names of writers and examples of their work which were either self-published or appeared in community publications sponsored by ethnic groups.5 In Gunew’s case this work resulted in the editing and coediting of four pioneering anthologies of multicultural writing (Couani and Gunew 1988; Gunew 1981, 1987; Gunew and Mahyuddin 1988). The initial anthology, Displacements: Migrant Storytellers (Gunew 1981), was accompanied by two videos and incorporated a wide variety of narratives dealing with the experience of migration, ranging from relatively unmediated first-person accounts to complex texts which use unreliable narrators and multiple levels of irony.6 The second anthology was entitled Displacements 2: Multicultural Storytellers (Gunew 1987)7 and the changed subtitle illustrates the historical shift in approach over six years.8 It became clear that this project of creating ‘visibility’ needed to distinguish between immigrants writing about the experience of migration and works by non-Anglo-Celtic writers (often second- and third-generation) which are characterised by their intimate links to linguistic and literary traditions other than those deriving from England or Ireland. The term ‘migrant’, as pointed out above, conjures up subjects whose presence in the dominant culture is temporary, a precariousness also signalled by such widely used bureaucratic terms as nesb (non-English-speaking background), an exclusionary and misleading acronym since South and South-East Asian migrants, for example, came from areas colonised by Britain and had been educated in English. Thus ‘Anglo-Celtic’, or simply ‘Anglo’, is employed to differentiate between the cultural contributions of those whose linguistic and 5 See the acknowledgements in Gunew 1981 and 1987 as exemplary of the kind of ‘sifting’ that was required. 6 The videos were, to some extent, self-reflexive examinations of the so-called authenticity of two formats – the interview and the documentary. Since then, many films, ranging from the realist to the experimental, have dealt with multicultural hybridity (Blonski 1993). 7 Both anthologies were published by Deakin University Press as course material, so did not enjoy a wide circulation. 8 The era of implementing multicultural policies inaugurated by The National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia had facilitated such changes in nomenclature across curricula at all levels.

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cultural traditions derive from England or Ireland, and those who are linked to the numerous other language groups9 that have colonised Australia.10 By the time the second anthology was produced in the late 1980s, there was a much greater mix of first- and second-generation non-Anglo-Celtic writers. Concerns were no longer limited to the experience of migration. In popular culture a voluble counter-discourse was beginning to emanate from ­inner-city Melbourne and Sydney youths of non-Anglo-Celtic background and prevailing stereotypes of the national culture were already being interrogated by second-generation writers perched strategically between cultures. Some second-­generation Mediterranean or Southern European writers became relatively famous: for example, the performance poetry pieces of ПO (1985) and the writings of Angelo Loukakis and George Papaellinas, Anna-Maria Dell’oso and Zeny Giles (see Gunew and Longley 1992). More recently and in the wake of this legacy of gritty urbanism, Christos Tsiolkas (1995, 2005, 2008) is arguably one of the best-known contemporary writers who both exemplifies and transcends the palpable presence of a ‘multicultural’ legacy (see below). Gunew’s third anthology, Beyond the Echo: Multicultural Women’s Writing (Gunew and Mahyuddin 1988), proclaimed itself as emphatically not an anthology of migrant writing. It thus signalled a desire to be considered as part of literature rather than sociology. The primary function of both this volume and the fourth anthology, Telling Ways: Australian Women’s Experimental Writing (Couani and Gunew 1988), was to insert the writings of non-Anglo-­Celtic women into the mushrooming domain of women’s writing. By this stage, Australian 9 See http://www.aussieeducator.org.au/education/specificareas/lote.html, accessed 15 July 2016. 10 ‘Anglo-Celtic’ is a controversial compound, given the ways in which the battles between England and Ireland have been fought out symbolically in the Australian arena. Britain itself is divided culturally as a nation in which Welsh and Scottish claims need to be separated out (Nairn 1977). This study uses the designation ‘Anglo-Celtic’ to indicate not only a British-derived culture based on the use of the English language but also certain political and cultural institutions, and especially a tradition of education in ‘English studies’. Those who simply use the term ‘Anglo’ or ‘Anglocentric’ leave out the crucial Celtic component in Australian culture. Indeed, in Australia, dissidence has been synonymous to some degree with Irish working-class and Catholic groups, as in the case of the famous folk hero ‘Ned Kelly’. ‘Anglo-Celtic’ indicates a prevailing cultural nostalgia that gestures towards an old country which is always either England or Ireland, and which characterises the dominant ethnic groups. Indeed, the Celtic portion of the term indicates an efficient hijacking of Australian culture by the Irish, and much of what we think of as quintessentially Australian culture – the laconic humour, the folk music and many canonical Australian writers – derives from Ireland.

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f­ eminist debates were increasingly concerned with using sexual difference as a way to dismantle a universalist cultural politics. The anthology questioned various generic expectations of women’s writing: that it was confessional or autobiographical; that it was automatically authentic and unmediated by writing conventions; that ‘nesb’ meant linguistic deficiency and so on. Many writers who were first published in Beyond the Echo went on to produce books of their own, thus vindicating the production of anthologies as a visibility strategy. Anthologies have been, and continue to be, key strategies for introducing the work of multicultural writers to Australian readers and, in general, these anthologies either rediscovered forgotten, or uncovered new, writers. Some of these use headings like ‘multicultural’ or ‘migrant’, others focus on specific ethnic or language groups. Publications from the 1980s also include Manfred Jurgensen’s Ethnic Australia (1981), Peter Skrzynecki’s Joseph’s Coat (1985), Gaetano Rando’s Italo-Australian Poetry in the ’80s (1986) and Gael Hammer’s Pomegranates (1988). This tradition is being kept alive through more recent publications such as Sonia Mycak and Chris Baker’s Australian Mosaic (1997) and more specialised collections, including Sonia Mycak’s I’m Ukrainian Mate! (2000), Ngọc-Tuἄn Hoàng’s Câù Nôí: The Bridge (2004), Alice Pung’s Growing Up Asian in Australia (2008) and Kent MacCarter and Ali Lemer’s Joyful Strains (2013). In the last decade, most general anthologies of Australian literature have included multicultural writers. One example is Nicholas Jose’s Macquarie pen Anthology of Australian Literature (2009). However, there is still controversy about the appropriate percentage and about their function (Indyk 2009). In response to the repeated query about who these migrant writers are, the first comprehensive bibliography of multicultural writers in Australia (Gunew et al. 1992) – which contained around 900 authors and numbered 300 pages of double-column entries – was compiled. Based on earlier work by Loló ­Houbein and Alexandra Karakostas-Seda, it deliberately included second- and even third-generation writers. The project was immersed in the politics of taxonomies and categorisation, much of it involving the initiation of contact with writers to gather information. The presence of second- and third-generation writers emphasised the continuing necessity to move beyond the category of the ‘migrant’ so that questions of diverse cultural difference would infiltrate all future considerations of the national literature. The bibliography included some listing of the critical reception of these writers, together with information concerning translators.11 Of the writers included, about 33 per cent published 11

The critical reception was largely in small-circulation ethnic newspapers and newsletters that no longer exist in any archives. Very little acknowlegement occurred in the mainstream press and academic journals.

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in English, 32 per cent in both English and other languages, and 35 per cent in languages other than English. The bibliography also included well-known Australian writers such as David Malouf, Elizabeth Jolley and Henry Lawson, iconic examples of the origins of Australian literature (all of whom qualified as multicultural according to the criteria of this publication), in order to point out the need to reassess all of Australia’s literature in terms of the whole range of cultural influences which have gone into its production. The object was both to facilitate analysis of ethnic writers in Australia and to raise the question of ethnicity in all Australian literature. The information collected as part of this project was later digitised to become part of AustLit (www.austlit.edu.au) – the vast online resource for information about Australian literature – where it is presented as part of the multicultural subset and, at the same time, integrated into the full database. Since the 1992 bibliography, the number of so-called ethnic, migrant or multicultural writers has increased considerably. Supported by a series of major grants from the Australian Research Council, the task of compiling information on multicultural writers and their work continues to the present day, with current research projects focusing specifically on writing in languages other than English, an area in which the gathering and recording of information have presented particular challenges.12 While the initial bibliography was being compiled at Deakin University – funded by the Australian Bicentennial Multicultural Foundation – it also formed the basis for the first comprehensive collection of multicultural literature in Australia. Work on the bibliography raised awareness that irreplaceable papers and manuscripts were being lost because there was no adequately coordinated institutional interest in them. The multicultural literature collection at Deakin University, while not updated since its former compilers (the authors of this chapter) left the university, still represents a unique and valuable resource for future research as it contains rare publications from the different linguistic and cultural groups in Australia, particularly those originating in the nineteenth century.13 12

13

AustLit is currently a subscription database (http://ww.austlit.edu.au). Under the direction of Wenche Ommundsen and Michael Jacklin at the University of Wollongong, the current research project ‘New Transnationalisms: Australia’s Multilingual Literary Heritage’ aims, in particular, to document writing in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese. Challenges associated with such projects relate to the often ephemeral nature of the publications in which the writing occurs (community newspapers, specialised presses often located outside Australia and online literary fora), the need for a multilingual research team and technical difficulties in recording information in a range of different languages in the AustLit online environment. The multicultural subset of AustLit can be accessed via http://www.austlit.edu.au/specialistDatasets/MW, accessed 15 July 2016. http://www.deakin.edu.au/library/special-collections/collections/multicultural, acessed 11 May 2018.

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Approaches and Interpretations

Scholarly commentary on Australian migrant literature was scarce until the 1980s, when it developed into a lively debate, closely aligned with major developments in the wider culture – such as the encouragement of, and resistance to, multiculturalism and multicultural arts (Ang et al. 2008) – and, in the field of literature, the impact of literary theory. Risking a generalisation, one might argue that the reception of this writing has always been in some sense captive to the ebb and flow of multiculturalism in public debate over the last three decades, and that this situation has often been a source of considerable discomfort to the writers themselves, who would prefer to be judged on their writing rather than on the basis of a politics of representation. Multiculturalism is a term with global resonances but very different national inflections. In the uk and the us (and to a lesser extent Canada and New Zealand) it has become a coded way of addressing issues to do with race. It amounts to recognising and managing the heterogeneous composition of modern nation-states, and devising ways of addressing it in relation to a wider cultural literacy. In Australia, analyses with regard to racialisation have developed in relation to Indigeneity and in the wake of non-European migration. Like Ghassan Hage (1993, 1998, 2003), Vijay Mishra’s study What Was Multiculturalism? (2012) locates race at the centre of the national project, particularly in the rise of Islamophobia after 9/11, 7/7 and the Bali bombings of 12 October 2002 (in which 88 Australians were killed).14 However, Australian multiculturalism in the early years was primarily regarded as a project of managing a heterogeneity consisting of different European ethnicities, as postwar migration on the whole was confined to large immigrant groups comprising Mediterranean or Southern Europeans, mainly from Italy and Greece, together with Central and Eastern Europeans. Although there are histories of these groups having been treated in racial terms, they eventually ‘became white’, as Mishra would argue (2012: 122). In the wake of later Asian migrations, race increasingly became both a covert and an overt factor, and debates on immigration and multiculturalism in the Australian context became a coded way of addressing ‘racial’ differences, perceived as more challenging than ‘ethnic’ differences (Ang et al. 2000; Gilbert et al. 2000). In relation to literary writing, multiculturalism has had different inflections over time, and its currency in literary debate has waxed and waned as new generations of writers and critics have brought their cultural perspectives to the scene (see Ommundsen 2007).

14

Hage and Mishra both write from within the Australian context and their work has been highly influential.

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The very act of designating a text as multicultural or migrant writing has a tendency to mobilise certain expectations and modes of reception. Chief among these expectations is that it will yield material of primarily sociological or historical interest – accounts of the migrant experience closely modelled on the author’s own life. There is also the view that the writer, whose first language may not be English, will write in a simple, realist style devoid of self-consciously literary or experimental devices. As Werner Sollors (1989) has pointed out, we encounter, in critical analyses of this writing, a search for the traditional and the authentic. When writers from ethnic backgrounds become famous they are no longer marked as ethnic, since this aligns them with being limited to the parochial (Sollors 1986: 41). In Australia, such expectations were reinforced by the fact that Judah Waten’s Alien Son (1952), which was regarded as a paradigmatic text concerning ‘the migrant experience’, was an account, in the social realist mode, written from the perspective of Jewish immigrants who arrived as a result of the pogrom in Eastern Europe. While this writing is clearly of value and there is nothing as such wrong with criticism which highlights an author’s migrant experience (excellent examples in relation to Waten’s Alien Son include Carter 1992 and 1998 and Besemeres 2010), the approach is both limited and limiting if applied to all texts and writers in this large and heterogeneous category. As Gunew and others were at pains to point out in their contributions to the early debates (see, for example, Gunew 1990 and 1994), such an approach risks forcing both the writing and the critic into straitjackets which not only limit the possibilities for reading but, in many cases, simply miss the point of the writing. Citing the example of Bruce Bennett’s (1988) reading of Rosa Cappiello’s (1984) novel Oh Lucky Country, Gunew detects an ‘evaluative assumption that a unified voice is the only possible manifestation for the migrant voice, its only conceivable and authentic representation’ (Gunew 1992: 42). Using examples of multicultural writers such as Cappiello and Ania Walwicz, whose playful, experimental writing defies any attempt to read for an ‘authentic’ and unified migrant identity, Gunew argued for different modes of critical framing and for greater recognition of the multicultural writer’s ability to range freely across literary modes and subject matters. Rosa Cappiello’s novel (originally published in Italian as Paese fortunato in 1981, English translation 1984), is on the surface presented as a first-person, semi-autobiographical account by a migrant factory worker, but inflates migrant oppression to absurdist proportions, offering a tragi-comic view of Australian society which is more productively read in light of Bahktinian notions of the grotesque and carnivalesque. Walwicz, best known for her experimental prose poetry, uses a fractured English, sometimes including elements from Polish, her first language, to explore, among other things, the psychological dimensions of migration and the untranslatable in human experience (see Gunew 1994).

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While it is undoubtedly the case that the critical reception of multicultural writing has diversified over recent decades, it is also true that the spectre of ‘the authentic voice’ haunts the writing to the present day, most spectacularly informing the notorious ‘Demidenko affair’ of 1996 (see below). For a recent example, one might cite a review of Tom Cho’s Look Who’s Morphing (2009), an experimental exploration of identity using a blend of reality, fantasy and popular culture. The reviewer, however, makes it clear that he would prefer a very different book: [O]ne can’t help but feel that Cho could have written a much better book, although obviously a completely different one, if he had restricted himself to the question of Chinese/Australian identity and presented it in a more conventional tone and structure. messner 2009: 31

Underlying this type of assessment is more than personal preference: as theorists of multicultural writing would argue, it is, in the final count, a demarcation of cultural territory, restricting the minority writer to particular modes and matters while reserving others for the mainstream. These are views that writers and scholars of multicultural writing have consistently sought to overcome, deploying the considerable tools of literary and cultural theory to deconstruct entrenched categories and to reframe writers and texts within more productive critical paradigms. Critics of ethnic-minority writings often assume that poststructuralist theories are inappropriate for examining what are deemed for the most part to be unproblematic first-person narratives or community histories. In an early attempt to tackle these theoretical issues, Gunew argued, on the basis of Jacques Derrida’s (1980) concept of the ‘supplement’, that the addition of ‘migrant writing’ would eventually redefine the premises governing the formation of Australian literature (Gunew 1985). In her later (1994) book, Framing Marginality, she used Derrida’s (1979) essay ‘The Parergon’ to make a similar point. These concepts proved helpful in theorising a legitimate place and role for marginalised or minority cultural productions. Useful insights also came from a number of the other theoretical directions developed over the last decades of the twentieth century. Because the first guide to postcolonial criticism, The Empire Writes Back, was produced by Australian critics Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (Ashcroft et al. 1989) and continues to be widely disseminated as a reference to the field, postcolonial criticism – deriving from the work of Edward Said (1978, 2001a, 2001b), Gayatri Spivak (1987, 1993, 1999, 2012), Homi Bhabha (1990, 1994) and others – has been highly influential in Australia. While Ashcroft et al. refer only glancingly to multicultural writings (1989: 145), postcolonial

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c­ oncepts were t­ aken up by critics working with multicultural writing because they linked questions of language and representation with claims to cultural sovereignty or enfranchisement (Gelder and Salzman 2009: 106; ­Papastergiadis 1992). ‘Cultural difference’ as an analytic category emerged out of postcolonialism, as well as from feminist debates about sexual difference, and analyses of racialised differences in the Black movement, as in Paul Gilroy’s (1987, 2006) influential work. From the beginning, poststructuralist theories proved useful in defining this new terrain, because they undo the very notion that pure and separate categories exist within aesthetics or, indeed, cultural politics in general. Aspects of deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism and postcolonialism thus helped to demonstrate that these writings are amenable to a postmodernism that accentuates such matters as the ‘decentred’ subject, narrative fragmentation or collage, and a scepticism concerning master-narratives (Lyotard 1984). Psychoanalytic cultural theory provided a sophisticated framework for theorising the formation of subjectivity in relation to unconscious processes and desires, including Kristeva’s (1982) influential concept of abjection (Gunew 2004). Appropriate models were also found in research into ‘Englishness’ and the rise of English studies in the uk, analysed as a moral technology complicit with structures of imperialism (Gikandi 1996; Viswanathan 1989). Thinking about the notion of ‘Englishes’ within English is a theme taken up, for example, in ­Annette Corkhill’s (1994) study. More recently, and especially in relation to Asian Australian writers, theories of diaspora have informed literary interpretations and, with them, an increased tendency towards comparative readings – such as, for example, reading Asian Australian writers against the more established tradition of diasporic Asian writing from North America (Khoo 2003). The first collection of essays on multicultural writing, Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations (Gunew and Longley 1992) contains a number of theory-informed readings. In ‘The journeys within: migration and identity in Greek-Australian literature’, Nikos Papastergiadis speculates on the nature of ‘identity’, rejecting traditional notions of diaspora because, he argues, they ‘tend to gloss over the fissures in identity and the ruptures of time–space frameworks’ (1992: 151). His reading of the poetry and prose of Antigone Kefala (1973, 1988, 1992 inter alia) instead stresses discontinuity and fragmentation, linking it to the wider rethinking of narratives of history, identity and culture which inform poststructuralist and postcolonial theory. Within such a frame, he writes, the journey of the migrant becomes ‘a metaphor for the ontological homelessness of the metropolis, and the dynamism of modernity’ (1992: 161).15 15

Papastergiadis has continued this critical trajectory in a number of publications, including his 2012 Cosmopolitanism and Culture.

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In the same collection, Efi Hatzimanolis (1992) deploys feminist theory and theories of multiculturalism (especially as they relate to food and language) in her reading of the poetry of Silvana Gardner (who migrated from Zara, Dalmatia, in 1952), in which, she argues, parodic speech functions as a strategy of resistance, subverting conventional expectations of migrant speech and writing. Santendra Nandan, from a postcolonial perspective, exposes the Western cultural biases inherent in many forms of Australian criticism and defines new roles for the postcolonial (and multicultural) artist: ‘The artist’s role is to give back the self-esteem that was trampled on during the juvenile delinquency of colonialism’ (1992: 199). Many critics, both in this collection and elsewhere, explore the ‘Englishes’ of migrant writing, most particularly the playfulness through which writers hold up for scrutiny both migrant speech patterns and mainstream perceptions of their lack of access to ‘correct’ English. Ivor Indyk (1992) explores the comedy of linguistic excess in the work of Rosa Cappiello, ПO (Peter Oustabasides), Ania Walwicz and Morris Lurie, and Annette Corkhill devotes a chapter of her book to the ‘reappropriation of the language of the centre’ (1994: 124) by writers such as Walwicz and ПO, as well as Alma Aldrette, Walter Billeter, Anna Couani and Jaki Taylor. This tendency, starting in the 1980s, to read multicultural writing through the lens of critical theory in order to highlight its potential to subvert dominant literary and cultural discourses has remained strong in Australia, though there have been discernible shifts in emphasis over time, notably – as more and more Asian Australian writers entered the scene in the 1990s – a shift towards race, and race and diaspora theory, as the focus for critical attention. The Australian cultural critic Ien Ang, whose work (especially her 2001 book On Not Speaking Chinese) highlights the complexities of cultural belonging in diaspora, has proved particularly influential, as critics have examined, in the work of Asian Australian writers, dilemmas rising out of the intersection of race, culture, language, gender and nation. A good example is Tseen Khoo’s 2003 book Banana Bending: Asian-Australian and Asian-Canadian Literatures, in which she reads a number of writers (including Simone Lazaroo, Brian Castro, William Yang and Hsu-Ming Teo) comparatively against the different histories of Asian diasporas in Canada and Australia, but with a strong theoretical focus, as she examines the work of male and female writers through the lens of gender and sexuality, national belonging, race and identity. For example, her reading of William Yang’s photobiography Sadness (1996) examines different and clashing notions of belonging, as the fifth-generation migrant seeks to reclaim his Chinese heritage at the same time as his sexual orientation (the text is in part a tribute to friends lost to hiv/aids) remains unacceptable to many in the Chinese community.

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The strong link between readings of multicultural writing and the various schools of literary and cultural theory which became dominant in the 1980s also emerged as an issue in the anti-multiculturalism discourse which persisted within the scholarly community in Australia, with some accusing critics of using ‘foreign’ theory to promote ‘foreign’ writers in order to undermine the proud tradition of Australian literature. This debate became particularly heated in 1991, after the publication in the Australian Book Review of the essay ‘Nice work if you can get it’ by Robert Dessaix, a well-known writer, critic and broadcaster. Dessaix did not accept the view that migrant or multicultural writers are marginalised because the category ‘Australian literature’ had been too narrowly defined to include non-Anglo cultural perspectives; the reason this writing is overlooked, he argued, is that ‘It’s often not very good’ (1991: 26) and for the obvious reason that the writers’ English was not good enough to produce texts of sufficient complexity and sophistication. He even offered the (perhaps deliberately) provocative advice that ‘Many so-called multicultural writers would do better to take up ceramics, market-gardening, photography or, perhaps, even to return to their countries of origin’ (1991: 26). The real target for his criticism, however, was not so much the writers themselves but rather those he called ‘the multicultural professionals’ (1991: 22) – academics and critics who, he argued, made a career out of promoting these so-called marginalised writers and attacking the mainstream literary establishment for being culturally exclusive. Not surprisingly, this attack prompted others to come to the defence of writers and critics alike, and to correct the many ‘misconceptions surrounding multiculturalism’ (Gunew 1991: 46) which, in their view, informed Dessaix’s essay, especially the view that all multicultural writing is produced by recent migrants whose command of English is insufficient for literary purposes. The debate about the nature and worth of multicultural writing has never gone away but, as the body of Australian multicultural writing and the critical practice brought to bear on it have grown and diversified, it has become much more difficult to generalise about this broad category. With some 3,500 writers listed by August 2013 on the multicultural subset of AustLit, we are clearly dealing with a ‘mature’ tradition, but it is also one which is under constant change, as more recent migrants from different backgrounds make their mark and the ‘older’ ethnic groups of postwar migrants produce writers who are ­second- or even third-generation Australians, with more or less strong affiliations with their countries and languages of origin. Demarcations between what is ‘multicultural’ and what is mainstream also become more difficult to draw. The critical practice of grouping together writers from similar backgrounds in order to say something about wider diasporic traditions has survived, as evidenced by Mycak and Sarwal’s (2010) anthology of essays on multicultural writing,

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­ ustralian Made. Essay topics in the anthology include two re-evaluations A of Greek-Australian and Chinese-Australian writing, Indo-Australian fiction, Vietnamese-Australian writing, and analyses of individual writers such as Inez Baranay, Judah Waten, Morris Lurie, Anna Couani, Shaun Tan, Ranulfo Concon, Joze Zohar, Didier Coste and Paolo Totaro. Critical writing over the last decade features an increased tendency to focus on individual writers, particularly those who have succeeded in making a name in the literary mainstream, not just within the field of ‘multicultural writing’. This does not mean that migrant or multicultural themes will be absent from the critic’s attention, but that these themes are not exclusive and will be handled with greater attention to the particular circumstances of the writer and focus of the work. A particular development in Australian literary studies over the last decade has been the growing interest in Asian Australian writing. Virtually non-­existent until the 1990s, and initially championed by a small handful of ­individuals, the study of these writers was greatly enhanced by the foundation of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network (aasrn) which, through conferences and an active website (http://asianaustralianstudies.org/), has encouraged many younger researchers (the majority themselves of Asian ­Australian background) to explore aspects of Asian Australian cultural production in their theses, research publications and teaching programmes. Primarily focusing on East-Asian cultures, members of the network have developed close links with diasporic academic communities in countries like the us and Canada. Commentary on South-Asian writing started within communities of scholars linked to Commonwealth and, later, postcolonial literary studies ­(Ommundsen 2011a, 2011b, 2012). The last decade has also seen an increase in interest in Australian multicultural writing outside Australia. While Australian literature as a whole remains relatively marginal within both the international marketplace and international critical communities, it is interesting to observe that, within the small groups of overseas scholars interested in Australian literature (mostly linked to associations for Australian studies such as easa, the European Association for Studies of Australia, aaals or the American Association for Australian Literary Studies and InASA, the International Australian Studies Association) there is a higher level of interest in ethnic-minority writing and, especially, Indigenous and Asian Australian writing, than seems to be the case in Australia. Critics such as Deborah Madsen (Switzerland), Lars Jensen (Denmark), Wang Guanglin (China), Tamara Wagner (Singapore), Amit Sarwal (India) and Nicholas Birns (us) have ensured not only that ethnic-minority writers are cited in publications which circulate outside Australia but also that their writing receives attention from different, often comparative, critical and cultural perspectives.

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Rather than attempt an overview of the by-now-large body of scholarly work on multicultural writers and writing, we consider three case studies to illustrate the very different critical trajectories of these writers. The first is Antigone Kefala, a poet and fiction writer of Greek-Romanian heritage who arrived in Australia in 1960. In 1973, just over forty years ago, the publication of a slim collection entitled The Alien launched a disconcerting Australian poetic voice. It was not the case that Antigone Kefala set out to be unsettling but the question of how to read her work has remained an enigma in Australian letters ever since. With the knowledge of hindsight, her reception over 40+ years shows very clearly the cultural specificity (and exclusionary principles) upon which Australian literary culture is grounded. In the recently unearthed correspondence surrounding the publication of The Alien, Martin Duwell enjoined his colleagues to treat the poems as ‘un-Australian’ and this was in the course of making a case for their publication (Radford 2011). In A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry published around twenty years later in 1995, Geoff Page states that ‘Her poems have been acutely European (or, more specifically, Greek) in tone and reference … When something explicitly Australian occurs in her poetry it is always seen from an angle, almost with disbelief’ (1995: 147, emphasis added). Page concludes his entry on her work by praising her for speaking ‘so eloquently for so many Australians of foreign birth’ (1995: 148), a characterisation that continues to distance her work in a manner that, by now, had become a familiar move. Reading those poems more than forty years later, one is struck by the unsentimental and unerring manner in which ­Kefala captured the inner worlds of those postwar emigrants from continental Europe who resolutely made Australia their home; they certainly did not see themselves as temporary sojourners. Their influx represented a moment of potential augmentation of the Australian cultural imagination. In Australia at that time (and arguably still) ‘European’ was, to a great degree, understood as being synonymous with ‘Englishness’ so that the further reaches of continental Europe, including languages and other cultural reference points, remained quintessentially foreign or ‘un-Australian’ in Duwell’s sense.16 The voice of the poems in The Alien can now be linked with transnational voices of exile and lost cultures such as those of André Aciman, Eva Hoffmann, Dubravka Ugrešić, Herta Müller and, within Australia, Raimond Gaïta, Arnold Zable and many others. But to what extent have the interpretations of her work changed? Over the years Kefala has found her readership; however, in general, ‘slowly nothing 16

Duwell is not being targeted but merely cited as an example of a model of reception that has dogged Kefala’s work from the beginning. In fact Duwell continued to support her work (Radford 2011: 9).

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happened’ she states with characteristic wryness (1988: 80). Her absence from Nicholas Jose’s magisterial Macquarie pen Anthology of Australian Literature (Jose 2009),17 as well as from the monumental Grey and Lehmann (2011) anthology Australian Poetry since 1788, reveals the way in which she has been marginalised within mainstream Australian literature as distinct from elsewhere (Karalis and Nickas 2013). Brian Castro is arguably the only one of the migrant writers who came to prominence in the 1980s who has remained a constant focus of scholarly attention. Castro has written twelve novels, starting with Birds of Passage (1983), which won the Australia/Vogel award in 1982 for best unpublished manuscript by a writer under 35 and which is widely known as the first novel published by an Asian Australian writer (Castro, who was born in Hong Kong, is of ­Portuguese, Chinese and English ancestry).18 He has won a number of major literary awards for his work, but he is not a popular writer in the sense of being widely read – he has acquired the reputation for being a ‘writers’ writer’ – too difficult to attract a wide readership. Castro is also a critic and teacher of creative writing, and has published extensively on cultural politics and ethnic-minority writing (see Castro 1995 and 1999). His early work was strongly influenced by European theory (Roland Barthes makes a cameo appearance in Birds of Passage and his third novel, Double-Wolf (1991), was inspired by Sigmund Freud’s case study of the wolfman (2003)), and employed postmodern techniques such as double or multiple narrative strands, disrupted chronologies, intertextuality and metafictional awareness. Although his work could never be described as simple accounts of migration and cultural displacement, it nevertheless makes extensive use of autobiography, and frequently includes Asian characters in an Australian setting. Critics have written extensively on the themes of identity, race and cultural displacement in Castro’s work, with titles such as ‘Brian ­Castro: the other representing the other’ (Ouyang 1995), ‘Brian C ­ astro: hybridity, identity and reality’ (Deves 1998), ‘Racial melancholia in Brian ­Castro’s Chinese-Australian historical fiction’ (Pham 2010) and ­‘Racial ambiguity and whiteness in Brian Castro’s Drift’ (Brun 2011). However, the 17 See Ivor Indyk’s (2009) review of the Jose compilation. In the responses to the critique, the argument was that, proportionately, ‘many migrant writers’ were included; however, the issue is not simply a matter of including writers so much as considering the importance of the perspectives on Australia that emanate from non-Anglo-Celtic writing subjects. 18 Recent research on Chinese-Australian writing in the Chinese language has revealed that the first novel by a writer of Asian descent dates back much further. Between June 1909 and December 1910, the Melbourne-based Chinese-language newspaper Chinese Times published The Harm of Polygamy (author unknown) in serialised form.

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complex ­narrative structure of his texts has also commanded attention, as in the following chapter – ‘Impossible coincidences: narrative strategy in Brian Castro’s Birds of Passage’ (Pons 1990) – and article – ‘The artful man: theory and authority in Brian Castro’s fiction’ (Barker 2002); increasingly, critics are ranging more widely within Castro’s fiction for characteristics that cannot be reduced to easy categorisation (‘multicultural’, ‘postmodern’). The only booklength study of his work to date, Bernadette Brennan’s Brian Castro’s Fiction (2008), tends to avoid the multicultural themes in his fiction, possibly in order to locate his work within wider literary traditions, both Australian and international. Castro could thus be taken as an illustration of the phenomenon highlighted by Werner Sollors (1986) when he argues that, when writers from ethnic backgrounds become well known, they will no longer be marked as ethnic. However, that is clearly only part of the story, as every account of multicultural writing will make mention of his work, and his ongoing enquiry into race and cultural difference, Asia and Australia – both in his fiction and in his scholarly essays – has marked him as an important point of reference within Australian cultural analysis. The greater willingness to accept (at least some) writers of ethnic-minority background as part of mainstream Australian literature may also be due to certain shifts in the cultural mainstream, and in the way in which ‘Australian literature’ has been read in the twenty-first century. While it has become increasingly common for critics to highlight the transnational aspects of all Australian literature (see, for example, Carter 2007; Dixon 2007; Gelder 2010; Huggan 2007), it is also undeniably the case that the ethnic diversity introduced into the national make-up with the postwar migrant intake is increasingly becoming part of the ‘fabric’ of Australian life and culture, in spite of ongoing resistance from parts of the mainstream. The literary career of Christos Tsiolkas could be seen to suggest not only that some writers of ethnic background have become part of the mainstream, but also that the mainstream has become diversified. Tsiolkas was born in Australia, the son of Greek migrants. His work draws extensively on his experience of growing up in a migrant community in Melbourne – his first novel, Loaded (1995), tells of a young man negotiating his traditional Greek family background and his homosexuality within the drug-fuelled youth culture of the inner city; a more recent one, The Slap (2008), offers a contemporary picture of second-generation migrants facing the moral dilemmas of both middle class and middle age, highlighting ethnic difference at the same time as it echoes the concerns of urban elites across the world. Like Castro, Tsiolkas has won numerous awards for his fiction, including international prizes such as the

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­Commonwealth Writers Prize. Unlike Castro, he has also won a wide audience for his work – Loaded was made into a feature film (Head On), and The Slap into an award-winning television series. And while the ethnic ‘theme’ has figured prominently in the scholarly reception, particularly of his early work (Authers 2005; Schwarz 2007), it has been overshadowed by the many other controversial concerns in his work, such as homosexuality and drug culture in Loaded, and pornography and anti-Semitism in Dead Europe (2005). Tsiolkas has been classified as a writer of ‘grunge’ fiction, gay fiction and fiction dealing with class; his bleak portrayal of the contemporary world makes the category ‘multicultural’ if not inadequate, at least highly insufficient for discussing the complex social and ethical dilemmas raised in his work. As in the case of Castro, described above, the first book-length study of Tsiolkas’ work does not engage substantively with his multiculturalism (McCann 2015). The fact that his ‘Australia’, as well as his ‘Europe’, have struck many readers as alien territories does not seem to have made him into an ‘alien’ writer. The contrast with Antigone Kefala is interesting, and raises questions about whether major changes have taken place in the Australian literary community which have made it more receptive to this writing, or whether it is more a question of individual writers striking particular critical ‘nerves’ with their work. Other writers of ethnic-minority background who have achieved critical acclaim in recent years include Shaun Tan, a writer and illustrator of children’s fiction, who received an Academy Award for the film version of his graphic novel The Lost Thing (2000), Nam Le, whose first collection of short stories The Boat (2008) was highly praised and awarded both in Australia and internationally, and Michelle de Kretser and A.S. Patrić, both recipients of the most prestigious literary award in Australia, the Miles Franklin Award, de Kretser for her 2012 novel Questions of Travel and Patrić for Black Rock, White City, published in 2015. For each of these, however, there are many who struggle to find a publisher or a readership. In the increasingly globalised and competitive literary market to which Australian literature now belongs, themes such as migration, cultural difference, race and national belonging are not in themselves impediments to finding a wide readership – they inform the work of many widely acclaimed and best-selling writers world-wide – but the question remains as to how much, and what kind of, difference will be accommodated within the national literature, and persistent stereotypes of multicultural writing continue to haunt the literary landscape, occasionally resurfacing to confound debates and return them to issues many writers and critics had hoped they had laid to rest several decades ago.

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Impact

No account of multicultural writing, or of its impact, in Australia would be complete without mention of the infamous ‘Demidenko affair’, which not only made news in the literary community but also became front-page news in the national daily press in 1995. The story started in 1993, when a manuscript novel entitled The Hand That Signed the Paper won the 1993 Vogel award. The author, Helen Demidenko, who claimed to be of Ukrainian background, presented her book (published in 1994) as the fictional re-creation of her family’s experience during the Second World War. Her book was regarded as a triumph for ‘ethnic’ literature, an aspect much reinforced by the young author, who appeared in public wearing Ukrainian peasant blouses and telling stories about her family. The book went on to win the 1995 Miles Franklin Award, as well as the Gold Medal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, the peak academic body in the field. The scandal broke when it was revealed that the author was more fictitious than her book: her real name was Helen Darville, and she was the daughter of British migrants and had no Ukrainian heritage. The issues raised in the heated debates which ensued were complex, but the nature and reception of ethnic-minority writing underpinned several of them, most particularly the expectation of ethnic ‘authenticity’ and its exploitation by this writer. The initial celebration of what one commentator had called ‘the authentic authorial voice of contemporary multiculturalism’ (quoted in Gunew 1996: 164) quickly turned to anger and embarrassment as this authenticity was revealed as an elaborate hoax – but it could be argued that readers, critics and prize judges were caught out just as much by their own stereotyped expectations as by the author’s machinations. Ironically, this fake multicultural novel received more critical attention than any published by an actual ethnic-minority writer: in addition to the huge coverage by the literary and mainstream press in 1995, four books covering the debates were published shortly after the events (Jost et al. 1996; Manne 1996; Riemer 1996; Wheatcroft 1997) and a stream of academic articles followed, examining underlying issues such as the performance of ethnicity, hoaxes and literary representations of the holocaust.19 The impact of the Demidenko affair has been considerable. Coming as it did in the midst of a backlash against multiculturalism in parts of the ­Australian population, which saw the far-right politician Pauline Hanson elected to 19

It is interesting to note parallels between the ‘Demidenko’ and the ‘Culotta’ cases (as well as other hoaxes in Australian literature): while the notion of the ‘authentic’ migrant voice is exploited in each case, the reaction to the unmasking of the author was very different.

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­ arliament in 1996 on a racist platform, and the conservative government of p John Howard adopting several of her policies and (for a time at least) removing the term ‘multiculturalism’ from its official rhetoric, the scandal made it difficult to promote multicultural writing within the Australian literary c­ ommunity, and many ethnic-minority writers became wary of being in any way associated with the unfortunate events. Playing down multicultural credentials, insisting on being read as individual writers, not part of any cultural group, and as ­Australian, not ‘hyphenated’ writers, was a common reaction, and it is one still encountered a good two decades after the affair. At the same time, changes were taking place within the mainstream of the Australian literary community which, arguably, have served to make the work of some of these writers appear less ‘foreign’. Inspired by international trends in literary criticism, critics and historians of Australian literature have increasingly turned their attention to ‘world’, ‘transnational’ or ‘transcultural’ literature, terms mobilised to account for the growing realisation that writing does not stop at national or linguistic borders but spills across nations, cultures and languages in today’s ever-more-globalised cultural economy – and, moreover, that it always did. Robert Dixon’s 2007 essay ‘Australian literature: international contexts’ charted the development of Australian literary studies from the cultural nationalist phase of the early years through to ‘the inter- or trans-national perspectives that have emerged in a number of humanities disciplines since the 1990s’ (2007: 24), and outlined his proposal of a research agenda for ‘a transnational practice of Australian literary criticism’ (2007: 22). This is clearly a research agenda more open to the perspectives of multicultural writers than a more narrow focus on the nation; however, as another critic has pointed out, it is not necessarily one which has made a larger space for ethnic minorities: Research into the transnational dimensions of Australian literature appears to be mostly assigned to mainstream literary studies, meaning that attention will continue to be directed towards the works of Anglo-Celtic Australian writers, in English, or possibly, with regard to overseas circulation and reception, to the translations of these works. In other words, although the scope and reach of Australian literary studies may expand as the discipline goes global, there is no accompanying assumption that the corpus, or the canon, of Australian literature will be radically altered jacklin 2009: 3

What Jacklin is arguing (and we tend to agree) is that, in spite of its ‘transnational turn’, Australian literary criticism retains some of the blindspots which plagued earlier generations of multicultural writers. While the new orientation

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may have broadened the cultural horizon of the Australian literary community and made it more receptive to multicultural writing, there is little to indicate that it was this writing as such which produced the change, or that it has benefited substantially from it. To return to the statement by Leonie Kramer in 1981 (see above), have these immigrants and their descendants made a lasting impact on the ­institutionalisation of Australian literature? Laurie Hergenhan’s bicentennial publication The Penguin New Literary History of Australia (1988) carries several entries under ‘migrant writing’ (but does not employ the term ‘multicultural’ ­substantively) and Bruce Bennett’s chapter in the same publication includes discussion of the phenomenon. If we look at the Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature (Webby) published in 2000, there are considerations of immigrants and ethnic-minority writings. Turning to the Cambridge History of Australian Literature (Pierce 2009), we find that these elements have disappeared, although there is a chapter entitled ‘Representations of Asia’ in which Asian Australian women’s writing is mentioned (Gerster 2009). In that same year, Nicholas Jose produced the Macquarie pen Anthology of Australian L­ iterature (plus dvd) which included quite a few contemporary Indigenous ­writers but surprisingly few non-Anglo-Celtic ones (see Indyk’s 2009 critique). It is d­ ifficult to know how to assess this. In After the Celebration (2009), Ken Gelder and Paul Salzman explain why they devoted a ­chapter to multicultural writers in their 1989 publication but decided not to do so here: We devoted a chapter to Australian novels about the ‘migrant experience’ from the 1970s and 1980s in The New Diversity, which noted both their ­limitations – that they might reproduce clichés about the migrantas-­victim, for example – and their strengths, in particular, the challenge they posed to a ‘monolithic cultural nationalism’. GELDER AND SALZMAN 2009: 47

Gelder and Salzman observe that multiculturalism has ‘always been a poorly defined idea’ and that it has had ‘a shaky ride in the 1990s and into the new millennium’ (2009: 47). However, it is important to note that their study, emanating from the mainstream, includes discussion of writers such as Brian Castro, Christos Tsiolkas and other non Anglo-Celtic writers and this is one measure of the ways in which these issues are now a more prevalent part of the mainstream culture. Any project aimed at promoting a category of writing perceived to be unfairly neglected comes with an inbuilt redundancy, or ‘sunset clause’: if successful in making this writing an integral part of the mainstream, the project

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has served its purpose and can fade away. Has multicultural writing, and the critical enterprise of promoting multicultural writing and defining its place within Australian literature, reached such a point? It seems clear that some literary historians believe so – there are good arguments to support this claim, such as the success of numerous ethnic-minority writers within both the commercial literary marketplace and the elite institutions where Australian literature is taught, scholarly analysis is practiced and prizes are awarded. But there is another side to the story. Many writers struggle to get into print because they are considered too ‘foreign’ for the Australian market. Stereotypes of ethnic identity and cultural authenticity continue to haunt migrant writers when they first venture into publication. Writing in languages other than English is ignored, and the stubbornly monolingual nature of the mainstream culture (Anglo-Australia has one of the lowest levels of second-language proficiency in the Western world) has produced rather narrow views on what constitutes ‘good’ and ‘literary’ writing. Australian literature and literary criticism have undergone major changes over the last 30 years, and there is no doubt that both have become more outward looking and culturally diverse. We still believe that there is justice in the view that, by directing its scrutiny inwards, towards the cultural production within its migrant communities, our literary institutions would discover an even greater diversity, and that claims for the transnationalism or cosmopolitanism of Australian literature would be greatly enhanced. References Ang, I. (2001) On Not Speaking Chinese: Living Between Asian and the West. London and New York: Routledge. Ang, I., S. Chalmers, L. Law and M. Thomas, eds (2000) Alter/Asians: Asian-Australian Identities in Art, Media and Popular Culture. Annandale, NSW: Pluto Press Australia. Ang, I., G. Hawkins and L. Dabboussey (2008) The SBS Story: The Challenge of Cultural Diversity. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Ashcroft, W.D., G. Griffiths and H. Tiffin (1989) The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London: Routledge. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012–13) Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/2071.0main+features 902012-2013, accessed 15 July 2016. Authers, B. (2005) ‘“I’m not Australian, I’m not Greek, I’m not anything”: identity and the multicultural nation in Christos Tsiolkas’ Loaded’, Journal of the Association for Study of Australian Literature, 4: 133–145.

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Barker, K. (2002) ‘The artful man: theory and authority in Brian Castro’s fiction’, Australian Literary Studies, 20(3): 231–240. Bennett, B. (1988) ‘Perceptions of Australia 1965–1988’, in L. Hergenhan (ed.) New Literary History of Australia. Ringwood, Vic: Penguin Australia, 433–453. Bergner, H. (1946) Between Sky and Sea. Melbourne: Dolphin (transl. J.L. Waten). Besemeres, M. (2010) ‘Remembering transcultural childhoods: Morris Lurie and Judah Waten’, in S. Mycak and A. Sarwal (eds) Australian Made: A Multicultural Reader. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 33–45. Bhabha, H.K., ed. (1990) Nation and Narration. London: Routledge. Bhabha, H.K. (1994) The Location of Culture. London: Routledge. Blonski, A. (1992) Arts for a Multicultural Australia 1973–1991. An Account of Australia Council Policies. Sydney: Australia Council. Blonski, A., ed. (1993) ‘Editorial to special issue on film and video’, Artlink, 13(1) https:// www.artlink.com.au/issues/1310/film-26-video/, accessed 15 July 2016. Blonski, A. (1994) ‘Persistent encounters: the Australia Council and multiculturalism’, in S. Gunew and F. Rizvi (eds) Culture, Difference and the Arts. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 192–206. Bosi, P. (1979) ‘The lonely road of a writer’, Scopp, 3.1.7: 9–13. Brennan, B. (2008) Brian Castro’s Fiction: The Seductive Play of Language. Amherst: Cambria Press. Brun, M. (2011) ‘Racial ambiguity and whiteness in Brian Castro’s Drift’, Journal of the Association for Study of Australian Literature, 2(2): 113–126. Cappiello, R. (1981) Paese Fortunato. Milan: Feltrinelli. Cappiello, R. (1984) Oh Lucky Country. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press (transl. G. Rando). Carter, D. (1992) ‘Before the migrant writer: Judah Waten and the shaping of a literary career’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Criticism. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 101–110. Carter, D. (1998) Judah Waten: Fiction, Memoirs, Criticism. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Carter, D. (2007) ‘After post-colonialism’, Meanjin, 66(2): 114–119. Castro, B. (1983) Birds of Passage. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Castro, B. (1991) Double-Wolf. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Castro, B. (1995) Writing Asia and Auto/Biograpy: Two Lectures. Canberra: Australian Defence Force Academy University College. Cho, T. (2009) Look Who’s Morphing. Artarmon NSW: Giramondo. Corkhill, A.R. (1994) Australian Writing: Ethnic Writers 1945–1991. Melbourne: Academia Press. Couani, A. and S. Gunew, eds (1988) Telling Ways: Australian Women’s Experimental Writing. Adelaide: Australian Feminist Studies.

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Darville, H. (aka Helen Demidenko) (1994) The Hand that Signed the Paper. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin. De Kretser, M. (2012) Questions of Travel. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Delaruelle, J. and A. Karakostas-Seda, eds (1984) Writing in Multicultural Australia: An Overview 1984. Sydney: The Australia Council. Derrida, J. (1979) ‘The Parergon’, October, 9: 3–40 (transl. C. Owens). Derrida, J. (1980) Of Grammatology. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press (transl. G.C. Spivak). Dessaix, R. (1991) ‘Nice work if you can get it’, Australian Book Review, 128: 22–28. Deves, M. (1998) ‘Hybridity, identity and reality’, in J. McDonell and M. Deves (eds) Land and Identity. Proceedings of the 1997 Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature. Melbourne: ASAL, 220–225. Dezséry, A., ed. (1979) English and Other than English: Anthology in Community Languages. Adelaide: Dezséry Ethnic Publications. Dixon, R. (2007) ‘Australian literature: international contexts’, Southerly, 67(1–2): 15–27. Freud, S. (2003) The Wolfman and Other Cases. London: Penguin Classics (transl. L.A. Huish). Galbally, F. (1978) Migrant Services and Programs: Report of the Review of Post-Arrival Programs and Services for Migrants. Canberra: Australian Government Publication Service. Gelder, K. (2010) ‘Proximate reading: Australian literature in transnational reading frameworks’, Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature. http://www .nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/jasal/article/view/1535/2082, accessed 15 July 2016. Gelder, K. and P. Salzman (1989) The New Diversity: Australian Fiction 1970–88. Melbourne: McPhee Gribble. Gelder, K. and P. Salzman (2009) After the Celebration: Australian Fiction 1989–2007. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Gerster, R. (2009) ‘Representations of Asia’, in P. Pierce (ed.) Cambridge History of Australian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 303–322. Gikandi, S. (1996) Maps of Englishness: Writing Identity in the Culture of Colonialism. New York: Columbia University Press. Gilbert, H., T. Khoo and J. Lo, eds (2000) ‘Diaspora: negotiating Asian-Australia’, Journal of Australian Studies, 65 and Australian Cultural History, 19. Special joint issue. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Gilroy, P. (1987) There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation. London: Routledge. Gilroy, P. (2006) After Empire: Melancholia or Convivial Culture? New York: Routledge. Grassby, A. (1979) ‘Preface’, in A. Dezséry (ed.) English and Other than English: Anthology in Community Languages. Adelaide: Dezséry Ethnic Publications, 1.

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Grey, R. and G. Lehmann, eds (2011) Australian Poetry Since 1788. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. Gunew, S., ed. (1981) Displacements: Migrant Storytellers. Geelong, Vic: Deakin University Press. Gunew, S. (1984) ‘Multicultural writers: where we are writing from and who we are writing for?’ in J. Delaruelle and A. Karakostas-Seda (eds) Writing in Multicultural Australia: An Overview 1984. Sydney: The Australia Council, 15–23. Gunew, S. (1985) ‘Migrant women writers: who’s on whose margins?’, in C. Ferrier (ed.) Gender, Politics and Fiction. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 163–178. Gunew, S., ed. (1987) Displacements 2: Multicultural Storytellers. Geelong, Vic: Deakin University Press. Gunew, S. (1990) ‘Denaturalizing cultural nationalisms: multicultural readings of “Australia”’, in H. Bhabha (ed.) Nation and Narration. London: Routledge, 99–120. Gunew, S. (1991) ‘Letter to the editor’, Australian Book Review, 129: 46–47. Gunew, S. (1992) ‘PMT (post-modernist tensions): reading for multicultural difference’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 36–48. Gunew, S. (1994) Framing Marginality: Multicultural Literary Studies. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Gunew, S. (1996) ‘Performing Australian ethnicity: “Helen Demidenko”’, in W. ­Ommundsen and H. Rowley (eds) From a Distance: Australian Writers and Cultural Displacement. Geelong, Vic: Deakin University Press, 159–171. Gunew, S. (2004) Haunted Nations: The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalism. London: Routledge. Gunew, S. and K.O. Longley, eds (1992) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Gunew, S. and J. Mahyuddin, eds (1988) Beyond the Echo: Multicultural Women’s Writing. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Gunew, S. and F. Rizvi, eds (1994) Culture, Difference and the Arts. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Gunew, S., L. Houbein, A. Karakostas-Seda and J. Mahyuddin, eds (1992) A Bibliography of Australian Multicultural Writers. Geelong, Vic: Deakin University, Centre for Studies in Literary Education. Hage, G. (1993) ‘Republicanism, multiculturalism, zoology’, Communal Plural, 2: 113–137. Hage, G. (1998) White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society. Annandale, NSW: Pluto Press. Hage, G. (2003) Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society. Annandale NSW: Pluto Press. Hammer, G., ed. (1988) Pomegranates: A Century of Jewish Australian Writing. Newtown, NSW: Millennium.

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Hatzimanolis, E. (1992) ‘Speak as you eat: reading migrant writing naturally’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 168–177. Hergenhan, L., ed. (1988) The Penguin New Literary History of Australia. Ringwood: Penguin. Hoàng, N.T., ed. (2004) Câù Nôí: The Bridge: Anthology of Vietnamese Australian Writing. Liverpool, NSW: Casula Powerhouse Research Centre. Huggan, G. (2007) Australian Literature: Postcolonialism, Racism, Transnationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Indyk, I. (1992) ‘The migrant and the comedy of excess in recent Australian writing’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 178–186. Indyk, I. (2009) ‘There’s life in the corpus yet’, The Australian Literary Review, 5: 6–8. Jacklin, M. (2009) ‘The transnational turn in Australian literary studies’, JASAL (Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature), Special issue: Australian Literature in a Global World, 1–14. http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/ jasal/article/view/1421/1755, accessed 15 July 2016. Jose, N., ed. (2009) Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Jost, J., G. Totaro and C. Tyshing, eds (1996) The Demidenko File. Ringwood: Penguin. Jupp, J., ed. (2001) The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People and Their Origins. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press (2nd edition). Jupp, J. (2007) From White Australia to Woomera: The Story of Australian Immigration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2nd edition). Jurgensen, M., ed. (1981) Ethnic Australia. Indooroopilly, Qld: Phoenix. Jurgensen, M. (1984) ‘The real market of multicultural literature’, in J. Delaruelle and A. Karakostas-Seda (eds) Writing in Multicultural Australia: An Overview 1984. Sydney: The Australia Council, 149–153. Jurgensen, M. (1992) ‘Multicultural aesthetics: a preliminary definition’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 29–35. Karalis, V. and H. Nickas, eds. (2013) Antigone Kefala: A Writer’s Journey. Melbourne: Owl Publishing. Kefala, A. (1973) The Alien. Brisbane: Makar. Kefala, A. (1988) ‘Towards a language’, in K.H. Petersen and A. Rutherford (eds) Displaced Persons. Denmark: Dangaroo Press, 75–82. Kefala, A. (1992) ‘Statement’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 49. Khoo, T.-L. (2003) Banana Bending: Asian-Australian and Asian-Canadian Literatures. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

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Kramer, L. (1981) ‘Introduction’, in L. Kramer (ed.) The Oxford History of Australian Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1–23. Kristeva, J. (1982) Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press (transl. L. Roudiez). Le, N. (2008) The Boat. Melbourne: Penguin. Lyotard, J.-F. (1984) The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Manchester: Manchester University Press. MacCarter, K. and A. Lemer, eds (2013) Joyful Strains: Making Australia Home. South Melbourne: Affirm Press. Manne, R. (1996) The Culture of Forgetting: Helen Demidenko and the Holocaust. ­Melbourne: Text Publishing. McCann, A. (2015) Christos Tsiolkas and the Fiction of Critique. Politics, Obscenity, Celebrity. London: Anthem Press. Messner, D. (2009) ‘Surreal search for an identity’, Sydney Morning Herald, 23–24 May, 31. Mishra, V. (2012) What Was Multiculturalism? A Critical Perspective. Melbourne: ­Melbourne University Press. Mycak, S., ed. (2000) I’m Ukrainian, Mate! New Australian Generation of Poets. Kiev: Alternativy. Mycak, S. and C. Baker, eds (1997) Australian Mosaic: An Anthology of Multicultural Writing. Port Melbourne: Heinemann. Mycak, S. and A. Sarwal, eds (2010) Australian Made: A Multicultural Reader. Sydney: Sydney University Press. Nairn, T. (1977) The Break-Up of Britain: Crisis and Neo-Nationalism. London: New Left Books. Nandan, S. (1992) ‘Artists and islands in the Pacific’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 196–201. Office of Multicultural Affairs (1989) National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. O’Grady, J. (‘Nino Culotta’) (1957) They’re a Weird Mob. Sydney: Ure Smith. Ommundsen, W. (2007) ‘Multicultural writing in Australia’, in N. Birns and R. McNeer (eds) A Companion to Australian Literature since 1900. New York: Camden House, 73–86. Ommundsen, W. (2011a) ‘This story does not begin on a boat: what is Australian about Asian Australian writing?’, Continuum, 25(4): 503–513. Ommundsen, W. (2011b) ‘Transnational (il)literacies: reading the “New Chinese literature in Australia” in China’, Antipodes, 25(1): 83–89. Ommundsen, W. ed. (2012) ‘Transcultural imaginaries: reading Asian Australian writing’, Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 12(2): online at: http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/jasal/index, accessed 15 July 2016.

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Ouyang, Y. (1995) ‘Brian Castro: the other representing the other’, Literary Criterion, 30(1–2): 30–48. Page, G. (1995) A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Palmer, V. (1946) ‘Foreword’, in H. Bergner, Between Sky and Sea. Melbourne: Dolphin (transl. J.L. Waten), 8. Papastergiadis, N. (1992) ‘The journeys within: migration and identity in Greek-­ Australian literature’, in S. Gunew and K.O. Longley (eds) Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 149–161. Papastergiadis, N. (2012) Cosmopolitanism and Culture. Cambridge: Polity. Patrić, A.S. (2015) Black Rock, White City. Melbourne: Transit Lounge. ΠO, ed. (1985) Off the Record. Ringwood: Penguin. Pham, H. (2010) ‘Racial melancholia in Brian Castro’s Chinese-Australian historical fiction’, The Journal of Australian Writers and Writing, 1: 65–72. Pierce, P., ed. (2009) Cambridge History of Australian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pons, X. (1990) ‘Impossible coincidences: narrative strategy in Brian Castro’s Birds of Passage’, Australian Literary Studies, 14(4): 464–475. Pung, A., ed. (2008) Growing Up Asian in Australia. Melbourne: Black Inc. Radford, K. (2011) ‘Antigone Kefala: alien poet’, Fryer Folios, St Lucia: University of Queensland Library, June, 7–9. Rando, G., ed. (1986) Italo-Australian Poetry in the ’80s. Wollongong: University of Wollongong, Department of European Languages. Riemer, A.P. (1996) The Demidenko Debate. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin. Said, E. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books. Said, E. (2001a) ‘In the shadow of the west’, in G. Viswanathan (ed.) Power, Politics, and Culture. Interviews with Edward Said. New York: Pantheon, 39–52. Said, E. (2001b) ‘Overlapping territories: the world, the text, and the critic’, in G. Viswanathan (ed.) Power, Politics, and Culture. Interviews with Edward Said. New York: Pantheon Books, 53–68. Schwarz, A. (2007) ‘Mapping (un)Australian identities: “territorial disputes” in Christos Tsiolkas’ Loaded’, in A. Bartels and D. Wiemann (eds) Global Fragments: (Dis)Orientation in the New World Order. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 13–27. Shapcott, T. (1984) ‘Multicultural literature and writing in Australia’, in J. Delaruelle and A. Karakostas-Seda (eds) Writing in Multicultural Australia: An Overview 1984. Sydney: The Australia Council, 5–8. Skrzynecki, P., ed. (1985) Joseph’s Coat: An Anthology of Multicultural Writing. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger. Sollors, W. (1986) Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Sollors, W., ed. (1989) The Invention of Ethnicity. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Spivak, G. (1987) In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. New York and London: Methuen. Spivak, G. (1993) Outside in the Teaching Machine. New York: Routledge. Spivak, G. (1999) A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Spivak, G. (2012) An Aesthetic of Education in the Era of Globalization. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Tan, S. (2000) The Lost Thing. Melbourne: Lothian Books. Tsiolkas, C. (1995) Loaded. Sydney: Vintage. Tsiolkas, C. (2005) Dead Europe. Sydney: Vintage. Tsiolkas, C. (2008) The Slap. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Viswanathan, G. (1989) Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India. New York: Columbia University Press. Waten, J. (1952) Alien Son. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Webby, E., ed. (2000) Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature. Cambridge: ­Cambridge University Press. Wheatcroft, S.G., ed. (1997) Genocide, History and Fictions: Historians Respond to Helen Demidenko/Darville’s The Hand That Signed the Paper. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, Department of History. Yang, W. (1996) Sadness. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Chapter 2

New Austria, Old Roots: Writers of Immigrant Origin in Austria Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta Abstract Austria is a latecomer in the field of research on immigrant and ethnic-minority literature. Only since the mid-1990s, with initiatives such as the literary prize schreiben zwischen den kulturen (writing between cultures) and the success of writers such as Vladimir Vertlib and Dimitré Dinev, both the general and the academic interest in immigrant authors have increased, also as a kind of counter movement against the growing xenophobia at the time. Research on immigrant authors in Austria broadly speaking draws on two strands of earlier analyses: first, it adopts concepts from the debate on immigrant authors in Germany. Second, it builds on ideas developed within English cultural studies. More recent works have pleaded for immigrant and ethnicminority authors to no longer be treated as a separate category but as an intregral part of Austrian literature.



Introduction

Austria is a latecomer in the field of research on immigrant and ethnic-­minority literature, despite the long and stable history of both immigration and immigrant writers.1 However, these histories were largely ignored for the majority of the twentieth century, a period mainly characterised by the invention of a genuine Austrian tradition. The state of Austria came into being following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War i. While this event led to the first political and cultural discussions of Austrian identity, it was 1 Writers of immigrant origin who emerged in Austria over the last 20 years have come to be subsumed under the term Migrationsliteratur (migration literature), a term the authors regard as discriminatory and exclusionary. This is one of the reasons why we have decided not to use this term, the other being that we partly also deal with earlier writers of immigrant origin, who were never discussed as such. Most of the writers discussed in this chapter have come to Austria as immigrants at some stage in their lives. Literature written by descendants of immigrants is still rare in Austria. © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���8 | doi 10.1163/9789004363243_004

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only after World War ii that Austrian identity formation processes really set in. Culture played a major role in these processes (Knapp 2005), with two factors being of particular importance: first, the German language, despite the fact that Austria has several groups of recognised autochthonous minorities whose mother tongue is not German2 and, second, the distinguishing of A ­ ustria from its larger German neighbour. Such reliance on nineteenth-century nationalism, identified as a basic tenet of National Socialism after World War ii, was only possible because Austrian politicians instrumentalised the 1943 Moscow Declaration to present Austria as the first victim of National Socialist Germany and thus free from blame after 1945 – a myth which was maintained up until the late 1980s (Uhl 2001: 20–23). Oppositional voices within Austria, including many writers, have gradually begun to question this nationalist understanding of Austrian culture in the 1970s and 1980s, with their criticism initially concentrating on the suppression of the Austrian Nazi past. In the course of this process, the Austrian literary field has also slowly been opening to cultural and linguistic diversification. In 1981, the Corinthian Slovenian autochthonous minority writer Florjan Lipuš became known to a wider Austrian audience when his novel Zmote dijaka Tjaža (1972, The Confusions of Young Tjaž) was translated into German – Der Zögling Tjaž (1981) – by Peter Handke and Helga Mračnikar. This event was the beginning of a golden decade for Slovenian ethnic-minority writing in Austria (Hafner 2009: 140). In 1990, Gerald Nitsche published a multilingual anthology of autochthonous minority writing in order to make the multilingualism of Austrian writing visible to a wider public. At around the same time, a new generation of Jewish authors emerged, including Robert Schindel and Doron Rabinovici, who were the first Jewish writers since World War ii to discuss latent anti-Semitism and contemporary Jewish life in Austria (Beilein 2008a). Immigrant writing became more important in Austria as part of this wider process questioning the basic tenets of Austrian cultural identity constructions after 1945. In fact, these processes are strongly interrelated. The emergence of immigrant writers in response to growing xenophobia in Austria in the 1990s was facilitated by publishing houses, such as Drava and edition exil, that also supported autochthonous minority writers. Initial research on immigrant writing discusses this emerging phenomenon together with autochthonous ethnic-minority writing. Moreover, Jewish writers of immigrant origin, such as Vladimir Vertlib, have been able to profit from the emergence of a new Jewish writing in Austria and have often been discussed in this framework, too. 2 The following ethnic groups were recognised as autochthonous minorities (Volksgruppen) in Austria after World War ii: Slovenes, Croats, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Roma and Sinti.

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Since 2000, there has been a strong focus on writers of Eastern European origin, both in publishing and in research. Several literary institutions active in the field, such as the publisher Deuticke and the theatre initiative Wiener Wortstätten, have long specialised in authors originating from this region. To some extent, research has followed this trend, concentrating on authors promoted by these structures. At the same time, this focus coincides with a wider interest in refashioning links with Central and Eastern Europe or, in Wolfgang Müller-Funk’s terms, in rebuilding a ‘common heterogeneous symbolic space […] in which the individual sub-spaces have more similarities with each other than with Cologne and Bern’ (2011: 51). Austrian cultural policies have aimed at developing links with Central and Eastern Europe, particularly since Austria’s accession to the eu (see, for example, bka 1999). Research has tried to relink these areas, highlighting their common multilingual and multicultural history in imperial times (see, amongst others, Csáky et al. 2004). This has meant that writers of other backgrounds have received less attention, both in terms of publishing and of research and may be one of the reasons why few writers have emerged from the Turkish minority, one of the largest immigrant groups.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

Immigration has been central to Austria’s history from the Habsburg Empire to the present day (see Hahn 2007). In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Austrian territories – and Vienna in particular – attracted workers, students and artists and, during World War i, refugees, from all parts of the Habsburg Empire and beyond. Migration decreased in the interwar period though forced migration, in particular, increased again after the Nazi takeover in 1938. At the end of the Nazi regime, 1.6 million forced foreign labourers, ­prisoners-of-war and former concentration camp inmates were stranded in Austria, with many of these leaving the country in subsequent years. After World War ii, ethnic Germans fled to Austria from former German territories mainly in Eastern Europe. In the 1960s, workers began to be recruited from Turkey and Yugoslavia, a movement officially stopped in 1973, but continuing through other legal channels in the decades that followed (Ataç 2014). Since 1995, when Austria entered the European Union, a growing number of workers has come from other eu member-states. Refugees arrived from Eastern ­Europe throughout the Cold War and from Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular, during the Yugoslav Wars. An increasing number of refugees has also come from Asian and African countries since the 1970s, with a massive increase in refugees mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan since 2015. This ­continuous

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i­mmigration ­history is reflected in a relatively significant proportion of the population being foreign-born throughout the last century, with a low of 8 per cent in the 1970s and highs of roughly 15 per cent in 1910 and 2010 (Weigl 2009: 217). Many of these movements to Austria have brought writers – such as, inter alia, Elias Canetti, who first came to Vienna from Bulgaria via Manchester at the beginning of the twentieth century, Milo Dor, who was taken to Vienna as a prisoner-of-war under the National Socialist regime, György Sebestyén, who fled from Hungary after the uprising in 1956, Hamid Sadr, who left ­Tehran to study in Austria in the 1960s and never returned for political reasons, Kundeyt Şurdum, who moved from Istanbul to Vorarlberg in 1971 or Dimitré Dinev, who fled from Bulgaria after the fall of the Iron Curtain. As Boehringer and ­Hochreiter rightly argue, it almost seems absurd to apply concepts such as ‘migration literature’ to a literary context where immigration was not a distinguishing feature (2011: 22). In fact, such concepts have only emerged since the turn of the last century in Austrian literary research, albeit not because researchers regarded them as absurd. On the contrary, the history of immigration has long been ignored in the Austrian identity formation processes set in motion following World War ii. Austria chooses not to officially recognise itself as a country of immigration, even though it has been described as such by established migration researchers (Fassmann 2007: 394). Immigration was also side-lined within literary research that focused, in the 1970s and 1980s, on identifying ‘a genuine national literature by such varied means as Austro-centric research projects, series dedicated to Austrian literature in the academic presse, and the establishment of an Austrian literary canon’ (Müller-Funk 2011: 46). Writers of immigrant origin, such as Elias Canetti or Ödön von Horvath, were often included as Austrian authors in such projects at the time. In fact, they were also not regarded as immigrants and did not position themselves as such when they first began to write, as has been shown for Elias Canetti, Milo Dor and György Sebestyén (Englerth 2016a; Schwaiger 2016a; Sievers 2016a, b). At the same time, there were almost no contemporary immigrant writers to discuss, despite the fact that Austria recruited more than 300,000 labour immigrants from Turkey and Yugoslavia in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many of whom stayed after the Austrian government stopped recruitment in 1973. Unlike in Germany, where a similar labour immigration movement around the same time proved to be the starting point of immigrant writing, none has emerged from this migration in Austria. This may partly be explained by the structure of the Austrian literary field which, in the 1970s, focused on creating publishing opportunities for the Austrian literary avant-garde long-forced

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to publish in Germany and not recognised in Austria. These small publishing ­initiatives relied on personal networks that do not seem to have been accessible to writers of foreign origin. Moreover, the rare initiatives focusing on workers’ literature, such as the literary magazine Wespennest, published no literature emerging from the recent labour immigration (Sievers 2008: 1226–1230; also see the chapter on Germany in this volume). As in Germany, some workers who came to Austria in the 1960s and 1970s wrote literary texts, but very few of their works were published and then often much later (Ivanković 2009: 35–40). The situation changed in the 1990s when racism and xenophobia in Austria became a growing concern, with a small Burgenland village mobilising against refugees from Romania being the most prominent example. At the same time, immigration became a party political issue and anti-immigrant sentiments entered the political debate. Refugees had largely been welcome in Austria before the fall of the Iron Curtain because they were few in number, usually stayed only temporarily and confirmed the superiority of the capitalist system, while labour immigration had not, for a long time, been a matter of public debate but rather a subject of internal negotiations between the government, trade unions and the Chamber of Commerce. Following the fall of the Iron Curtain and the subsequent increase in immigration, the Austrian Freedom Party (fpö), under Jörg Haider’s leadership, began to agitate against immigrants (Bauböck and Perchinig 2006). ngos and individuals have actively opposed these developments ever since, including many writers and publishing houses, such as Drava, eye and Kitab (Fiddler 2006; Michaels 2003). Twelve anthologies dealing with migration were published between 1995 and 2000 alone; however, few included immigrant authors due to the lack of contemporary immigrant writers – in part caused by the closed publishing structures described above (Altrogge 2002: 41). At around the same time, Norbert Griesmayer and Werner Wintersteiner (1996a) published the first special issue of a journal devoted to autochthonous ethnic-minority and immigrant writing in Austria. As with many of the above-mentioned anthologies, this initial research mainly documented the lack of contemporary immigrant writers at the time and thus the awareness that this constituted a gap in the Austrian literary field. Yet, it also highlighted the emergence of new publication channels catering specifically to this group, the most prominent of which was the verein exil (association exile) and the associated publishing house edition exil, both founded by Christa Stippinger. In 1997, Stippinger initiated the literary prize schreiben zwischen den kulturen (writing between cultures), open to all non-native speakers of G ­ erman who had resided in Austria for at least six months and to texts dealing with integration and intercultural issues. All award-winning texts have been

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­published in anthologies issued by edition exil (Böckel 2011; Friedl 2003). The prize has proven to be a stepping stone for many immigrant writers who went on to be well-known in Austria, such as Dimitré Dinev, Anna Kim and Julya ­Rabinowich. In this process, the verein exil has set literary norms in this area by selecting writers overcoming fixed ideas of identities, cultures and nations in their literary works for further publications (Schwaiger 2016b). However, contemporary immigrant writers have also entered publishing through other channels and have only later come to be regarded as immigrants (Sievers et al. 2017a). Vladimir Vertlib first published texts in the journal of the Theodor Kramer Gesellschaft, an association mainly interested in Austrian exile writers – usually Jewish writers who had to leave Austria following the Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938. Vertlib has mainly been marketed as a Jewish writer, not only in this context, but also by his later publishing houses. Apart from Vertlib, many Austrian immigrant writers publishing in the 1990s, including Kundeyt Şurdum and Şerafettin Yıldız, were at best ignored by the general public and at worst attacked by the media. The latter happened to one of the most comprehensive anthologies at the time, Die Fremde in mir (1999, The Foreign Within Me) edited by Helmut Niederle and published by Hermagoras, one of the autochthonous ethnic-minority publishing houses in Austria, and active in publishing immigrant writing. As with similar projects, the anthology contains prose and poems written by both autochthonous ­ethnic-minority and immigrant authors, as both groups were regarded as suffering from discrimination and exclusion in Austria. To counter this trend, the book aims to show that Austrian culture has always been diverse (Niederle 1999: 11). Hence, it includes immigrant authors writing in Austria throughout the twenthieth century, from Ödön von Horvath via Georg Kövary to Reza Ashrafi. The anthology was originally to be presented in parliament; however, one of the authors was arrested in the infamous Operation Spring3 and subsequently described as a drug boss in the Austrian media, a reproach never substantiated at trial. As a consequence of his arrest, the planned parliamentary presentation of the anthology was cancelled (Altrogge 2002: 49–50). Immigrant writing has only become more visible since the turn of the century. One important milestone in this process was a review essay – based, amongst others, on Niederle’s anthology – written by Karl-Markus Gauß, a prominent literary critic, and published in 2000 by the daily newspaper Die Presse. In this text, Gauß advocates both multilingualism and the creolisation 3 Operation Spring was a major police operation against organised drug trading mainly targeted at Black immigrants and since heavily criticised not only as racist, but also as procedurally dubious.

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of national literatures (Gauß 2000; also see Kucher 2003: 6). Another ­significant event was the granting of the German Adelbert-von-Chamisso Prize for the Most Promising Writer to two Austrian immigrant writers, Radek Knapp and Vladimir Vertlib, in 2001.4 However, the most important for the visibility of immigrant writing in Austria has been the great success of Dimitré Dinev’s novel Engelszungen (Angels’ Tongues) published in 2003 by Deuticke, an Austrian publishing house that has brought many Austrian immigrant writers, in particular those of Eastern European descent, to wider acclaim, both in Austria and abroad (Neuhart 2010; Vlasta 2011a). Immigrant writing has been further promoted by initiatives such as Wiener Wortstätten – established by Hans Escher and Bernhard Studlar in 2005 in order to support playwrights, again initially with a specific focus on writers originating from Eastern Europe – or by further prizes, such as the Hohenems Prize for Literature, an Austrian prize for German-language writers who are not native speakers, and initiated and launched in 2009 by the prominent Austrian writer Michael Köhlmeier. The first studies on Austrian immigrant writing appeared in the early and mid-1990s, both in Austria and in Turkey (Griesmayer and Wintersteiner 1996a; Gültekin 1992), but the topic became more prominent at the beginning of the twenty-first century, with the first in-depth studies being ma dissertations written in the Comparative Literature and German Studies departments of the University of Vienna (Altrogge 2002; Friedl 2003). The verein exil authors have been the focus of attention from the outset – most prominently Dimitré Dinev, but also Anna Kim and, more recently, Julya Rabinowich. However, other writers – such as Radek Knapp and Vladimir Vertlib – who have not received this prize and were not initially considered to be immigrants, have since been examined under this label. Last but not least, the well-known Jewish-Austrian writer and public intellectual Doron Rabinovici, who was born in Israel in 1961 and came to Austria with his parents in 1964, has also come to be discussed as an immigrant writer after he published his novel Ohnehin (2004, Anyway) in which he combines his usual focus on modern Jewish life in Austria with the situation of immigrants in the country. As explained above, the focus of attention has been largely on authors of Eastern European origin, due also to major interest in the topic coming from Eastern European researchers and institutions (Agoston-Nikolova 2010; Hipfl and Ivanova 2008; Palej 2004). Recent research aimed to make the long history of immigrant writing in Austria 4 The Adelbert-von-Chamisso Prize is the most important German prize granted to Germanlanguage writers whose mother tongue is not German. Other Austrian writers who have since been granted a Chamisso Prize are Dimitré Dinev, Michael Stavarič, Magdalena Sadlon, Ilir Ferra, Ann Cotten and Barbi Marković.

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more visible by ­discussing authors such as Lajos Kassák (Péter 2010), who escaped from B ­ udapest to Vienna in 1921 and returned in 1926, Rudolph Lothar and Elias Canetti,5 who lived partly in Vienna in the early twentieth century before being forced to flee by the Nazis (Mitterbauer 2009; Sievers 2009), or Alja ­Rachmanowa, who lived and wrote in Austria between 1924 and 1945 (Shchyhlevska 2014). Further projects dealing with earlier periods, such as ‘Literature on the Move’ at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Sievers 2016c; Sievers et al. 2017b) and ‘Transdifferenz in der Literatur deutschsprachiger Migrantinnen in Österreich-Ungarn’ (Transdifference in the Literature of German-Speaking Female Migrants in Austria-Hungary) at the University of Vienna (Millner and Teller 2018) have recently been concluded.

Approaches and Interpretations

Research on Austrian immigrant writing is strongly influenced by two external traditions: research on German immigrant writing and the ideas developed in the context of British cultural and postcolonial studies, in particular by Homi Bhabha. Initial research on Austrian immigrant writing firmly located this emerging literature in the wider tradition of German immigrant writing, due in part to the above-mentioned lack of contemporary authors to discuss. The researchers introduced concepts from the German context, such as Ausländerliteratur (foreigners’ literature) or Migrantenliteratur (migrant literature), into the Austrian context and immediately criticised these for their exclusionary value, reiterating an ongoing debate about the terminology and methodology used in research on German immigrant writing at the time (Altrogge 2002; Kayahan 1996). British cultural and postcolonial studies were introduced into the debate slightly later (Schweiger 2004), but have been far more influential over the last decade, particularly in the approaches questioning fixed identities, cultures and nations that we describe in more detail in the subsections ‘Questioning fixed understandings of identity’ and ‘Reimagining the Austrian past and present’. Both traditions have been called into question, especially as regards their applicability to the Austrian context. The early location of Austrian immigrant writing in the German tradition has been challenged by sociological literary studies highlighting the distinctly Austrian trajectory of this literature (Böckel 2011; Friedl 2003; Sievers 2008; Vlasta 2011a), literary analyses reading immigrant 5 Canetti was already discussed as an immigrant writer before, but not in an Austrian context (see Veteto-Conrad 2001).

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writing in an Austrian literary tradition (Grabovszki 2009; Klingenböck 2005; Müller-Funk 2009; Pfeiferová 2012) and linguists describing their language as Austrian (Dimova 2008). Such arguments are, of course, closely related to the ongoing construction of the field of Austrian literature mentioned above, which has continued to be contested and is all the more contentious at a time when the notion of national literatures is generally being questioned (MüllerFunk 2011). Austrian immigrant writing has been read as part of this Austrian literary space from which it was long excluded and at the same time as questioning fixed ideas of identities in general and of Austrianness in particular, thus also challenging the existence of such a literary space. With regard to the British tradition, Austrian researchers have shown that Homi Bhabha’s ideas of cultural change, in particular, are not easily applicable to the Austrian context, since Bhabha ignores hegemonic power structures that play a major role in Austrian immigrant writing (Müller-Funk 2009; Schweiger 2005, 2008), as we show in the subsection ‘Highlighting exclusion and discrimination in Austria’. In line with the German tradition, initial research on immigrant writing in Austria regarded this emerging literature, together with autochthonous ­ethnic-minority writing, as a kleine Literatur (small or minor literature), based on a term coined by Franz Kafka in his description of Jewish writing in Warsaw and Prague. Norbert Griesmayer and Werner Wintersteiner argued that, despite their very different backgrounds, immigrant writing in Austria shared with Jewish writing in Warsaw and Prague not only the literary marginality, but also the way of exposing ‘national shortcomings in a particularly painful, but forgivable and liberating manner’ (Kafka 1990: 326, cited in G ­ riesmayer and Wintersteiner 1996b: 4).6 In a later essay Wintersteiner, together with ­Nicola Mitterer, argues this point in more detail: they believe that immigrant and ­autochthonous ethnic-minority writers are, on the one hand, particularly ­‘sensitive towards all forms of exclusion, injustice and the exertion of power and violence’ due to their ‘experience of not being in the center of power, of being different because of being perceived as different’ (Mitterer and Wintersteiner 2009: 11). On the other hand, their texts are described as sharing a ‘unique language’, resulting from the authors’ multilingual and multicultural backgrounds and from them being perceived as exceptions in predominantly monolingual and monocultural Austria: ‘While monolingual authors who have grown up in one cultural space may struggle for years to find a style of their own, such a style seems to develop almost naturally from a multilingual situation characterized by multiple border crossings’ (2009: 15). It should, however, be stressed here that Austrian writers of immigrant origin have hitherto rarely explicitly used 6 Unless otherwise indicated, all translations from the original German are by the authors.

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their multilinguality as a constitutive element of their narrative form, even though multilinguality is often discussed in their texts and may play an implicit role in their style. This may explain why there are hardly any studies dealing with multilingualism in the works of Austrian writers of immigrant origin. While there is no particular research on Austrian immigrant writing that expressly uses Kafka’s understanding of minor literature (later taken up and developed further by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari) as a starting point for reading a specific author or text, the idea that this writing exposes national shortcomings has been central to many later approaches. As we show in more detail below, many researchers focus on how immigrant writing deconstructs differences, highlights exclusion and changes the traditional understanding of Austrianness. In addition, there has been a strong focus on Eastern Europe, as mentioned above. In all these approaches, the terms used to describe the writers mostly link these to migration, even if they are critical of such categorisations. Only more recently has there been a debate on how to move beyond such terminology, as we show in the final subsection ‘Beyond migrant writing’. All the approaches laid out below have existed in the field simultaneously and there have often been overlaps between them, with some even being used in one and the same article. Questioning Fixed Understandings of Identity Several readings of Austrian immigrant writing have used the concepts of hybridity and the third space coined by Homi Bhabha in his work The Location of Culture (1994) to illustrate how this literature moves beyond fixed understandings of identities. Bhabha does not regard cultures as closed and homogeneous entities, but as mutually intertwined and in a constant state of negotiation. This processual character of cultures opens up possibilities for a cultural hybridity to emerge in which there is space for difference without a pre-imposed hierarchy. It is this space that Bhabha describes as the third space, a liminal space between fixed identities. Hannes Schweiger reads various characters in different texts in this framework, including Miro in Dimitré Dinev’s Engelszungen (2003, Angels’ Tongues). Dinev was born in Sofia in 1968 and left Bulgaria for Austria after the fall of the Iron Curtain. His first novel Engelszungen provides a Bulgarian view of twentieth-century European history through the constantly intertwining ­ stories of two Bulgarian families whose two youngest sons leave Bulgaria for ­Western Europe and end up as unwanted immigrants in Vienna. Schweiger (2004) identifies Miro, one of the protagonists in Dinev’s Engelszungen, as a figure living in a kind of third space not only between countries and cultures, but also between life and death, dream and reality. Miro, the son of a Romni

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and a Serbian civil servant, has spent most of his life in Vienna, where he has transformed the lives of many asylum-seekers and refugees by helping them to get papers and work. Myth has it that he continues this work after his death in the figure of an angel erected on his grave in the famous Central Cemetery. Another character whom Schweiger (2005) reads as subverting national, cultural and religious ascriptions is Ena, the protagonist in Alma Hadzibeganovic’s short story ‘zz00m: 24Std. mix of me oder Penthesilea in Sarajevo’ (1997, zz00m: 24hrs mix of me or Penthesilea in Sarajevo). Born in Brcko in Northern Bosnia, Alma Hadzibeganovic escaped the Yugoslav war in 1992 and settled in Vienna, where she won first prize in the writing competition ‘writing between cultures’ with the above-mentioned short story in 1997. In the story, the young woman, Ena, who describes herself as a Serbian-Muslim mix, tells us about her last day before fleeing war-torn Sarajevo, where she participates in a globalised youth culture that knows no borders while, at the same time, being forced by excessive nationalism to affiliate herself with a nation, culture and people – concepts that she considers to be of antiquated patriarchal heritage and that she unmasks as linguistic constructs, as Schweiger (2005) shows. More recent readings have looked at how this questioning of fixed identities is expressed in language. This is Helga Mitterbauer’s (2010) approach in her brief reading of Anna Kim’s Die gefrorene Zeit (2008, Frozen Time 2010). Anna Kim was born in South Korea in 1977 and raised in Germany and Austria, where her father found work as a guest professor. Her novel Die gefrorene Zeit describes the search by an Albanian from Kosovo for the body of his wife, who was abducted and killed during the war. Mitterbauer interprets the difficulty which the main character has in expressing himself, his search for words and his broken language as typical characteristics of the fragility of language in the third space. This fragility, she argues, opens up the possibility for a change of norms and values, as becomes apparent when the narrator listens to the protagonist talking in Albanian – a language she does not understand – which allows her to discover all kinds of images, colours and geometrical forms in the sound and rhythm of the words spoken. Similarly, Anna Babka’s reading of Semier Insayif’s novel Faruq (2009) highlights how the in-between position of this text’s narrator is expressed in the novel’s ‘transcultural meandering language world’ (Babka 2011: 196). Semier Insayif, who was born in Vienna to an Austrian mother and an Iraqi father, had been active as a musician and poet before he published his first novel, Faruq, which tells the stories of an Iraqi migrating from Baghdad to Vienna and of his son’s search for his roots. Babka reads Faruq as deconstructing the difference between self and other. The narrator of the text has no sense of belonging, neither in Austria nor in Baghdad, but these cultures meet in his body.

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His body becomes the place where identities are negotiated based on antagonisms, contradictions and incommensurabilities that allow him to move beyond ethnic and cultural differences. This in-between existence is expressed in a language including not only Arabic terms and passages, but also changes between paratactic phrases in the European and flowing melodic sentences in the Arabic episodes. Andrea Bartl (2010) identifies a similar in-between existence and language in Michael Stavarič’s novel Terminifera (2007). Michael Stavarič was born in 1972 in Brno, Czechoslovakia and moved to Vienna with his parents at the age of seven. In his second novel he tells the story of the Viennese nurse Lois, a foundling who grew up in a children’s home where s/he suffered from violence and abuse. Bartl reads Lois as an androgynous character described as a bastard by the other inhabitants of the children’s home who also try to force him/ her to decide on one gender. The character’s in-between existence is written in what Bartl describes as a ‘bastardised’ narrative form, marked by ellipses and unresolved contradictions. Although the novel only marginally mentions the homelessness of the character and does not refer to migration at all, Bartl reads the narrative form of the text as being linked to Stavarič’s experience of statelessness and exclusion in Austria, in part because Turkish-German writers, such as Feridun Zaimoglu and Zafer Şenocak, have used the same image of the bastard to describe Turkish immigrants and their language in Germany.7 Last but not least, Susanne Pasewalck (2012) moves from language to narrative techniques used to question fixed identities in Vladimir Vertlib’s novel Das besondere Gedächtnis der Rosa Masur (2001, Rosa Masur’s Exceptional Memory). Vertlib left Leningrad with his parents in 1971 at the age of five; this marked the beginning of a long odyssey taking the family to Israel, the Netherlands, Italy and the usa before they finally settled in Austria in 1981. His second novel tells twentieth-century Russian history from a Jewish perspective, including the various pogroms in the first three decades, the Nazi occupation of Leningrad and the short-lived improvements for Jews in the early years of the Soviet Union before repression resumed. The narrator of the story is Rosa Masur, who leaves St Petersburg for the small German town of Gigricht in the 1990s. When the town plans to publish a book telling the stories of the immigrants residing in Gigricht to mark its 750th anniversary, Rosa is selected as a representative of the Russian Jewish community to tell the story of her life. Pasewalck argues that Vertlib illustrates the absurdity of this project from the start in the detailed list presented by the town’s historian of all the groups to be included: Turks and 7 For a similar reading, see Tropper (2014). Stavarič’s novels have also been read as postmodern without any link being made to the fact that he is a migrant (Lughofer 2010, 2012).

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Kurds, Roma and Sinti, and Chinese and Russian Jews. Moreover, the project fails because a journalist discovers the town charter to be a forgery. Nevertheless, Rosa Masur’s story is told in a novel that Pasewalck regards as a counterproject to the town’s planned book publication that would have fixed borders and identities. By contrast, the novel is a work of art. It subverts the dichotomy of authenticity and invention, in particular by using the motif of the forgery that questions the character of all documents fixing cultural affiliations. Highlighting Exclusion and Discrimination in Austria Research on Austrian immigrant writing has also been particularly interested in how these texts discuss discrimination and the exclusion of immigrants in Austria. This has often gone hand-in-hand with criticism of Bhabha’s theoretical approach, particularly for ignoring the economic and political power relations that are integral to migration processes and that may limit the potential for change highlighted in Bhabha’s writing, a point repeatedly made by Hannes Schweiger. Schweiger (2005, 2008) illustrates that these power relations play a major role in Dimitré Dinev’s works, which explicitly discuss discrimination and exclusion in Austria. This becomes particularly obvious in Dinev’s short story ‘Spas schläft’ (2001a, ‘Spas Sleeps’, 2014), first published in the collection Die Inschrift (2001b, The Inscription). The text highlights the exclusionary power of the law in the story of the Bulgarian, Spas, who leaves for Vienna after the fall of the Iron Curtain to live and work there. Schweiger shows how the legal regulations turn the refugee into an illegal immigrant, reduced to accepting any kind of work in order to be allowed to stay. This legal reduction to pure survival, also experienced by the character Svetljo in Dinev’s (2003) novel Engelszungen, eventually turns human beings into speechless shadows, devoid of any identity, i.e. the exact opposite of the hybrid migrants changing the world in Bhabha’s works. In his brief reading of Dimitré Dinev’s Engelszungen, Wolfgang Müller-Funk (2009) shows that this exclusion is also expressed in the places used by those surviving at the margins. Müller-Funk argues that Dinev’s characters can be described less as being located in a ‘third space’, and more as living in ‘nonplaces’, a term used by Marc Augé (1992) to describe places of transience that are too insignificant to be regarded as places. This applies to the majority of the places in Dinev’s novel, such as the train station, hotdog stands, arcades or public toilets used in the novel as a cheap place to sleep. Monika Riedel (2014) focuses on the female side of migration and the related (stereotyped, often negative) attributions leading to a particular form of ­exclusion of female migrants. Accordingly, she uses an intersectional approach – that sees identity in the conflicting field of ethnicity, culture, gender and

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class – to analyse Julya Rabinowich’s novel Die Erdfresserin (2013, The ­Soileater). Julya Rabinowich was born to Jewish parents in St Petersburg in 1970 and left Russia for Austria with her family in 1977. Her third novel, Die Erdfresserin, focuses on a woman of Russian origin, Diana, who works as a prostitute in ­Vienna in order to be able to provide her mentally handicapped son with expensive medication. When Diana meets the policeman Leo, she hopes to be able to escape to a normal life but Leo dies, and Diana loses her mind and walks away from her life, following a mythical golem figure. Riedel interprets Diana’s life story as being linked to her sex, her ethnic origin, her cultural background, her religion, her age and her social class. Despite being an educated and emancipated woman, Diana is forced to leave her home and to become an illegal immigrant. To others (such as the police or Leo), her legal status becomes the determining aspect of her identity, while all other factors become irrelevant. This situation eventually leads to Diana’s mental illness and her selfdestructive actions. Ernst Grabovszki (2009) discusses the particular situation of Blacks in ­Austria as portrayed in Chibo Onyeji’s (2006) poetry collection Flowers, Bread and Gold. Born in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1950, Chibo Onyeji was writing poetry before he came to Austria, mainly in English, but more recently in his native Igbo. His 2006 poetry collection focuses on the discrimination of Black immigrants and asylum-seekers in Austria. The poems are preceded by a prologue providing the background to the situation of Blacks in Austria by describing several cases of police violence against this group from the point of view of both the police and the immigrants. The most well-known example is the case of the Nigerian asylum-seeker, Marcus Omofuma, who died from suffocation whilst being deported after his asylum application had been declined. Grabovszki shows how the poems continue this juxtaposition of oppositional voices. Thus the poem ‘City’ contrasts the stereotypical images of Nigerians as drug dealers among the Viennese, with a voice providing more concrete information on the particular background and fate of Nigerian immigrants in Austria. In a more recent approach, Hannes Schweiger (2012a) argues that immigrant narratives portraying discrimination and exclusion should be read not only as illustrating Austrian reality but also as deepening our understanding of globalised societies and of our own ambivalence and in-betweenness. This approach draws on a paper presented by Homi Bhabha in Vienna in 2007 ­describing the dark side of globalisation, and the dramatic experiences of war, persecution and hunger as ‘the traumatic moments forcing us to rethink our history’ and to consider possible courses of action (Schweiger 2012a: 155). ­Schweiger reads Anna Kim’s short story Irritationen (2000, Irritations) from this perspective. The story – for which Kim was awarded first prize in the

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c­ ompetition ‘writing between cultures’ in 2000 – deals with a young woman of Asian origin who goes on a painful search for her identity. Schweiger argues that this search is initiated by those around her marking her as a stranger by using discriminatory language to describe her facial features, such as ‘chinky eyes’, or by calling her a ‘guest’ in the country where she has grown up. The protagonist tries to escape into the world of the imaginary that allows her to implant the seeds of this society into her face but, under the new skin, traces of her old face remain visible. Schweiger emphasises that she cannot comply with the demands of her surroundings for a fixed identity because she incorporates what Homi Bhabha calls the ‘difference-within’, i.e. the fact that societies are in a constant process of change, due in part to migration, too. The people surrounding her do not accept this ‘difference-within’ and impose difference on her, thereby reproducing an identity discourse informing immigration policies and also leading to a re-nationalisation in many European countries. However, the narrative itself makes visible the ambivalence that questions such identity discourses and opens up the possibility for new identities beyond the polarity of self and other. Reimagining the Austrian Past and Present Hannes Schweiger’s reading of Anna Kim’s short story moves towards reading this text as one that provides us with a new understanding of Austrianness. This has also been a major approach in other studies. Some of these have focused on the new insights which immigrant writing provides on the Austrian Nazi past. Ursula Klingenböck (2005) and Ernst Grabovszki (2009) have read Hamid Sadr’s novel Der Gedächtnissekretär (2005, The Secretary of Memory) in this light. Sadr was born in Teheran in 1946 and came to Vienna as a student in the late 1960s. His novel Der Gedächtnissekretär juxtaposes a young Persian man – Ardi – studying in Vienna, with an Austrian Nazi, Mr Sohalt, who hires him for a book project illustrating the destruction of Vienna in World War ii. Klingenböck and Grabovszki both interpret the novel as opposing the insider with an outsider version of the Austrian Nazi past: while Sohalt intends to illustrate the myth of the unjust war by publishing photos of destroyed Viennese buildings, Ardi – who has to locate the places shown on the photographs in contemporary Vienna – literally experiences the suffering of the people during the war when arriving in these places. In her PhD thesis, Sandra Vlasta (2008) takes this rereading of the Austrian Nazi past further by referring to Leslie Adelson’s concept of the ‘touching tale’ developed in her work The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature (2005) in order to read the texts written by immigrant writers as negotiating the relations between different historical moments (Vlasta 2008: 159). Based

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on this approach, Vlasta reads Vladimir Vertlib’s narrative ‘Mein erster Mörder’ included in a collection of short stories of the same name (2006, My First Murderer) as not only providing new insight into the Austrian Nazi past, but as also highlighting the link between Austria’s silencing of the past and the xenophobic reactions to new immigrants in the present (Vlasta 2008). The short story focuses on the adolescent Austrian Leopold Ableitinger as he searches for details of his father’s involvement in the Nazi horrors, namely in one of the death marches from the eastern border of Austria towards the concentration camp Mauthausen, in Upper Austria. As Vlasta points out, Vertlib sets this story in 1950s’ Vienna, characterised by a silencing of this past and a persistent anti-Semitism and xenophobia that finds expression in the hatred of the Hungarians arriving in the wake of the bloody suppression of the 1956 uprising. In the recently published, rewritten and translated version of her dissertation, Sandra Vlasta (2016) illustrates how immigrant writing also changes the Austrian present. Based on Arjun Appadurai’s concept of the ‘ethnoscape’ described in his work Modernity at Large (1996), Vlasta explores how migration creates transnational networks that dissolve the traditional links between nation, culture, identity and territory and open new global spaces that facilitate the creation of alternative collective memories, as exemplified – amongst others – in Vladimir Vertlib’s novel Zwischenstationen (1999, Transit Stations). This book describes a Russian Jewish family’s quest for a home, a journey taking them to Austria, Israel, the Netherlands and the United States, amongst others, in search of a place where they can live a life free from discrimination. Vlasta argues that the transnational networks created by migration have an effect on individual places, as illustrated in the novel by the so-called Russian castle, a decrepit house in Vienna that becomes the temporary home for Russian Jews. The description of this building as being at once part of Israel and of Russia exemplifies how migration transforms the place where the house is located – Vienna (Vlasta 2016: 238–239). In a similar vein, Matthias Beilein (2008b) reads Doron Rabinovici’s novel Ohnehin as making visible the change in Austria that has been brought about by migration. This becomes apparent not only in his polyglot and cosmopolitan characters originating from all over the world, but also in their preferred meeting place, the Naschmarkt, a market in the centre of Vienna that is presented in the novel as a global village with a long transnational history. Beilein emphasises that Rabinovici presents this image of lived cultural diversity in full awareness of the fact that it is an illusion and juxtaposes it with various experiences of the discrimination and exclusion suffered by the characters in the novel. Regina Kecht (2008) takes his argument slightly further by reading these passages of the novel as an ‘inverted call’ for the acceptance of hybrid

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existences. By including characters such as Goran, a deserter from the Serbian forces in the Yugoslav war who fled to Vienna but was not granted asylum and lives in Vienna illegally until he is deported by the police, Rabinovici, according to Kecht, illustrates the irrational destruction of lives by state power, as the character will not be able to start a new life in his country of origin. Roxane Riegler (2010), on the other hand, argues that it is the process of reading immigrant writing that may lead ‘native’ readers to question their understanding of Austrianness. Drawing on Homi Bhabha (1994) and on Martin Buber’s concept of ‘das Zwischenmenschliche’ (Buber 1962) – i.e. that which is happening between human beings – Riegler regards reading not only as a process of understanding the other, but also as a process of reconsidering the self. This means that reading immigrant writing will not only raise awareness of the discrimination and exclusion suffered by immigrants, but will lead the readers to demand greater social justice for immigrants as part of their society (Riegler 2010: 44–56, 144). In her analysis of Vladimir Vertlib’s Zwischenstationen, Riegler argues that the text juxtaposes various forms of prejudice and illustrates how these have led to death and destruction, not only in the Holocaust, but also in bomb attacks in Israel. The narrator and his family are shown to be prejudiced against Arabs, Orthodox Jews or Jews originating from Uzbekistan. At the same time, the narrator is constantly confronted with prejudices that change according to his place of residence: in Austria he is the Russian and the Jew, in Israel he is the Nazi. This rejection forces him to adopt an in-between existence that allows him to survive in a hostile world. Riegler argues that these opposing dimensions of the text invite the reader to question and deconstruct homogenising identities. Moreover, the narrator’s ceaseless skill in adapting to new situations and cultures may serve as an example for majority readers to adapt to the change brought by migration and to accept the newcomers as part of their culture (Riegler 2010: 125–142). Encountering Eastern Europe In contrast to the above interpretations, which focus on the authors’ and the texts’ relation to Austria, several readings of Austrian immigrant writing discuss the texts with regard to the writers’ origins. This has been particularly true for writers originating from Eastern Europe, such as Julya Rabinowich, Dimitré Dinev and Radek Knapp, and has often been a way of claiming these authors for the literature of their sending countries. Some of this research analyses how far references to the country and context of origin impede the reception of immigrant writing in Austria. Other researchers are interested in the position of immigrant writers and their texts between two cultures. A main focus in this context has been on deconstructing stereotypical images of East and

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West. More recently, researchers have looked at the narration of traumatic experiences in immigrant writing from Eastern Europe. Sandra Vlasta (2011b) analyses Russian cultural codes, such as rituals and traditions, in Julya Rabinowich’s novel Spaltkopf (2008, Splithead 2011) with a view to answering the question as to whether these have an impact on the novel’s reception by German-speaking readers. Spaltkopf tells the story of the emigration of a Jewish family from Russia to Austria. The novel includes references not only to Russian literature and fairy tales and to characters from Russian mythology, such as the Baba Yaga, but also to socialism, exemplified in the communal apartment where the family lives in Leningrad. Vlasta argues that German-speaking readers may have difficulty understanding these cultural codes. They may not recognise, for example, that the protagonist’s name, Mischka, is a male name, even though the person is female. Nevertheless, she also regards such ‘borders of communication’ as an opportunity for extending existing borders, as they confront the readers with things hitherto unknown (Vlasta 2011b: 18). Silke Schwaiger (2013) adds to this an interpretation of the function of these cultural codes – which she does not, however, describe as such. She refers to fairy-tale and fantastic elements that, according to her, allude not only to the Russian but also to the German literary tradition. Schwaiger highlights that Rabinowich’s references to German and Russian fairy tales hint at the protagonist’s fate and provide the characters with psychological depth. Moreover, Rabinowich invents the mythical figure of the splithead which, in the tradition of Freud’s (1919) Unheimliches (Unhomely), haunts the family, repressing their Jewish history. Andrea Reiter (2014) takes this further in a reading that focuses on Rabinowich’s Jewish origins and includes an analysis of her novel Die Erdfresserin. According to Reiter, the golem figure appearing at the end of the novel embodies Diana’s ‘escape from oppression, domestic, social, and cultural’ (Reiter 2014: 284). Other researchers focus on signs of origin in Austrian immigrant writing in order to stress the importance of these authors as ‘go-betweens’ between two cultural contexts, often perceived as two clearly distinguishable entities. This is Penka Angelova’s (2010) approach to Dimitré Dinev, whom she compares to two other writers of Bulgarian origin writing in German – Ilija Trojanow and Tzveta Sofronieva. Angelova claims Dinev as a writer of Bulgarian literature. Accordingly, she reads his novel Engelszungen, which was translated into Bulgarian in 2006, as both showing ‘Balkan otherness of unknown neighbors’ to a German-speaking audience and representing a ‘completely new tradition and new generation in Bulgarian literature’ (Angelova 2010: 87). She emphasises the importance of the novel for Bulgarian literature, as it presents an ‘unbelievable sweep of the historical panorama of several generations’ (2010: 87) and is

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mostly set in an urban environment, which she considers unusual for Bulgarian literature. On the other hand, she argues that the Balkan magical realism and naturalism of the novel was received as funny and curious outside the Bulgarian context. Nevertheless, Angelova (2010: 88) is convinced that the novel ‘opens up our [i.e. the Bulgarian] route to world literature’. A major focus in such bicultural readings has been on stereotypes. In several readings, Agnieszka Palej illustrates the use of stereotypical Polish and Austrian images in Radek Knapp’s works. Knapp’s collection of short stories, Franio (1994), set in a Polish village, is full of clichéd references to the Catholic Church, vodka and the stork as the bearer both of children and of fortune. These stereotypical images of Poland are constructed in opposition to Vienna as a place of elegance and cleanliness, where art and music are ubiquitous. This is true in particular in his first novel, Herrn Kukas Empfehlungen (1999, Mr Kuka’s Advice), which tells the story of a naïve young Polish man who departs for Vienna in order to work, taking with him the deceptive advice of his neighbour Mr Kuka. Palej (2004) observes that Knapp’s exaggerated use of stereotypes enables him to adopt an ironic stance – for instance, when the narrator ostensibly praises the Austrian way of denominating everything, citing derogatory terms for various groups of immigrants, among them the Polish, as examples. This leads her, in a later publication, to describe Knapp’s use of stereotypes as a literary strategy that creates an ironic distance, enabling him to deconstruct the clichés (Palej 2007). Katrin Sorko (2007) draws on Stuart Hall’s (1997) definition of stereotyping as a way of reducing, essentialising and naturalising difference to analyse the use and deconstruction of age-old myths, stereotypes and discourses on Eastern Europe as the ‘other’ of the West. The particular focus here is on the two political systems in 13 German novels, among which three written in Austria: Dimitré Dinev’s Engelszungen, Radek Knapp’s Herrn Kukas Empfehlungen and Vladimir Vertlib’s Das besondere Gedächtnis der Rosa Masur. Sorko argues that many of these texts deconstruct stereotypical images of the West as the Promised Land and the East as a place of systemic repression in their dual criticism of both systems. The descriptions of Eastern Europe abound with images of the state repression of dissidents and the institutionalised discrimination of ethnic minorities such as the Turkish minority in Bulgaria, both described in detail in Dimitré Dinev’s Engelszungen. However, the authors confront these stereotypical images with similar repressive mechanisms directed towards unwanted immigrants in the West, with Dinev’s Engelszungen again being one of the most illustrative examples of this change of stance. This d­ econstruction of the ‘West as paradise’ in turn questions the previously presented image of the East as a place of repression. Other narrative strategies that Sorko ­identifies as ­subverting

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stereotypical images of East and West include the general f­ragmentation of identities in these novels – as expressed in the use of multiple languages, for example, as well as the new form of what Sorko calls the ‘postmodern family novel’, characterised by a fragmentation of narrative perspectives. More recent interpretations have focused on how immigrant writing from Eastern Europe deals with traumatic experiences, be that the past – often the reason for migration – or the process of migration itself. Alexandra Millner (2012) concentrates on the narration of traumatic past experiences, such as the communist repression in Dinev’s Engelszungen or the repression of the Jews in the Soviet Union in Rabinowich’s Spaltkopf. Millner argues that these traumas are inscribed into the texts as a silence, such as the silence of Mischka’s grandmother about her Jewish origins since her father had died in a pogrom when she was a child. This trauma haunts not only her but her whole family, who suffer from typical symptoms of trans-generational traumatisation, as becomes apparent in Mischka’s bulimia and drug abuse. Mischka’s return to Russia initiates the recovery of her forgotten family history. For the homeless granddaughter, this process implies the discovery of a narrative of origin that provides her with a secure continuity over time in a new place. Eva Hausbacher (2010), by contrast, argues that trauma in the novel does not lie in the Russian past, but in the event of migration itself – which is experienced as forced migration. The trauma is shared by all protagonists and prevents them from developing transitory identities; rather they remain stuck in binary structures. As the spaces (Russia, Austria) in the novel do not intersect in a transcultural manner but remain separated entities, no ‘in-between’ – i.e. no space for the negotiation of hybrid identities – emerges in the text. For this reason, Hausbacher does not describe Spaltkopf as migrant writing – which, according to her, is characterised by the dissolution of binary identity structures, ambivalence, transcultural spaces ‘in-between’ and hybridity – but as emigrant writing characterised by nostalgic discourses told from an alleged victim’s point of view. Beyond Migrant Writing Many of the approaches above use terms such as migration literature or migrant literature for the works written by immigrants and their descendants. This does not mean that the researchers are not critical of these categorisations. On the contrary, many scholars explicitly criticise these terms not only for their exclusionary value, but also for their focus on migration, which often implies a blindness for other textual dimensions. They use such categorisations to make visible the exclusion and discrimination of these authors in Austrian literary institutions (Friedl 2003; Schweiger 2006). Or, to paraphrase Nicola Mitterer (2009), the terms describe a reality in a society,

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such as ­Austria, that still perceives itself as monocultural and excludes those perceived as different. Only when this perception changes will the terms become meaningless, in both a literary (Schörkhuber 2009) and a sociological sense (Mitterer 2009). However, scholars have also made concrete suggestions as to how to overcome the exclusion of these authors in literary studies. Hannes Schweiger (2012b) argues that reading these writers as migrants limits our understanding of their writing to this one facet and he suggests overcoming this limitation by changing the paradigms in which this literature is read. Rather than reading it in a national context, it should be read in a transnational and transcultural space where multiple identities are the rule rather than the exception. ­Schweiger hopes that such readings will entail a reconceptualisation of literary studies beyond national frameworks. Joanna Drynda’s (2013) reading of Milena Michiko Flašar, whom she describes as being at home in two cultures, can be regarded as a step in this direction. Flašar was born in 1980 in St Pölten as the daughter of a Japanese mother and an Austrian father. Her works only marginally deal with migration but, as Drynda shows, they present homelessness and the search for identity as characteristic of human existence, be it due to difficult love and family relationships or to the pressures of highly ritualised societies. Wiebke Sievers (2009), on the other hand, highlights the arbitrariness of the use of the term ‘migration literature’ in order to move beyond this categorisation. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s (1996) The Rules of Art she argues that it is not migration alone that forms the positioning of immigrant authors in the literary field, but that other personal characteristics, including class and education (described by Bourdieu as cultural capital), access to authors, publishers and critics (described by Bourdieu as social capital) and financial background (described by Bourdieu as economic capital), as well as the specific situation in the literary field at the time of arrival, also have a massive impact on the positioning of an immigrant writer in a new literary field, as her examples of Elias Canetti and Dimitré Dinev illustrate. Canetti moved country five times within the first 35 years of his life, while Dinev only moved once, from Bulgaria to Austria in 1989. Nevertheless, it is Dinev who is read as a migrant writer. This positioning is related to the fact that he arrived at a time when migration was a political issue and that he had no contacts facilitating his entry into the literary field. The only channel open to him was a structure specifically catering for immigrants and their descendants, the verein exil. Canetti, on the other hand, arrived at a time when emigration was more of a concern than immigration and had friends opening up possibilities for him within the Austrian literary field, where he deliberately positioned himself as Viennese.

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This literary-sociological approach to immigrant writing is taken further in the project ‘Literature on the Move’, which analysed whether and how immigrant writers made use of migration and multilinguality in their positionings in the literary field in the past and in the present. The project results for Elias Canetti (Sievers 2016a), Milo Dor (Englerth 2016a) and György Sebestyén (Schwaiger 2016a) show that migration did not influence their positionings as writers in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. This may be traced back to a transnational openness dating back to the Habsburg Monarchy and characterising the Viennese literary field up until 1938 and after 1945. This transnational openness offered opportunities to aspiring writers from the Habsburg Empire and beyond, regardless of their ethnicity and mother tongue, as long as they were willing to accept German linguistic and cultural hegemony. All three authors benefited from this transnational openness in the process of becoming incorporated into the Austrian literary field. In the 1970s and 1980s this transnational openness was overcome by a national closure of the Austrian literary field. This has made it more difficult for immigrant writers entering the Austrian literary field in the 1990s to be accepted on a par with their native colleagues. While this exclusion has partly been overcome, as well-known writers such as Vladimir Vertlib or Julya Rabinowich illustrate, immigrant writers are still limited in their expression in the Austrian literary field (Sievers 2016b). The hegemony of the German language limits their expression of their multilingualism, as an analysis of Seher Çakır shows (Englerth 2016b), authors are still reduced to writing about migration in a realist manner, as illustrated in a chapter on Ilir Ferra (Englerth 2016c), and authors writing in languages other than German, such as Tanja Maljartschuk (Schwaiger 2016c) and Stanislav Struhar (Schwaiger 2016d), are ignored by the Austrian public – an experience that has become topical in Struhar’s novels Das Manuskript (2002, The Manuscript) and Eine Suche nach Glück (2005, In Search of Happiness). The results of this project were taken up at a conference entitled Austria in Transit: Displacement and the Nation State. Cultural Responses in the Austrian Context and organised by Áine McMurtry at the Department of German at King’s College London in September 2017.8 The conference adopted a similar diachronic perspective and discussed works by Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth together with recent books by Vladimir Vertlib, Julya Rabinowich and Alma Hadzibeganovic, amongst others. It added a further dimension by taking into account emigration from national socialist Austria to England. 8 The results of this conference will be published in a forthcoming issue of Austrian Studies.

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In addition, many interpretations of Austrian immigrant writing ­consciously avoid the category ‘migrant writing’ by reading the writer in a different, in this case mostly Jewish, tradition. This may partly be interpreted as an attempt to save writers from a positioning that has come to be regarded as reducing their works to sociological documents, while ignoring their literary merits. Such a conscious decision against the categorisation ‘migrant writer’ can be found in one of Dagmar Lorenz’ interpretations (2008) of Vladimir Vertlib’s works. ­Lorenz argues that: ‘The global homeless people Vertlib writes about are rarely foregrounded in literary writing. Migrants usually do not have the necessary mastery of the languages of their target countries and lack access to publishing venues’ (Lorenz 2008: 248). This is the reason why she does not regard Vertlib’s novels as migrant narratives even when they revolve around migration, since he had already achieved a position of relative security in Austria before publishing them – he spoke perfect German, had completed his studies there, was an active participant in Viennese cultural life and had access to all relevant institutions (2008: 231). Lorenz reads Vladimir Vertlib as a Jewish writer, mainly by identifying intertextual links to both Austrian Jewish writing and Jewish exile writing worldwide, particularly in his novel Zwischenstationen (1999). She argues that the novel describes the massive abuse which the narrator suffers as a Jew in Austria and, in this sense, is part of a contemporary Austrian Jewish tradition. This tradition includes authors such as Robert Schindel and Doron Rabinovici, who focus on latent anti-Semitism in Austria in relation to the legacy of the Nazi past and discuss questions of belonging and individuality, both with regard to their Jewishness and with reference to an Austrian(-Jewish) identity (for a similar argument, see Reiter 2011; Taberner 2011). Moreover, Lorenz moves beyond this national dimension by describing the history of suffering illustrated in this text as a ‘Jewish master narrative’, used in Jewish writing worldwide. Finally, she highlights the particular closeness of this novel to earlier Jewish exile writing, such as Albert Drach’s Unsentimentale Reise (1966, Unsentimental Journey) or Anna Seghers’ Transit (1948) by arguing that, like these two authors, Vertlib reveals the loss of social and political identities among exiles. Annette Teufel and Walter Schmitz draw similar intertextual links as Lorenz in their reading of Vertlib’s works, in which they particularly stress the constructedness of his writing, his ‘invention of truth’, as he calls it himself, often overlooked in autobiographical readings of his works (Teufel and Schmitz 2008). This positioning of Vertlib as a Jewish writer has become the major approach to his work in recent years. Most of the secondary writing focuses on the negotiations of Jewish identities in Vertlib’s writing, albeit in terms

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not ­dissimilar from those discussed above for research on immigrant writing. ­Sebastian ­Wogenstein (2004) describes Vertlib’s texts as incorporating a concept of diaspora that regards in-betweenness and hybridity as the norm and counters territorial ideas of belonging. Katrin Molnár (2009), in contrast, argues that his texts construct Heimat as a space located in between dwelling and displacement. Other researchers analyse Vertlib’s texts as describing ­Jewish identities in concrete spaces, such as Austria and Germany (Taberner 2011) or Europe (Hahn 2009). However, none of these readings explicitly uses the Jewish category as a way of saving Vertlib from the immigrant category, as in Lorenz’ interpretation described above. On the contrary, all the above refer to Vertlib as both a Jew and an immigrant or, in Sander Gilman’s terms (2006: 28), as ‘the official multicultural Jewish writer in Austria’.

Impact

Immigrant writers have certainly become more visible in Austria over the past two decades. Many immigrant writers, such as Radek Knapp, Julya Rabinowich or Vladimir Vertlib, have become well-established authors whose new publications usually receive ample public attention. Literary critics also take note of emerging authors, such as those winning prizes in the competition ‘writing between cultures’ or being accorded the Hohenems Prize for Literature. In general, public attention for literary prizes awarded to immigrant authors, both in Austria and abroad, has increased. As has become apparent, literary studies have also become much more aware of the production of immigrant authors in Austria. The number of publications on the topic, though still manageable, has grown considerably since around 2005. Several scholars working on Austrian immigrant writing also teach these authors and works in university courses, albeit still as a special category rather than as part of Austrian literature. Finally, immigrant authors have been included in recent histories of Austrian literature, either as immigrants from Eastern Europe such as Radek Knapp, Vladimir Vertlib and Dimitré Dinev (Zeyringer 2008) or as multilingual writers, including Michael Stavarič, Ann Cotten and Julya Rabinowich (Kriegleder 2011). Only in the most recent Austrian literary history do Klaus Zeyringer and Helmut Gollner (2012) discuss immigrant writers together with ‘native’ authors, whose works are not set in Austria, in a section entitled ‘At the margins – elsewhere’. This approach may be interpreted as a step beyond understanding these authors as a separate category. There are, as yet, no literary histories treating these authors as an integral part of Austrian literature.

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The study of immigrant writing has brought some innovation to Austrian literary studies. It has been one of the areas questioning traditional hegemonies within and between societies by using postcolonial theory. Similar approaches have evolved in the field of Austrian literary studies with regard to Central and Eastern Europe, in particular the regions which formerly belonged to the Habsburg Empire.9 Both approaches challenge traditional paradigms in Austrian literary studies. They demand new answers to questions central to these studies, such as: who is an Austrian author? What does it mean to write Austrian literature? Does Austrian literature exist at all? Research on immigrant writing has ensured that answers to these questions can no longer depart from a national paradigm. However, this new point of view has yet to reach mainstream Austrian literary studies. Despite this progress, we can still observe a number of substantial gaps in the study of immigrant writing in Austria. There are no archives in the form of bibliographies or databases on which scholars can base their studies. Also, the field does not yet seem to have become important enough for substantial monographs to be published on Austrian immigrant writing. At the same time, there is ample demand for more research. Writers such as Tarek Eltayeb, Ivan Ivanji, Viktorija Kocman, Magdalena Sadlon, Stanislav Struhar, Kundeyt Şurdum or Şerafettin Yıldız have hardly been discussed at all. Moreover, there is almost no research on immigrant authors writing in languages other than German in Austria. Such authors exist, as two anthologies edited by Gerald Nitsche (1990) and Nitsche and Gitterle (2008) and an annual Kurdish book fair held in Vienna since 2004, illustrate. However, their works are being ignored by the general public and in research circles, probably because they still fall between existing literary categorisations. Besides, more comparative research taking into account immigrant writing in Austria would help to shed light on the possible particularities of this national context.

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank Holger Englerth, Daniel Rothenbühler, Silke Schwaiger and Hannes Schweiger for their comments on earlier versions of this chapter. All remaining errors and inconsistencies are, of course, ours. 9 For examples of this approach, see the research platform Kakanien revisited under http:// www.kakanien.ac.at/.

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Chapter 3

Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in Brazilian Literature: A Fundamental Presence Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida and Maria Zilda Ferreira Cury Abstract This chapter analyses the historical background and the development of the field of immigrant writing in the context of Brazilian literature, as well as the theoretical and critical model that has supported this study. It maps out authors and critics who address the theme of immigration while it discusses the complex task of establishing the limits between a so-called immigration literature and Brazil’s own national literature. Although the image of the immigrant has been a persistent presence on Brazil’s literary scene from the outset, immigrant writers have been recognised over the years as national writers and regarded as an important element of the country’s cultural heritage. Only in recent years, in a more contemporary perspective, have the representation of the immigrant in literature and the analysis of this representation in literary criticism undergone a re-evaluation of the national paradigm that has thus far predominated.



Introduction

The Americas, as continents historically colonised by Europeans, have always attracted large waves of immigrants, who brought with them the necessity to register their impressions about the new land in the form of travel writing, letters, literary productions and other types of writing. This literary production establishes a compelling dialogue among the many voices involved in the process of colonisation in their attempt to ‘make it in America’, as the well-known saying goes.1 For having been a colonised country in the past and having had its cultural production, to a great extent, affected by this event, Brazil figures in a prominent position when discussing the literary production associated with immigrants or related to the migrant experience. 1 See the work by the historian Boris Fausto organised around this image: Fazer a América (1999, To Make It In America).

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As a consequence of this history of colonisation and the resulting cultural production that emanates from it, mostly imported from the imperial power to the colony, the emphasis on the construction of a national literature has always been present in the country’s literary historiography. Thus, the privileged paradigm in the Brazilian literary scene – which responds to a cultural imaginary related to the assertion of the country as a new space in constitution – is the construction of the national. One of the most important books about the constitution of Brazilian literature, written by the renowned Brazilian critic Antonio Candido, uses its own title to point to such an idea: Formação da Literatura Brasileira: Momentos Decisivos (2007, Formation of Brazilian Literature: Decisive Moments). According to Candido, the climax of this formative process culminated in the romantic period, which coincided with the Brazilian process of political independence in 1822. Not to be ignored is the decisive role of literary criticism and literary historiography, in both the process of political assertion and the construction of literary parameters (Rouanet 1991). Such a paradigm, which often gives meaning to the imagery of a harmonious nation, was used to articulate literature, literary theory and criticism with the political controversies that marked the period. Candido refers to such literature as ‘engaged’ – the kind of literature that is involved in the political process and in the recovery of the features considered typical of the country: The idea that Brazilian literature should be engaged was expressed by all our traditional criticism since Ferdinand Denis and Almeida Garret, for whom Brazilianness, that is, the presence of local descriptive elements, began to be taken as differential trace and value criterion (2007: 28).2 Like many other approaches, that presented in Candido’s work, which has been considered a classic almost since its launch in 1957, established the concept of the national in the Brazilian literature during the twentieth century. For this reason, it is important to bear in mind that, unlike in other contexts, the immigrant writer or the one who, in a certain way, produces what has been referred to as ‘immigration literature’ in Brazil, is considered, first and foremost, as a Brazilian writer whose work falls into the category of Brazilian literature. It could be argued that this occurs mostly because Brazilian immigration policies have always been guided by the logic of assimilation, an aspect which has even been registered in the country’s constitutions. This is why Brazil has experienced, in the cultural context, a dilution of what is commonly referred to as ‘foreign authorship’ in the category of national literature, resulting in 2 All translations of Brazilian texts are the authors’.

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the scarce presence of the so-called immigration literature produced by non-­ Brazilians when compared to other countries. Nevertheless, in recent years, contemporary Brazilian literature, inserted in the cultural movements typical of globalisation, has taken a more systematic critical view of the national, frequently displaying a deconstructive perspective which, rather than offering a harmonious concept of the national paradigm, represents the nation’s social space as contradictory and discontinuous. From this more contemporary perspective, both the representation of the immigrant in literature and the analysis of this representation by literary criticism have engendered a critical dislocation, for they provide elements for the re-evaluation of the national paradigm that have thus far predominated. The theoretical model of migration studies based on the North American one has had a considerable influence on the Brazilian literary scene. However, the Brazilian context of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers is quite different from the segregationist model that has prevailed in the United States, for example, and has not, until recently, appeared as a central focus of research. It is therefore quite complex to establish the limits between a so-called immigration literature and Brazil’s own national literature. Notwithstanding, the image of the immigrant has prevailed in Brazil’s literary scene from the very beginning, pointing to the fact that immigrant writers, although recognised as national writers, were in fact addressing an important element of the country’s cultural heritage. The first work that was primarily identified as immigrant writing, a book of short stories entitled Contos do Imigrante (1956, Immigrant Tales), was published by Samuel Rawet – a writer of Jewish origin, born in Poland, who went to Brazil at the age of seven. It should be noted, however, that the first work published by a so-called ethnic-minority writer dates back to 1859, when Maria Firmina dos Reis, an African descendant, abolitionist and author, published the novel Úrsula (1859, Ursula), considered to be the first abolitionist novel in Brazil and one of the first publications by a Brazilian female writer.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

Like many other countries in the Americas, Brazil is characterised by what the Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro refers to as a society of ‘new people’ (1983: 87) – that is, a mestizo society formed by different racial and cultural matrixes. In the case of Brazilian society, the process of colonisation led to the establishment of the colonisers, in this case the Portuguese, as the predominant national origin in the country.

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Suffice it to say that the autochthonous element, the indigenous people who lived in the region before the arrival of the Portuguese colonisers, were greatly affected by diseases and the destruction promoted by the Europeans. The historical movement of peoples from Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean which resulted in the African diaspora, as per Paul Gilroy’s (1993) theorisation in The Black Atlantic, has been felt in Brazil since colonial times, from the first half of the sixteenth century until 1888, when slavery was finally abolished in the country. Because of their historical presence in the constitution of the nation since the beginning of colonisation, the Africans became, like the Portuguese colonisers, a constitutive element of what was considered as ‘the ­Brazilian people’, although their social situation marked their specificities, for the Portuguese were the most often the owners of the land while the Africans were those who worked for them (Zamparoni 2011). The immigrants who later went to Brazil were, at first, largely European. The initial great wave of immigrants arrived at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries as part of a political project. The European immigrants, despite the fact that they were subjected to all types of prejudice, were, as a consequence, assimilated as part of the national project. Such a complex historical context gives a specific meaning to immigration in Brazil. Immigrants came to the country to be integrated into the Brazilian nation and the national culture, although, it is important to highlight, this imaginary ideal of cordiality and acceptance could hardly disguise the prejudice and lack of respect for difference. Another important aspect to be stressed is the commonly held view of the European immigrant as the ideal coloniser, in contrast to the native workforce. As a result, since the mid-nineteenth century, these white immigrants responded to the desire of the native elites to promote a policy of whitening of the population through the assimilation of the white European so that the country could allegedly be inserted into the group of modern nations at the time. This tradition of assimilation has left deep scars and had a long-lasting impact on the cultural construction of the nation. The propaganda about the country promoted by the elite since the nineteenth century aimed to provide a view of the country as a paradise with fertile land and welcoming and receptive people. The image of Brazil as a ‘country of the future’ became current. As the Brazilianist Thomas Skidmore shows in O Preto no Branco: Raça e Nacionalidade no Pensamento Brasileiro (1976, Black into White: Race and Nationality in Brazilian Thought), besides glorifying the fertility of the land and the natural wealth of Brazil, the image to be conveyed was that of a country in which there was no racial or social prejudice, supposedly attested to by its tradition of miscegenation.

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The first migratory period, which began even before the abolition of slavery in 1888, was marked by ‘a subsidized immigration directed to the coffee farms at the west of the state of São Paulo that, between 1886 and 1902, relied upon the massive presence of Italian immigrants’ (Maram 1979: 14). In the 1824 Constitution, still during the monarchic period, Brazilian citizens were considered those who were born in the country, even if their parents were foreigners, and all foreigners who were naturalised. It was the value of jus soli (the right of soil) rather than jus sanguinis (the right of blood) that predominated in this period. From 1824 onwards, under the auspices of the government, the first German immigrants arrived in Brazil with the objective of populating and protecting the southern frontiers in the south of the country (Neumann 2011: 109). It is worth mentioning that, between 1890 and 1920, the major part of the working class in Brazil was composed mostly of immigrants and their descendants born in Brazil. The second migratory period, dating from 1906 to 1914, showed an increase in Portuguese and Spanish immigration and marked the beginning of Japanese immigration. The categorisation of immigrants as desirable or undesirable was, however, according to Oliveira, formed only in the 1920s (2000: 180). The white immigrants found in Brazil a more favourable situation, for they supposedly represented an ideal notion of civilisation and were more easily assimilated, thus playing an important role biologically and culturally in the formation of the Brazilian people, as Ramos (1996) argues. The third period, from the end of wwi to 1945, is marked by an increase in Portuguese, Japanese, Lebanese and Jewish immigration, among others. During this period, policies to restrict immigration were formulated for the first time and became part of the 1934 Constitution. In the fourth period, starting in 1945, there was a decrease in the number of immigrants entering the country as a consequence of the restrictive regulations. A change in the pattern of immigration, which became almost exclusively spontaneous or directed towards specific purposes of agricultural c­ olonisation and work in industry, was evident. From the 1960s onwards, K ­ orean immigration stood out and, from the beginning of the 1980s, Brazil received a significant number of Latin Americans while, simultaneously, the emigration of ­Brazilians to Japan, Europe and North America reached impressive figures. The historian Boris Fausto mentions the relevance of the study of the theme of immigration in Brazil and how it has more recently attracted the attention of critics. He argues, however, that this study had a late start mainly because of the local interest in internal migration and the abolishment of slavery (1999: 11–12). In fact, the theme of immigration is emblematically recurrent in Brazilian cultural production, bringing to the fore the figures of exiles, immigrants

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or outcasts in music, film, photography, arts and literature, especially in the contemporary scene. The presence of the foreigner and the immigrant as characters or narrators in the Brazilian literary context is not recent. However, despite the importance of their presence, there was no distinctive immigrant literature nor were these writers regarded as immigrant writers. They were, rather, considered as Brazilian writers who produced work often with a focus on the theme of migration. In the 1920s, during the cultural period known as modernism, which was characterised by a strong focus on nationalism, the immigrant and the foreigner were also extensively fictionalised. This period was also known as the heroic phase of Brazilian modernism. In the following period, still under the influence of nationalism but already exposing the contradictions of the different perspectives, the modernist group was divided by strongly opposed and conflicting nationalistic tendencies. Although the theme of the immigrant abounds in the literature of the period, immigrant writers were not singled out and did not receive a different type of treatment for being immigrants. They were published and studied as Brazilian authors who addressed an important cultural and historical theme: that of the immigrant who arrives in the country to help to build the nation. In the following decades the immigrant theme continued to appear on the literary scene, but in discursive constructions that brought to the fore the voices of the immigrants’ children and grandchildren, who narrated the saga of their ancestors while assuming their own in-between position. Special emphasis should be given to the already mentioned pioneering work Contos do Imigrante (1956, Immigrant Tales), by Samuel Rawet, whose narratives address the deterritorialisation and exile of Jewish immigrants in Brasil. It is also important to register the novel Lavoura Arcaica (1975, To the Left of the Father), by Raduan Nassar – the Brazil-born son of Lebanese immigrants – which explores the experiences of a Lebanese immigrant family. Despite the fact that these authors addressed the theme of migration and were themselves immigrants or the descendants of immigrants, they did not receive special attention because of their immigrant status. They published in the same journals or publishing houses as the other writers and were regarded simply as Brazilian writers who wrote about migration. Despite the fact that the theme of immigration is recurrent in Brazilian ­literature and that the figure of the immigrant permeates emphatically the literary production in the country, the study of the theme only gained especial relevance in the second half of the twentieth century, and especially since the 1980s. This critical interest came from the publication of a number of literary works by Brazilian writers of immigrant descent who often write about

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f­amily sagas, revisiting histories of migration and examining the characters’ relation to the new space, their deterritorialization, and the feeling of belonging (Olivieri-Godet 2010). An important impetus for the subject has come from Brazilian studies abroad, with a first study on Italian immigrants being written as early as 1982 at the Sorbonne in Paris (Carelli 1985). Important input has also come more recently from the United States and from research collaboration with Canadian scholars, especially after the 1980s and into the twenty-first century. Since then, a considerable number of publications exploring immigrant writing and the theme of immigration in Brazilian literature has continuously come on the scene, with increasing intensity in the 2010s. It is important to highlight, however, that research on what is here referred to as Brazilian immigrant writing has the most often focused not on the ethnic background of the writer, but rather on the theme of migration explored in the work. This is an important trait of the research done in Brazil on the subject. A significant case in point can be observed in relation to the Brazilian writer Ana Miranda, who has no connection with immigrant groups, but whose novel Amrik3 (1997, Amrik) provides a relevant portrayal of the saga of Lebanese people in the Americas and in Brazil, focusing especially on the plight of women who migrate there and the prejudice and sexism they are faced with (Almeida S. 2002; Cury 2002b). This novel has figured prominently in literary criticism about immigrant writing in Brazil.

Archives, Bibliographies and Anthologies

As we have argued above, although the presence of immigrant characters and the theme of immigration and the figure of the immigrant have received recurrent attention, the systematic study of immigrant literature in Brazil is a recent phenomenon. For this reason, no archives or bibliographies that focus exclusively on immigrant writing in the country have been published to date. Only more recently have scholars turned their attention to the literature produced by specific ethnic groups or immigrants. Although there may not be many anthologies that address the topic of literature and migration on the Brazilian literary scene in general, some scholars have edited works in anthologies which deal with a specific ethnic or immigrant group in particular. One of the first anthologised works to group together the literary production by a specific immigrant community was the Antologia da Poesia Nikkei (1993, Anthology of Nikkei Poetry), edited by nikkei writers Akemi Waki and 3 The title of the novel refers to the Arabic word for ‘America’ – Amrik.

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Laura Honda-Hasegawa. With a preface by the literary scholar Haquira Osakabe, the anthology brings together a collection of poetry written in Portuguese by the fourth-generation descendants of Japanese pioneers who immigrated to Brazil. For Osakabe, the poems are an example of what he refers to as a ‘poetics of cultural survival’ and show the poets’ attempts to ponder their experiences of otherness for their visible ethnicity and their awareness of their position of cultural and social alterity (Osakabe 1993: 13). The criteria used for the inclusion of authors in this anthology were based on their affiliation to this ethnic group, even if they were born in Brazil and already had Brazilian citizenship. As one of the most visible and numerous immigrants to the country, the Japanese form a cohesive community, especially in the states of São Paulo and Paraná, and thus often manage to articulate their cultural production within that community. Edimilson de Almeida Pereira and Steven F. White argue that the Japanese constitute a statistically significant ethnic group of colour in Brazil (2001: 263). This visibility in number and their ethnic presence might account for the fact that this anthology is one of the first works to openly acknowledge the contribution of a migrant ethnic group to the country’s literary production. Despite the relevance of such a collection, however, there is no focus on a theoretical support that might incite reflection about literary production by immigrants in Brazil. It is, nevertheless, an important publication, for it brings together authors not previously anthologised and provides elements for further study. Another book worth mentioning in the context of ethnic writers is Poesia Negra Brasileira: Antologia (1992, Black-Brazilian Poetry: An Anthology) by Zilá Bernd, which brings together leading Brazilian black poets. Following a chronological record, it discloses the production of black writers since before the abolition of slavery and gives visibility to the literary production of the largest so-called ethnic group in the country, a production that has often been erased from or forgotten in our literary history.4 Edited by the same scholar, Antologia de Poesia Afro-Brasileira: 150 Anos de Consciência Negra no Brasil (2011, Anthology of Afro-Brazilian Poetry: 150 Years of Black Consciousness in Brazil) is a more recent publication and presents a review and an analysis that expand the chronological scope of the earlier work. These two anthologies play a major role on the Brazilian literary scene by bringing to the fore the publications – mostly poetry and short stories – of a muchneglected group of writers such as Conceição Evaristo, Esmeralda Ribeiro, Luiz Silva (Cuti), among many others. These two publications may be ­regarded as 4 Edimilson de Almeida Pereira and Steven F. White state that Brazil is second only to Nigeria in terms of having the largest black population on the planet (2001: 257).

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first steps in an attempt to systematise and create an alternative canon that includes ethnic-minority writings, in this case with a specific attempt to consolidate and recover the literary production of black writers in Brazil. Along the same lines, another important anthology that tries to give visibility to black writing in Brazil is Literatura e Afrodescendência no Brasil: Antologia Crítica (2011, Literature and Afrodescendence in Brazil: A Critical Anthology), edited by Eduardo de Assis Duarte and Maria Nazareth Soares Fonseca and published in four volumes. Each volume is dedicated to one of the following themes: the precursors; consolidation; contemporaneity; history, theory, controversy. Besides presenting these works, they have made an u ­ nprecedented contribution to the Brazilian critical literary field, as this important publication maps and critically analyses the literature produced by Black and ­African-descent writers since the colonial period. Such a contribution also fosters reflection about literature in relation to ethnicity, particularly the extent to which it has been much neglected in the country. It also provides an extensive list of authors and their literary production, thus contributing to the consolidation of this production within the wider field of Brazilian literature. While the literary production of black writers has, among ethnic-minority writing in Brazil, received considerable attention in recent years, other anthologies that explore immigrant writing in the country have also appeared, although with less impact on the Brazilian literary scene and ­historiography. Rosa et al.’s edited collection Pátria Estranha: Histórias de Peregrinação e S­ onhos (2002, Strange Homeland: Stories of Pilgrimage and Dreams), one of the first books to gather tales about the different groups of immigrants to Brazil, is organised around the theme of immigration, but not necessarily in relation to the birthplace of the authors, who were all born in the country. The publication includes authors who are well known for their affiliation to ethnic writing and/or for often approaching the theme of immigration in their work, such as the Jewish writer Moacyr Scliar and the Japanese Laura HondaHasegawa or the Brazilian writer Regina Rheda, who lives in the us. It also includes authors who are not usually associated with immigrant writing, such as Silviano Santiago and Nelson de Oliveira, but who, in this collection, write about the theme of immigration. Despite its exclusive focus on the theme of immigration per se, rather than on writing by immigrants and ethnic minorities, and the fact that the collection does not provide a theoretical reflection on immigrant literature in Brazil, it plays an important role in putting together authors who define themselves as immigrants as well as those writers who address important issues related to the theme of immigration. Similarly, the collection of short-stories Primos: Histórias da Herança Árabe e Judaica (2010, Cousins: Stories of Arab and Jewish Heritage), edited by Adriana

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Armony, of Arab descent, and Tatiana Salem Levy, of Jewish descent, collects narratives about Arabs and Jews, as the subtitle of the book shows. In the introduction, besides confessing the difficulty of defining the identity of Arabs and Jews, the editors claim that there is a specificity concerning these immigrants in the Brazilian context which is, according to them, extremely multicultural and heterogeneous: ‘Perhaps because of the Brazilian tendency to mix and assimilate other cultures, labels such as Jewish or Arabic literature are rarely used among us, unlike what happens in the United States, for e­ xample’ (2010: 11). Despite the initial considerations offered by the editors of the volume, this issue does not provide the reader with a deeper analysis of the literature produced in the country by immigrant writers. Nevertheless, the publication – by opening up the discussion and by including writers who identify themselves as immigrant and write about their experiences, often resorting to autobiographical narratives – had a strong impact on the literary field in Brazil.

Approaches and Interpretations

The reminiscences which so characteristically modulate immigrant reports reinforce their fictional feature, establishing a distance between them and the memory of the home country as a realist and monumentalised register. Through the cracks and voids that their writing creates appears a different voice that acquires a particular literary subjectivity whose textuality points to a new kind of classification and register. In this scenario, it is not surprising, then, that literary criticism has begun, more recently, to register immigrant literature as a specific field of study, analysed by means of different themes and frequently following a comparative perspective that is very much characteristic of the Brazilian critical context. Such criticism privileges approaches related to, inter alia, the search for origins, the reconstruction of memory, the questioning of cultural identity, the possibility of identitary negotiations, the history of family sagas, the development of generational conflicts and the production of autobiographical registers and life writing. However, it is clear that the debate about literature and immigration – whether one takes into consideration the authorship, the theme or the figure adopted or a particular use of language – is highly complex in face of the context of recurrent immigration in the country. After all, what is considered immigrant literature in Brazil? As argued above, in the Brazilian social and cultural context the issue of who is and who is not an immigrant is multifaceted and complex. Such c­ omplexity

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is accentuated in the literary field and, consequently, in the critical one, which has often been structured, in recent studies, around the features of this literary expression in terms of the nationality of the immigrants – Arab or Jewish, Italian or Japanese etc. In the work analysed by the critics, such features are usually sufficient to define it as a literature of immigration. However, the term is often applied to those works that favour the theme of dislocation to Brazil or the figure of the immigrant, which have pervaded and are recurrently more present in the literary production of the country. Thus, it is important to approach questions to which, at least at first sight, there are no definite answers: According to which parameters is migrant literature defined in Brazil: ethnic, territorial, religious or cultural? In a multicultural country like Brazil, the literary and local spaces par excellence of fictional identities have become so permeated with multifarious voices that extremely limited distinctions are artificial and impoverishing. This is not to say that the figure of the immigrant as portrayed in the literature is easily placed in the context of the nation or that it does not come coated with contradictions and conflicts. The research we carried out reveals the following classification regarding the authors whose fictional work deals with the theme of immigration and literature in Brazil: 1.

2. 3.

4.

immigrants who write in their language of origin, such as the German writers who migrated to the south of Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century – Karl von Koseritz, the well-known Georg Knoll, Viktor Schleiff, Clara Maria Sauer, Paul Aldinger or Wilhelm Rotermund, among others; immigrants who write in Portuguese, such as, inter alia, Salim Miguel, Samuel Rawet, Clarice Lispector or Georges Bourdoukan; writers born in Brazil and of immigrant descent: Moacyr Scliar, Miltom Hatoum, Zelia Gattai, Luiz Ruffato, Alberto Mussa, Nélida Piñon, Raduan Nassar, Tatiana Salem Levy, Vianna Moog, Hiroko Nakamuro, Mitsuko Kawai, Chikako Hironaka, Michel Laub and Cíntia Moscovich; and writers who are neither immigrants nor of immigrant descent but who focus on the immigration theme, notably Ana Miranda, Assis Brasil, Josué Guimarães, Alexandre Marcondes Machado (who used the pseudonym Juó Bananére), Antônio de Alcântara Machado and Bernardo Carvalho, to name but a few.

Besides the difficulty of defining immigrant literature, these writers are generally not distinguished as immigrants as, above all, they are considered to be writers who belong to the Brazilian literary scene. Furthermore, what are the most frequently found are works that focus primarily on the theme of

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­immigration and on the figure of the immigrant in literature written by immigrants and their descendants as well as by authors who approach the theme without having a family history of immigration. In this case, a plurality of diction is found among writers who write about immigration. On the other hand, critical studies about literature and immigration, which are considered to be produced by immigrants and their descendants, are, we stress, quite recent. There is, in fact, a growing interest in this field of studies in academia – an interest which might well stem from a concern about the subject at the international level. As a consequence, not many articles or books on the subject have been published yet and there is no systematised bibliography, although currently a number of ma dissertations and PhD theses are being written on the topic. In the following pages, we discuss how immigrant writing has been approached by critics in general, focusing in particular on a discussion of the first three categories – the focus of this volume even if the studies analysed take a wider approach. Immigration and Literature Becoming an Issue in Studies in Brazil The earliest studies mentioning immigrant literature in the Brazilian context do not analyse it in detail, but as part of larger studies on immigration to Brazil from a sociological and historical perspective. Mario Carelli’s Carcamanos e Comendadores: Os Italianos de São Paulo da Realidade à Ficção (1919–1930) (1985, Carcamanos and Comendadores: São Paulo’s Italians from Reality to Fiction, 1919–1930), a thesis defended at the Sorbonne in 1982, presents extensive research about the considerable immigration of Italians to the city of São Paulo. Carelli’s text gives special emphasis to the literary production of authors who dedicated themselves to writing about Italian immigration, such as Alcântara Machado and Juó Bananére, as well as to the many Italian artists and craftsmen who worked in the city of São Paulo, then a landmark of Brazilian urban modernisation, especially in civil construction. Carelli’s text, however, limits itself to addressing the contribution of Italian immigration to the building of Brazil, rather than the impact of such production and writing. Another pioneering work is Célia Sakurai’s Romanceiro da Imigração Japonesa (1993, Ballads on Japanese Immigration), in which the social scientist analyses literary texts in order to study the memory of Japanese immigration. Her focus, however, is on the social interactions of this ethnic population rather than on the literary aspect of such a production. In a 1997 article, Maria Luiza Tucci Carneiro tries to establish a difference between immigrant literature and literature of exile, based on works by ­Jewish

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writers who immigrated to Brazil. According to Carneiro, immigrant literature maintains a dimension of memory that resists several segregational contexts, besides having as inspiration the fight for survival. However, her article does not develop the notion of immigrant literature as a literary category but rather discusses the role of memory in the work of Jewish writers in Brazil. Although possibly one of the first attempts to name a new literary tendency in the ­country in the light of these publications by Jewish writers, Carneiro does not provide further elements to allow us to understand this new tendency. It is, nevertheless, relevant for our purposes that (a) there is a recognition at this point of a different kind of literary production centred around immigrants, and (b) there appears to be a necessity to name this new tendency, given its acknowledged relevance for literary criticism. Carneiro offers an analysis of the presence of Jews in Brazil and in particular a criticism of racist attitudes against Jews since colonial times, approaching the topic from a historical rather than a literary viewpoint. The literary scene, in fact, serves as a background for a historical analysis. In 2001, Jeffrey Lesser published a historical study dealing with negotations of national identity in Brazil’s history of immigration and also refers to literary productions. Lesser argues that hyphenated categories are a form of rejection of assimilation and an attempt to create a space in which the foreign element could be considered in juxtaposition to the Brazilian one (2001: 10–15). As also indicated by Gerson Neumann (2011), the hyphen can determine a marginalisation and establish an association of various elements. To Lesser, the immigrants negotiate their new identity by trying to enforce the specificities related to the issue of ethnicity in the context of a multiple Brazilian national identity in construction, which is, by consequence, inevitably contradictory. In this sense, they end up interfering with and changing the very concept of ​​ nation desired by the Brazilian elite. According to Lesser, such negotiation is clearly seen in the texts written by these immigrants: ‘They have created oral or written genres in which the ethnic differences were reformulated in order to appropriate the Brazilian identity’ (2001: 19). Again he, like Carneiro, writes extensively about immigration in Brazil from the viewpoint of a historian and does not provide specific readings of literary authors. Maria Zilda Cury also discusses the negotiations of identities in her study, Navio de Imigrantes, Identidades Negociadas (2002a, Immigrant Ship, Negociated Identities). Besides addressing the recurrent image of the ships on which immigrants have systematically arrived in Brazil, she highlights a publication that greatly influences the studies that deal with immigrant narratives and memory registers. Although falling within the field of Social Psychology, Ecléa Bosi’s Memória e Sociedade: Lembranças de Velhos (1979, Memory and Society:

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Remembrances of Old People), offers an important insight to the discussion of memory and immigration. After an introductory and comprehensive theoretical study of memory, interviews with older people who lived in the city of São Paulo are then presented in subsequent chapters. Three of these older people, who are of Italian descent, describe the life of the immigrant in Brazil, while emphasising the cultural aspects of that time. Such a work, Cury (2002a) claims, is instrumental to the establishment of the importance of memory for immigrants and plays a significant role in addressing a topic that will gain relevance in future studies on memory and immigration. In this case, a memorialist feature, typical of narratives that foreground subjects in dislocation, is often present, and the theoretical support associated with the theme of memory – related to registers of individual and collective memories such as those presented by Carneiro – is recurrent in critical texts about immigrant literature. Acknowledging Difference within Brazilian Literature Some of the work on Brazilian immigrant and ethnic-minority writing published since the 1980s has focused on highlighting differences between specific groups of immigrants within Brazilian literature and society, although they are still regarded as a relevant part of its canon. In the 1990s, the theoretical perspectives of multiculturalism and cultural studies prompted reflections on the issues of otherness and the presence of foreigners and minorities which have, in turn, gained strength in the academic field. Postcolonial studies have also contributed to the advancement of new perspectives, while drawing attention to marginalised countries and contexts. The issue of immigration is thus emblematically inserted in this context, as the transits of the globalised world often highlight issues related to minorities, gender, race/ethnicity and their constitutive connections. Critical approaches to the issue of immigration in Brazilian literature vary from the broad historical to the study of certain groups or specific authors, the most often, especially more recently, according to their country or region of origin. Criticism on literature and migration was, in a way, inaugurated by the study of authors of Jewish origin. Some critics have dealt with the study of Yiddish literature in Brazil, a recent category in the reflections on literature and migration developed among us. In 1991, when discussing Brazilian fiction of the 1980s in one of the first articles that mentioned the subject of immigrant literature as a possible field within Brazilian literature, Regina Zilberman highlighted the work of the Brazilian author Moacyr Scliar, whose texts focus on the country’s migratory waves – in this case the experiences of Jewish immigrants – and of Samuel Rawet with the publication of his collection of short stories, Contos do I­migrante (1956,

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I­mmigrant Tales) and considers them as ‘representative of migratory waves’ (1991: 582). Like Zilberman, other critics also consider this book to be the first publication on immigrant writing in Brazil. For her, unlike previous writers who depicted the immigrant in the light of the myth of cordiality and assimilation, Scliar and Rawet criticise this long-standing view of cordiality. She also questions the way that the cultural heritage of immigrants has been read in current criticism. Although she mentions the importance of some of Scliar’s novels5 in depicting the presence of the immigrant and the Jew as a group in Brazilian literature, and thus in revisiting national history, she does not provide a specific reading of the novels. Regina Igel takes a wider look at Jewish immigration as portrayed in Brazilian literature in her book Imigrantes Judeus/Escritores Brasileiros: O Component Judaico na Literatura Brasileira (1997, Jewish Immigrants/Brazilian Writers: The Jewish Component in Brazilian Literature). Igel provides a historical approach to the presence of Jewish immigrant writers in Brazilian history and on the Brazilian literary scene. The author stresses that, as the title suggests, even though the writers studied are Jewish immigrants writing in Brazil, they are still considered to be Brazilian writers. Although she does not provide a sound theoretical framework to support her analysis, her book is relevant because it is the first to systematise the literary corpus of a segment of a traditional group of immigrant writers and provides an extensive survey of literary production by Jews in different literary genres and regions of the country, thus contributing to the enlargement of the field of Brazilian literature. Special focus is given to writers such as Samuel Rawet (1956), Elisa Lispector (No Exílio 1948, In Exile) and Moacyr Scliar (A Guerra no Bom Fim (1972, The War in Bom Fim 2010) and O Centauro no Jardim, (1980, The Centaur in the Garden 1985). In analysing their work, Igel reveals their process of linguistic and cultural integration in the field of Brazilian literature, despite the fact that they preserve, according to the author, the specific perspective of the Jewish immigrant in their approach. A common topic in their work is the theme of exile and the work of memory. Moacyr Scliar figures prominently in Igel’s book, as well as in many of the works that discuss the theme of immigration in Brazilian Literature. Born in Porto Alegre, in the South of Brazil, Scliar is the son of Russian Jewish immigrants who came to Brazil looking for a better way of life. According to Igel, the writer ‘summarizes in his person and in a large part of his writing the duality which is typical of the native Brazilian, raised within a Brazilian culture but 5 Zilberman mentions two of Scliar’s novels that address the theme of Jewish immigration to Brazil: O Centauro no Jardim (1980, The Centaur in the Garden 1985) and A Estranha Nação de Rafael Mendes (1983, The Strange Nation of Rafael Mendes 1988).

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inheritor of a European Jewish cultural legacy’ (1997: 61). Igel discusses how, in his (1980) novel, O Centauro no Jardim, and by means of a ‘literary-surrealist treatment’ (1997: 64), Scliar addresses the issue of those who are excluded from society through the characters of the protagonist Guedali and his wife, who are both centaurs and are thus stigmatised for their physical condition and relegated to a minority position, always in search of their identity and place in society. Igel reads the character of the centaur as a metaphor for a Jew in the diaspora and the novel as exploring the central theme of Jewish identity and Jews’ continuous efforts to belong and assimilate into a society that often excludes them. Nelson Vieira focuses more concretely on alterity in his study entitled Jewish Voices in Brazilian Literature: A Prophetic Discourse of Alterity (1995). Vieira bases his analysis, centred on the work of three major Jewish-Brazilian writers (Samuel Rawet, Clarice Lispector and Moacyr Scliar), on their construction of a discourse of alterity and on questions of national identity, ethnicity, prejudice and cultural difference. Vieira argues: These Brazilian-Jewish writers have approached narrative primarily through examinations of alterity, difference, and ethnicity – not ethnicity as a totalizing metaphor or cultural doxa but as one way to study how the self functions in relation to others, society, nation, and the world, especially when contemporary encounters between different cultures and classes necessitate decentered perspectives and democratic affirmations (1995: 194). Drawing his interdisciplinary reflections largely from post-structuralist theory and cultural criticism, with a special emphasis on Derrida and his thoughts on difference and alterity, Vieira analyses the fractured voices emerging from the writers’ work: Rawet’s marginal characters, Lispector’s oppressed women and Scliar’s mythological personas. In his analysis of Clarice Lispector, whose innovative work has made her one of Brazil’s most notorious and acclaimed writers, both in the country and abroad, Vieira states that the Jewish element in her work has often been neglected – in part because she has insisted on playing down her ethnicity throughout her life, affirming that she was first and foremost a Brazilian writer. Her need to belong, Vieira claims, arises mainly from her immigrant experience and her condition of displacement, exile and estrangement. Having come to Brazil from Ukraine as an infant, with her Jewish parents, Lispector – in Viera’s reading – preserves a Jewish impulse in her work, which can be attested to in the discourse of alterity that pervades her narratives, especially where

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she uses the metaphor of the desert to suggest life’s experiences in exile. ­Viera reads several of her works in this light and analyses how, in Lispector’s A Hora da Estrela (1977, The Hour of the Star 1992), published shortly after her death, this discourse of alterity manages to create an inventive narrative that foregrounds the theme of existential exile in the portrayal of the main character, Macabéa, a woman who migrated from the north-east of Brazil to the metropolis of São Paulo, only to live a life of alienation and displacement and to die a meaningless and anonymous death. Stefania Chiarelli, in Vidas em Trânsito: As Ficções de Samuel Rawet e ­Milton Hatoum (2007, Lives in Transit: The Fictional Works of Samuel Rawet and ­Milton Hatoum), discusses the category of literature of migration and the condition of the immigrant writer by analysing the work of two renowned ­Brazilian writers – Rawet, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, and Hatoum, a descendant of Lebanese immigrants who lives in Manaus, in the state of Amazon, in Brazil. She focuses more specifically on Rawet’s Contos do Imigrante (1956, Immigrant Tales) and Hatoum’s Relato de um Certo Oriente (1989), Tale of a Certain Orient). Chiarelli addresses important issues in contemporary literature from the perspective of Cultural Studies, such as notions of difference and diversity, identities and affiliations, the difficult aspect of double belonging, the act of narration, the construction of memory and processes of cultural translation. There has also been a growing tendency to discuss issues of gender in the literature concerned with immigration. It is worth mentioning here Cristina ­Stevens (2006), who importantly analyses works by Asian female writers – i­ ssei6 and n­ isei7 women in Brazil – from a Feminist Studies’ perspective. The texts of these immigrants are often compared to those written by Japanese immigrants in the United States. With a theoretical framework that emphasises issues of gender, ethnicity, history and fiction, Stevens bases her criticism on Cultural Studies, looking at theoretical texts by Homi Bhabha, Shirley ­Geok-lin Lim and Mary Louise Pratt, among others. Sandra Almeida (2015) on the other hand, focuses her attention on the question of gender and ethnicity, on a comparative perspective, by analysing the work of Conceição Evaristo and other writers who explore the image of the body in relation to spatial mobility and immigration. More recently, growing strands of criticism concerned with mapping the literary production of writers of African descent – or African-Brazilians – have highlighted the cultural heritage which Brazilians have received from ­Africa. Perhaps because it is still quite new, the terminology used to designate this production – ‘black literature’, ‘African-Brazilian literature’, ‘literature by 6 The term issei refers to immigrants born in Japan. 7 The term nisei refers to the children of Japanese people born outside Japan.

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­ riters of African descent’, etc. – varies greatly and is not exempt from debate. w Some discuss this question from a conceptual point of view, while analysing the works and researching the non-canonical texts produced by African descendants. Also noteworthy are the critical aspects that promote comparative studies between African-Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking African writers, whose literary relationships are very significant. The Impact of Immigrant Writing on Brazilian Literature Some of the criticism of immigrant writing in Brazil focuses on how immigration has influenced the construction of Brazilian literature, and explores the manner in which the theme of immigration and the figure of the immigrant are central to an understanding of the country’s national literary production. Carlos Eduardo Schmidt Capela focuses on the analysis of the presence of the Italian immigrant in the Brazilian literary context and in the construction of modernity in Brazilian fiction. Among the many relevant essays he has published on the subject, ‘Italianos na ficção brasileira: modernidade em processo’ (2001, Italians in Brazilian fiction: modernity in process) should be mentioned. Capela’s studies focus on writers whose works have not received much critical attention and which discuss the presence of foreigners and immigrants in Brazilian literature, even if they do not address the theme of immigration. However, Capela also focuses on works that have, since the nineteenth century, portrayed Italians as characters or narrators. In comparison, he also discusses writers, such as Alexandre Marcondes Machado (Juó Bananére) and Alcântara Machado, who are not immigrants themselves but whose work portrays the foreign element and its influence in Brazilian literature and culture. Capela analyses, in particular, the work of Alexandre Marcondes Machado, who wrote under the Italian pseudonym of Juó Bananére and published La Divina Encrenca (1915, The Divine Intrigue). Capela argues that, without having Italian ancestry, Marcondes Machado manages to make an important contribution to the representation of immigrants and foreigners in Brazilian literature by focusing on processes of linguistic experimentation (as he tries to emulate the hybrid speech pattern of Italian immigrants in Brazil) and producing an innovative work of satiric creation in the context of Brazilian modernism. The critic Leonardo Tonus, in an entry entitled ‘Imigrante’ (Immigrant) published in the Dicionário de Figuras e Mitos Literários das Américas (2007, Dictionary of Literary Figures and Myth of the Americas) edited by Zilá B ­ ernd, discusses the presence of the figure of the immigrant in Brazilian literature, without taking into consideration the authors’ places of birth as a mark of this literature. Tonus argues that it is possible to establish five categories according to the aesthetic-political discourses which the literary texts adopt:

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1. the nationalist brand, which includes nineteenth-century authors such as Manuel Antônio de Almeida, Aluísio Azevedo and Graça Aranha; 2. the modernist brand, including many writers, such as Oswald de Andrade, Mario de Andrade, Alcântara Machado and Plínio Salgado, for whom the immigrant played a central role; 3. the existencialist brand, represented in particular by the work of Samuel Rawet; 4. the historic-regionalist brand, which includes writes from the south of the country, such as Josué Guimarães, Adolfo Boos Junior, Luiz Antonio de Assis Brasil and Renato Modernell; and, lastly, 5. the post-colonial and transcultural brand, which includes contemporary authors such as Moacyr Scliar, Nélida Piñon, Lya Luft and Milton Hatoum, writers who are themselves the descendants of immigrants. Tonus, starting with Rawet’s work, observes a shift in the way the figure of the immigrant is treated in Brazilian literature in the sense that the immigrant in this work faces his or her cultural community and ponders on his exclusion, state of estrangement and drifting condition. For Tonus, the last category – the post-colonial and transcultural brand – is responsible for a profound transformation in the way in which the immigrant is portrayed in Brazilian literature and is heavily influenced by contemporary theories on deconstruction, identitary formation, post-colonialism and cultural anthropology. This more contemporary brand often has the immigrant as a central figure and focuses on the history of immigration of the figure’s family or family sagas, often using autobiographical narratives, autofictions or life-writing narratives, often creating narrators and characters who are described as subjects who are hybrid, deterritorialised and, thus, marginalised and excluded from society. In 2009, Valburga Huber published a book about the presence of German immigrants in Brazilian literature: A Ponte Edênica: Da Literatura dos Imigrantes de Língua Alemã a Raul Bopp e Augusto Meyer (2009, The Edenic Bridge: The Literature of German-Speaking Immigrants from Raul Bopp and Augusto Meyer). By recovering the image which German immigrants historically had of Brazil, even before their arrival in the country in the mid-nineteenth century, Huber shows that their idea of an Edenic land of arrival was so powerful that it still persists in the imagination of their descendants, especially those Brazilian writers related to the modernism of the 1920s. As already noted, such a stereotype, which is still present today in the national imaginary, only began to be questioned in the literature about immigration from the 1990s onwards, when the very concept of nation was deconstructed in fictional and theoretical reflections on the subject. Huber discusses the common themes found in

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this literature – immigration itself, the migrants’ first impressions of and enchantment with the Brazilian landscape, their memories of life in the country of origin and in the colonies in Brazil, and the difficult process of integration. Analysing the work of Raul Bopp, a Brazilian poet and diplomat of German descent, who is best known for his book of poetry Cobra Norato (1931, Norato Snake), an epic drama which takes place in the Amazon and was inspired by the anthropophagic movement in Brazilian modernism, Huber sees Bopp’s work as an attempt to rescue Brazilian mythological and nationalistic roots in search of the unknown and genuine Brazil. It is through the recurrent image of distance that Huber reads some of Bopp’s work, discussing how it is at the genesis of his poetic work and his family history of immigration. Moving beyond National Literature More recent publications on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing have tended to move beyond national understandings of literature. The collection of critical essays entitled Literatura e Imigração: Sonhos em Movimento (2006, Literature and Immigration: Dreams in Movement), edited by Maria Zilda Cury, Artur Vaz and Carlos Baumgarten, views the relation between literature and immigration to Brazil as an important literary category and considers it from historical, critical and theoretical perspectives. The cover of the book shows the ship Città di Roma, which brought thousands of immigrants, mainly Italians, to Brazil in the first decades of the twentieth century, and drawing attention to the idea of transit between continents. The texts in this collection are relevant as they discuss so-called ‘immigrant writing’ from a c­ ontemporary perspective, going against the notion of an exotic cultural identity assimilated in the country and elaborating a discourse that creates fissures in the foundational discourses of the nation, inserting themselves into the more contemporary fictional tendencies. Many of the texts set the writers’ experience of migration within a historical context, and also address the themes of negotiation of identity, cultural attachment to their immigrant experience and the importance of the role of memory in ‘the act of reviving their experiences’. These texts often create an alternative enunciation that resists the identitary fixity, helping to structure an identity that is constantly in negotiation. Thus, these more recent texts play an important role in questioning the identities sanctioned, often in an exoticised and stereotyped way, besides being a constitutive part of the conventional vision constructed about the country. As Homi Bhabha reminds us in The Location of Culture, such a context fosters the appearance of a ‘hybrid national narrative’ that converts the ‘naturalised’ national past as a time and space monumentally structured into a historical present, which is dislocated and opened to new forms of enunciation (1994: 318). Other spaces and records that create images of the country as necessarily

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hybrid and mixed are constructed as contradictory spaces of readings of the multiple identities that constitute the contemporary world. They promote a rereading of the homogenous and uniform identity that we tend to rely on as a community, becoming, in Bhabha’s words, a ‘mote in the eye’ that prevents the fixity of the nationalist gaze (1994: 318). In Cury et al.’s 2006 collection, three of the articles address the theme of literature and immigration in Brazil. Cury (‘Uma luz na escuridão: imigracão e memória’: 9–33, ‘Light in the darkness: immigration and memory) discusses the role of memory with a focus on Lebanese writers in Brazil, especially Salim Miguel, who came to Brazil with his parents when he was only three years old. In her analysis of Miguel’s autobiographical novel Nur na Escuridão (1999, Nur8 in Darkness), Cury discusses the fragmented role of memory in the novel, as the narrator – Salim himself – alternates the narration of memories with parts of his father’s autobiography. Memory registers facts of the history of Lebanon, of the Arabic world, of an imagined nation through the narrator’s nostalgic gaze. Recording the history of Lebanese immigration to Brazil and how the novel elaborates on the works of memory, Cury discusses the important role of narratives about immigration in our literary history. In the same collection of essays, Elcio Cornelsen (‘Do shtetl ao Xingu: emigração judaica, em Moacyr Scliar: 35–49, ‘From the shtetl to the Xingu: Jewish emigration in Moacyr Scliar) discusses Jewish immigration to Brazil in the novel A Majestade do Xingu (1997, The Majesty of the Xingu) by Moacyr Scliar, approaching literature as an element that produces a textual memory about such an experience. In this novel, Scliar offers us an anonymous narrator who is in hospital and tells the story of Noel Nutels, a Jewish doctor involved with indigenous issues, whom the narrator admires. Cornelsen claims that Scliar’s novel addresses the cultural mediation of the memory of the immigrant, especially his memory of the dispersion of the shtetl. Cury analyses the same novel by comparing Scliar’s text to the pictures of the painter Lasar Segall, also a Jewish immigrant to Brazil (Cury 2002a). Lilian Nascimento (2006, ‘Imigrantes: identidades em trânsito’: 51–71, ‘Immigrants: identities in transit’), in turn discusses the novel A República dos Sonhos (1984, The Republic of Dreams), a saga about Spanish immigration to Brazil by Nelida Piñon, the daughter of Galician descendants, who was born in Brazil. The three texts base their analyses on the theoretical works of cultural critics such as Homi Bhabha and his discussion of narratives of cultural and political diaspora (1994), as well as his notions of hybridity. Another important reference is Stuart Hall’s (2003) theory of diaspora and cultural identity. 8 Nur is the Arabic word for light. Light in darkness is a recurrent metaphor in the novel to describe the narrator’s experience of migration.

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In ‘Poesia, diáspora e migração’ (2012, Poetry, diaspora, migration) and from a comparative perspective, Prisca Agustoni de Almeida Pereira discusses the work of four female afrodescendant writers in the Americas, including the Brazilian writer Conceição Evaristo. Basing her argument on theories of diaspora elaborated by, inter alia, James Clifford, Gayatri Spivak, Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Edouard Glissant and Edward Said, Agustoni analyses how the four writers employ themes related to the African diaspora in the Americas in their poetry. In the case of Conceição Evaristo, the critic discusses how her poetry addresses an issue important for women and ethnic minorities by revisiting the episodes of migration and diaspora and the representation of black women and their bodies. Focusing on German immigrant writers and based on the work of the German critic Ottmar Ette (2005), Gerson Neumann draws attention in his article ‘A busca por um local? Uma literatura sem lugar definido no contexto brasileiro’ (2011, The search for a place? A literature with no defined place in the Brazilian context) to a kind of literature produced in Brazil which has no defined place or identity. Produced by German immigrants in Brazil, published in German and directed to a German-speaking Brazilian public, this literature is characterised by being recognised as neither Brazilian nor German. By including literary authors who had extensive writing experience and who were also responsible for German-Brazilian journalistic activity, such a production becomes quite relevant. Neumann also highlights a similar tradition found among Japanese immigrant writers, whose works have been translated into Portuguese and published by the Japan Foundation.9 This German-Brazilian or Japanese-Brazilian production is defined by the strong presence of the hyphen, which points to the hybrid character of the work. Supporting his claim with theoretical support from postcolonial and cultural studies critics such as Homi Bhabha (and his reflections on hybridity, 1994) and Stuart Hall (2003, with his arguments about diaspora, identity and cultural mediation), Neumann produces an article that thinks about this immigrant writing from a historical and theoretical perspective. Although he does not discuss in depth any particular literary text or author, he makes reference to names such as Karl von Koseritz, Wilhelm Rotermund, Rudolf Damm and Maria Kahle. It is also worth mentioning the publication Dicionário de Mobilidades Culturais: Percursos Americanos (2010, Dictionary of Cultural Mobility: American Routes), edited by Zilá Bernd, which brings together major Brazilian, Canadian and Quebecois researchers and critics in order to discuss the issue of immigration, which they do through a comparative approach with a significant 9 See http://www.fjsp.org.br.

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production of books and essays published in journals. The texts found in this critical anthology provide the relevant theoretical framework that has subsidised the critical literature that deals with immigration and establish a strong interaction with Canadian universities and scholars such as Simon Harel, Walter Moser, Pascal Gin, Smaro Kamboureli and Sneja Gunew. Such a theoretical approach has a close link with Brazilian researchers who organise themselves in study groups based on the literature of the Americas. On the other hand, because of the strong tradition of French criticism among Brazilian scholars, these studies on immigration also reveal a dialogue with philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, and his theories of cosmopolitanism and hospitality, the foreigner or the monolingualism of the other (1997, 2003) and Julia Kristeva (1988) – with her emblematic text about the foreigner. The articles in Bernd’s (2010) edited volume often focus more on the critical aspect of migration and mobility rather than on specific authors and literary texts. Rita Olivieri-Godet, in her entry on migrancy, articulates the theme of migration in relation to Brazilian and Quebecois literature, claiming, in the former, that ‘The migrant writing in the Brazilian version is not produced by foreign writers, but by descendants of immigration, who are exposed to the crossings between diverse cultural words’ (2010: 199). Olivieri-Godet cites the writers Nelida Piñon, Milton Hatoum, Salim Miguel, Vitor Ramil and Moacyr Scliar as examples of authors who stage the experience of migration and privilege the role of memory in their work, and discusses how these texts often approach immigration from the perspective of identitary affiliations and of a poetics of alterity as a modality of contemporary Brazilian fiction, in tune with a transnational aesthetics of mobility. She makes a necessary cautionary remark by affirming that these writers do not represent ethnic communities but, rather, construe narratives that address the lives of characters who live in between two worlds – that of their parents and their own place of birth – as hybrid subjects. Maria Bernadette Porto has also developed a comparative analysis of ­Brazilian and Quebecois literature, employing theoretical support from the ­Canadian and Quebecoise context, in the collection of essays she edited (with Arnaldo Viana Neto) entitled Habitar e Representar a Distância em Textos Literários Canadenses e Brasileiros (2012, To Inhabit and to Represent Distance in Canadian and Brazilian Literary Texts). Based on the work of Canadian ­theorists, such as François Paré, Régine Robin or Simon Harel, who discuss the topic of immigration, Porto and Viana Neto present a broad reflection on the poetics of immigration, the notion of habitability, diaspora and the cultural transit in contemporaneity from a comparative perspective. A more recent collection of essays, Falando com Estranhos: O Estrangeiro e a Literatura Brasileira (2016, Speaking with Strangers: the Foreigner and the

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Brazilian Literature), edited by Stefania Chiarelli and Godofredo de Oliveira Neto, highlights some of the issues we have been discussing here – that is, that the theme, role or figure of the immigrant in Brazilian literature represents a relevant literary category of analysis, rather than a writer’s ethnic background. The collection opens with an essay by the Brazilian critic and author Silviano Santiago, who provides a significant theoretical analysis of the meaning of the term diaspora in our contemporary cosmopolitan world and revisits his muchacclaimed text, first published in 2002, ‘O Cosmopolitismo do Pobre’ (2004, The Cosmopolitanism of the Poor). Discussing the work of Stuart Hall and Octavio Paz, Santiago explores in this more recent article, entitled ‘Deslocamentos reais e paisagens imaginárias: o cosmopolita pobre’ (2016, ‘Real dislocations and imaginary landscapes: the poor cosmopolitan’) the image of the foreigner and the cosmopolitan who attempts to move between countries only to be permanently aware of this peripheral position in a system that excludes him or her, as in the case of the fictional work of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, ‘a strange and rare poor cosmopolitan’ (2016: 32) whom he cites towards the end of his text.

Impact

Although the field of literature and immigration and criticism about the category are quite recent on the Brazilian literary scene, the advent of what has been referred to as a ‘literature of immigration’ in recent years in Brazil by bringing forward the strangeness of the scene promoted by the foreign element becomes a fertile ground for the display of contradictions and new outlooks on the literary production of the country. Repercussions in the fields of literary theory and criticism are inevitable. In other words, the literature and literary criticism which have dealt with migration in recent years influence each other mutually, while positioning themselves at opposite ends of a nationalist discourse that dominated in the first analyses of the image of the immigrant in Brazilian literature. Contemporary cultural and literary theories – by often focusing on the discourse of those who were marginalised from hegemonic narratives – provide an opportunity to challenge the historicist approach related to the idea of a hegemonic nation that has dominated critical studies in Brazil. If foreign writers have been considered first and foremost as Brazilian writers and as, since the 1980s, the foreign element has often been nationalised – with the increase in work published by immigrant descendants who write about the theme of immigration – we can see a growing interest in this kind of literary production, which remains to the present day. Although there is still

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a tendency to approach the topic by focusing exclusively on the theme of immigration, regardless of the authors’ origins, this movement has fomented a new way of looking at the immigrant experience, with immigrants often seen as people who have not taken part actively in the life of Brazil, remaining on the margins of society and experiencing a feeling of estrangement and deterriorialisation, living a hybrid life in between worlds. It is important to stress that immigrants and their published works and images give literature a prominent position in the critical and theoretical field, while prompting new conceptualisations. From the various groups that dislocate in the world, those who leave their land in search of a new life or those who seek to give new meaning to the immigration sagas of their grandparents and great-grandparents, also have a prominent place. In this sense, Brazilian literary and critical production has recently place growing emphasis on the topic. Taking into consideration the Brazilian contemporary context, criticism and literature reveal a desire for new and more-diverse ways of looking at the national imaginary. The Brazilian literary canon, which was previously linked to the national registry, is also questioned, giving room to a more critical approach to sanctioned works. These new perspectives, however, do not put an end to the deadlock in which identity representations of all kinds of artistic manifestation find themselves. The question of the national, albeit relativised and even problematised, is still recurrent and relevant in the Brazilian context, especially when we consider the connection with the Latin American context in general. In this sense, although Bhabha still remains an unavoidable theoretical reference for the Brazilian literary criticism that deals with the literature of immigration, the latter is still accompanied by a certain contextualisation that differentiates between the literary representations of the various immigrant groups. Another impact, responsibility for which could be attributed to this criticism of migration, is the consecration of writers who have dedicated themselves, although not exclusively, to such a theme. In the Brazilian context, one example might be the recent revival of inquiries about writers such as Samuel Rawet and Juó Bananére, and other contemporary names who have acquired visibility through their literature on immigration – such as Milton Hatoum, Moacyr Scliar, Nélida Piñon, Zélia Gattai, Salim Miguel, Tatiana Salem Levy and Raduan Nassar etc. Also noteworthy is the work done by contemporary critics on the literary production by writers of African descent. Further analyses related to the issue of ethnicity are redeeming these productions, while questioning their exclusion and inclusion in the national canon, as we can see in the works of authors such as Conceição Evaristo, Antônio Risério or Esmeralda Ribeiro, amongst

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others. Criticism has also promoted revealing research on publications by ­writers of African descent from previous centuries. In sum, the literary criticism on literature and migration in Brazil is a growing field, important for the new configurations acquired by Brazilian literature and cultural criticism. However, even with this relevant analytical and theoretical contribution, there is still much more to be done. For example, when it comes to the criticism of immigrant writers who have expressed themselves in their mother tongue, such studies are still few in number. Anthologies that collect together the productions of immigrants are also scarce and bibliographical references do not even exist. The literature of immigration and its critique, as well as studies about contemporary transits and mobilities are, thus, characterised as a promising field that may relate to what occurs in other contexts and countries – resulting in an exciting challenge for comparative studies and literary criticism. References Almeida, S. (2002) ‘Encontros e contatos em Desmundo e Amrik de Ana Miranda’, in G. Ravetti and M. Arbex (eds) Performance, Exílio, Fronteiras: Errâncias Territoriais e Textuais. Belo Horizonte: UFMG, 135–149. Almeida, S. (2015) ‘Mobilidades culturais, geografias afetivas: espaço urbano e gênero na literatura contemporânea’, in R. Dalcastagné and V.M.V Leal (eds) Espaço e Gênero na Literatura Brasileira Contemporânea. Porto Alegre: Zouk, 15–39. Almeida Pereira, P.R.A. de (2012) ‘Poesia, diáspora e migração: quatro vozes femininas’, Aletria, 22(3): 161–175. Armony, A. and T.L. Salem (2010) Primos: Histórias da Herança Árabe e Judaica. São Paulo: Record. Bananére, J. (1915) La Divina Encrenca. São Paulo: Editora 34. Bernd, Z. (ed.) (1992) Poesia Negra Brasileira: Antologia. Porto Alegre: Editora Age / Instituto Estadual do Livre/Editora Igel. Bernd, Z. (ed.) (2007) Dicionário de Figuras e Mitos Literários das Américas. Porto Alegre: Tomo Editorial/Editora da UFRGS. Bernd, Z. (ed.) (2010) Dicionário das Mobilidades Culturais: Percursos Americanos. Porto Alegre: Literalis. Bernd, Z. (ed.) (2011) Antologia de Poesia Afro-Brasileira: 150 Anos de Consciência Negra no Brasil. Belo Horizonte: Mazza. Bhabha, H.K. (1994) The Location of Culture. London: Routledge. Bopp, R. (1931) Cobra Norato. São Paulo: Irmãos Ferraz. Bosi, E. (1979) Memória e Sociedade: Lembranças de Velhos. São Paulo: T.A. Editor.

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Candido, A. (2007) Formação da Literatura Brasileira: Momentos Decisivos. Rio de Janeiro: Ouro sobre Azul. Capela, C.E.S. (2001) ‘Italianos na ficção brasileira: modernidade em processo’, Fragmentos, 21: 147–164. Carelli, M. (1985) Carcamanos e Comendadores: Os Italianos de São Paulo da Realidade à Ficção (1919–1930). São Paulo: Ática (transl. L.M. Pondé Vassalo). Carneiro, M.L.T. (1997) ‘Literatura de omigração: memórias de uma diáspora’, Acervo, 10(2): 147–164. Chiarelli, S. (2007) Vidas em Trânsito: As Ficções de Samuel Rawet e Milton Hatoum. São Paulo: Annablume. Chiarelli, S. and G. de Oliviera Neto (eds) (2016) Falando com Estranhos: O Estrangeiro e a Literatura Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: 7Letras. Cornelsen, E. (2006) ‘Do shtetl ao Xingu: emigração judaica, em Moacyr Scliar’, in M.Z. Cury, A. Vaz and C.A. Baumgarten (eds) Literatura e Imigração: Sonhos em Movimento. Belo Horizonte: Faculdade de Letras da UFMG (FALE), 35–49. Cury, M.Z. (2002a) Navio de Imigrantes, Identidades Negociadas. São Paulo: Fundação Memorial da América Latina. Cury, M.Z. (2002b) ‘Sherazade nos trópicos’, in G. Ravetti and M. Arbex (eds) Performance, Exílio, Fronteiras: Errâncias Territoriais e Textuais. Belo Horizonte: UFMG, 179–203. Cury, M.Z. (2006) ‘Uma luz na escuridão imigração em memória’, in M.Z. Cury, A. Vaz and C.A. Baumgarten (eds) Literatura e Imigração: Sonhos em Movimento. Belo Horizonte: Faculdade de Letras da UFMG (FALE), 9–33. Cury, M.Z., A. Vaz and C.A. Baumgarten (eds) (2006) Literatura e Imigração: Sonhos em Movimento. Belo Horizonte: Faculdade de Letras da UFMG (FALE). Derrida, J. (1997) Cosmopolites des Tous les Pays, Encore un Effort! Paris: Editions Galilée. Derrida, J. (2003) Anne Dufourmantelle Invite Jacques Derrida à Repondre: De l’Hospitalité. Paris: Calmann-Lévy. Duarte, E. de A. and M.N.S. Fonseca (2011) Literatura e Afrodescendência no Brasil: Antologia Crítica. Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG. Ette, O. (2005) ZwischenWeltenSchreiben. Literaturen ohne festen Wohnsitz. Berlin: Kadmos. Fausto, B. (ed.) (1999) Fazer a América: A Imigração em Massa para a América Latina. São Paulo: Memorial/Edusp. Firmina dos Reis, M. (1859) Úrsula: Romance Original Brasileiro, Por Uma Maranhense. São Luís: Typographia Progresso. Gilroy, P. (1993) The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. New York: Penguin. Hall, S. (2003) Da Diáspora: Identidades e Mediações Culturais. Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG (ed. L. Sovik, transl. A. Resende et al.).

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Hatoum, M. (1989) Relato de um Certo Oriente. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Huber, V. (2009) A Ponte Edênica: Da Literatura dos Imigrantes de Língua Alemã a Raul Bopp e Augusto Meyer. São Paulo: Annablume. Igel, R. (1997) Imigrantes Judeus/Escritores Brasileiros. O Componente Judaico na Literatura Brasileira. São Paulo: Perspectiva. Kristeva, J. (1988) Étrangers à Nous-Mêmes. Paris: Fayard. Lesser, J. (2001) A Negociação da Identidade Nacional: Imigrantes, Minorias e a Luta pela Etnicidade no Brasil. São Paulo: Editora UNESP (transl. P. de Queiroz Carvalho Zimbres). Lispector, C. (1977) A Hora da Estrela. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco. Lispector, C. (1992) The Hour of the Star. New York: New Directions (transl. Giovanni Pontiero). Lispector, E. (1948) No Exílio. Rio de Janeiro: Pongetti. Maram, S.L. (1979) Anarquistas, Imigrantes e o Movimento Operário 1890–1920. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra. Miguel, S. (1999) Nur na Escuridão. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks. Miranda, A.M. (1997) Amrik. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Nascimento, L. (2006) ‘Imigrantes: identidades em trânsito’, in M.Z. Cury, A. Vaz and C.A. Baumgarten (eds) Literatura e Imigração: Sonhos em Movimento. Belo Horizonte: Faculdade de Letras da UFMG (FALE), 51–71. Nassar, R. (1975) Lavoura Arcaica. Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio. Neumann, G.R. (2011) ‘A busca por um local? Uma literatura sem lugar definido no contexto brasileiro’, Antares, 3(6): 105–119. Oliveira, L.L. (2000) Americanos: Representações da Identidade Nacional no Brasil e nos EUA. Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG. Olivieri-Godet, R.O. (2010) ‘Errância/migrância/migração’, in Z. Bernd (ed.) Dicionário das Mobilidades Culturais: Percursos Americanos. Porto Alegre: Literalis, 189–209. Osakabe, H. (1993) ‘Apresentação’, in A. Waki and L. Honda-Hasegawa (eds) Antologia de Poesia Nikkei. São Paulo: Estação Liberdade/Aliança Cultural Brasil Japão, 1–13. Pereira, E. de A. and S.F. White (2001) ‘Brasil: panorama de interações e conflitos numa sociedade multicultural’, Afro-Ásia, 25–26: 257–280. Piñon, N. (1984) A República dos Sonhos. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves. Porto, M.B. and A.R.V. Neto (2012) Habitar e Representar a Distância em Textos Literários Canadenses e Brasileiros. Niterói: Editora da UFF. Ramos, J. de S. (1996) ‘Dos males que vêm com o sangue: as representações raciais e a categoria do imigrante indesejável nas concepções sobre imigração da década de 20’, in M.C.M. Maio and R.V Santos. (eds) Raça, Ciência e Sociedade. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz/CCBB, 159–182. Rawet, S. (1956) Contos do Imigrante. Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio. Ribeiro, D. (1983) As Américas e a Civilização. Petrópolis: Vozes.

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Rosa, A.P.L., C. Kiefer and C.M. Moreira (eds) (2002) Pátria Estranha: Histórias de Peregrinação e Sonhos. São Paulo: Nova Alexandrina. Rouanet, M.H. (1991) Deitado em Berço Esplêndido. São Paulo: Siciliano. Santiago, S. (2004) O Cosmopolitismo do Pobre. Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG. Santiago, S. (2016) ‘Deslocamentos reais e paisagens imaginárias: o cosmopolita pobre’, in S. Chiarelli and G. de Oliveira Neto (eds) Falando com Estranhos: O Estrangeiro e a Literatura Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: 7Letras, 15–33. Sakurai, C. (1993) Romanceiro da Imigração Japonesa. São Paulo: Editora Sumaré/IDESP. Scliar, M. (1972) A Guerra no Bom Fim. Porto Alegre: LP&M. Scliar, M. (1980) O Centauro no Jardim. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Scliar, M. (1983) A Estranha Nação de Rafael Mendes. Porto Alegre: LP&M. Scliar, M. (1985) The Centaur in the Garden. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press (transl. M.A. Neves). Scliar, M. (1988) The Strange Nation of Rafael Mendes. New York: Harmony Books (transl. E.F. Giacomelli). Scliar, M. (1997) A Majestade do Xingu. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras. Scliar, M. (2010) The War in Bom Fim. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press (transl. D.W. Foster). Skidmore, T. (1976) O Preto no Branco: Raça e Nacionalidade no Pensamento Brasileiro. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e terra. Stevens, C.M.T. (2006) ‘Brazilian and U.S. American issei/nissei Women Novelists: Crossing Borders Bridging Cultures’, Revista da anpoll, 20: 37–62. Tonus, L. (2007) ‘Imigrante’, in Z. Bernd (ed.) Dicionário de Figuras e Mitos Literários das Américas. Porto Alegre: Tomo Editorial/Editora da UFRGS, 330–339. Vieira, N.H. (1995) Jewish Voices in Brazilian Literature: A Prophetic Discourse of Alterity. Gainsville: University Press of Florida. Waki, A. and L. Honda-Hasegawa (1993) Antologia de Poesia Nikkei. São Paulo: Estação Liberdade/Aliança Cultural Brasil Japão. Zamparoni, V. (2011) ‘Imagens da África no Brasil’, in A. Botelho and L.M. Schwarcz (eds) Agenda Brasileira: Temas de uma Sociedade em Mudança. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 18–29. Zilberman, R. (1991) ‘Brasil: cultura e literatura nos anos 80’, Hispania, 74(3): 577–583.

Chapter 4

Encountering Canada: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing Christl Verduyn Abstract Immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada engages the enduring question of what comprises Canadian identity and reflects the country’s history and policies on immigration and multiculturalism, the evolving demographics of the population and, since 1980, the critical, social and intellectual movements of feminism, anti-racism, (post)colonialism, transculturalism, transnationalism and globalism. The distinction between Canadian literature and Québécois literature adds complexity to the discussion of immigrant and ethnic-minority literature in Canada; for historical linguistic and cultural reasons, the two traditions have developed separately, in different languages and in relation to different concerns. At the same time, Canada’s history as a colonial settler nation has linked immigrant and ethnic-minority experience with that of Indigenous peoples, such that it is impossible to discuss these experiences separately. Immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada constantly questions the concepts, categories, theories and terms used to describe it, including the conceptual category of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing itself.



Introduction

Immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada has reflected the country’s history and policies on immigration and multiculturalism, the evolving demographics of the population and, since 1980, the critical, social and intellectual movements of feminism, anti-racism, postcolonialism, transculturalism, transnationalism and globalism. Minority writing has been part of literature in Canada from the beginning, and studies of this body of work have appeared throughout the country’s literary history. The 1980s, however, marked the beginning of unprecedented growth in the field. Increased immigration from beyond postwar Europe led to greater cultural variation among writers and readers, and to the formal recognition of Canada as a multicultural nation. Increasing public awareness of difference fuelled a growing interest in immigrant

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and minority writing, changing not only the literary landscape of Canada, but also the perception of Canadian literature and its success internationally. A number of features particular to Canada add complexity to the discussion of its immigrant and ethnic-minority literature, beginning with the distinction between Canadian literature and Québécois literature. For historical linguistic and cultural reasons, the two traditions have developed separately, in different languages and in relation to different concerns. Multiculturalism’s ­celebration of a cultural mosaic in English-speaking Canada finds a counterpart, but not an exact equivalence, in French-speaking Quebec in the concept of interculturalism, which emphasises pluralist integration into a dominant core of ­Francophone culture. Multiculturalism’s recognition of difference can extend minority identification beyond the immigrant generation to descendants born in Canada who may still identify, or be identified, as second- or third-­generation immigrants. In Quebec, minority status has been associated with being a French-language population within a dominant English-language context in Canada and North America. A series of laws to protect the French language (Bill 22 in 1974 and Bill 101 in 1977) has formalised this minority condition. This is an important backdrop to consideration of immigrant and ­ethnic-minority writing in Quebec. Finally, Canada’s history as a colonial settler nation has linked immigrant and ethnic-minority experience of difference with that of Indigenous peoples;1 it is nearly impossible to discuss these experiences separately, so intertwined are their literary and critical developments. Immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has engaged and informed the enduring question of what comprises the essence of Canadian and Québécois identity and the roles played by the country’s politics and cultural ­communities in answering that question. It has challenged and influenced both unifying and binary conceptualisations of identity and experience, even while remaining alert to the potential of alternatives – multicultural, transcultural or global – to become as overarching in scope as earlier concepts of identity. The study of Canadian and Québécois immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has critiqued such unifying approaches as 1970s’ nationalist, thematic criticism; it has engaged critically with multiculturalism, both as a social ideal and as concrete policy; and it has introduced a rich diversity of nuanced and consciously selfcritical approaches to the literature – in no small way because many immigrant and ethnic-minority writers are also literary and cultural theorists, critics and/or teachers themselves. Finally, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec has constantly questioned the concepts, categories, 1 Sometimes referred to as First Nations, Aboriginal or Native peoples. ‘Indigenous peoples’ is widely considered to be preferred use today.

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t­heories and terms used to describe it, including the conceptual category of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing itself.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

The development, character and importance of Canadian and Québécois immigrant and ethnic-minority writing have evolved with the changing demographics generated by the country’s immigration policies. In the 1800s, immigration to Canada was largely unrestricted. By the end of that century, however, Europeans were preferred, as the national identity coalesced around an Anglo-Celt dominance. For the better part of a century following Confederation (1867), most immigration to Canada came from the ‘mother countries’ of Britain and France, and then from North-Western Europe and the United States. Beginning with the 1885 Chinese Head Tax,2 non-European immigration was increasingly discouraged and non-European presence was limited to minority communities descending from early Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia – former slaves who left the United States following the Revolutionary War (1775–1783) for the promise of freedom and land under British rule; pre-World War i Black immigration to the Canadian West; and late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Chinese and Japanese immigrants, also largely located in the West. An influx of Eastern Europeans in the early twentieth century, often unwelcomed by the dominant culture, was channelled into Canada’s western agricultural regions. After World War ii, immigration policies began to loosen as the displaced peoples of Eastern Europe came to Canada in greater numbers. Only in the 1960s did immigration laws shift the emphasis away from racial and ethnic origins. The introduction of the Points System3 in 1967 reflected a growing awareness of the need to remove potential discrimination and ­prejudice in 2 Following the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1881–1885), which drew heavily on the labour of Chinese immigrants, the Canadian parliament introduced the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act (1885), which took the form of a $50 tax for every individual of Chinese origin entering the country. Increased to $100 in 1900 and in 1903 to $500, approximately the equivalent to two years’ wages at the time, this tax effectively barred Chinese immigration until 1947, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was at last repealed. 3 Immigration officers assign points up to a fixed maximum in each of several categories, such as education, employment opportunities in Canada, age, the individual’s personal characteristics, and degree of fluency in English or French. The points system was incorporated into new immigration regulations in 1967. Other features included the elimination of discrimination based on nationality or race from all classes of immigrants and the creation of a special provision that allowed visitors to apply for immigrant status while in Canada.

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immigration and resulted in increased numbers of immigrants from Asia and the Caribbean. Generally speaking, however, prior to the 1980s, immigrant and ethnic-­ minority writers tended to be of European background, as reflected in the title of Watson Kirkconnell’s (1935) edited collection of ‘ethnic poetry’, C ­ anadian Overtones: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry Written Originally in Icelandic, Swedish, Hungarian, Italian, Greek and Ukrainian. Immigrant and ethnic writing was associated with writers such as Frederick Philip Grove (a German immigrant),4 Laura Goodman Salverson (a second-generation Icelandic immigrant) and Vera Lysenko (the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants) in E ­ nglish Canada, and others such as the Jewish writers of Montreal, including A.M. Klein (born in the Ukraine) and Irving Layton (from Romania). In the 1920s, novels by Salverson and Grove ushered in a tradition of prairie realism that countered earlier western adventure romances. Salverson’s The Viking Heart (1923) portrayed the experiences of Icelanders who immigrated to Canada in 1876. Grove, after literary success with nature sketches set in Western Canada (Over Prairie Trails 1922), published four novels featuring Eastern European immigrants (Swedish, German and Polish) building lives marked by ethnicity in Western Canada. Published by the major Canadian publishing houses of the time (Ryerson Press, McClelland and Stewart, and Macmillan of Canada), these authors mark a beginning for immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. It should be noted that other immigrant novelists of the early twentieth century achieved similar publication success but not similar popular and critical success: Lysenko’s novels, for example, were published by Ryerson Press in the 1950s, but her work drew little critical attention from the Canadian literary institution until the resurgence of interest in Ukrainian-Canadian writing in the 1980s (Grekul 2003: 113).5 Last but not least, the existence within immigrant communities of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in languages other than English or French should be acknowledged – one obvious example is Icelandic-Canadian poet Stephan G. Stephansson, who immigrated to Alberta with his family in 1889. While largely unknown to most Canadians, his work received such attention in Iceland that he was invited to tour the country and was regarded as ‘the best Icelandic poet to have emerged since the 13th century’ (Ross 2013). 4 Born Felix Paul Greve in Germany, Grove reinvented himself under a new (British) name in Canada. 5 Other writers achieved publication but vanished from critical sight, not even receiving the later attention that Lysenko has had. For example B. Mabel Dunham, descendent of Mennonites, published such novels as The Trail of Conestoga (1924) dealing with Mennonite settlers in Western Ontario. Her work is largely unknown.

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The early popularity of immigrant writers Salverson and Grove may be linked to the nationalist project of Western settlement and the increasing awareness that, while Canada might be English and French, immigrants from many places were to be integrated into the nation. Lysenko’s novels, published during the Cold War, focused on working-class, urban immigrants struggling against capitalist forces; both she and her publisher were subject to anti-­communist protest, some from within the Ukrainian-Canadian community itself. In the emergence of ethnic and minority writing in Canada, historical context, class, politics, sexuality and gender all factor into the reception of texts and authors. Individual immigrant and ethnic-minority writers played key roles in major movements in Canadian poetry. Montreal Jewish poet A.M. Klein was a member of the Montreal Group of modernist poets of the 1920s and a participant in the ground-breaking New Provinces anthology edited by Gnarowski (1936).6 Fred Wah, the son of second-generation Chinese and first-generation Swedish immigrants, was one of the founders of the west coast tish poetry newsletter in 1961, which embraced the poetic philosophies of the avant-garde Black Mountain poets. Only in the decades after 1980 did Wah’s writings engage with his ethnic heritage, and he became an important theorist of race. Both the Montreal Group and tish began as student groups at McGill and the University of British Columbia respectively. Thus, while some immigrant and ethnic-minority writers had access to publication and cultural recognition in the decades before 1980 (Salverson, Klein and Wah are all Governor General’s Award recipients) and were often members of highly influential literary movements, they tended more often to be isolated figures, either critically invisible (Lysenko) or read into regional traditions (Salverson) when their work marked their difference from the dominant culture. Such figures serve to underscore the historical preference for ‘white’ citizens (Coleman 2008) and the conception of Canada as a country whose culture and institutions were, outside Quebec, primarily British in character. After World War ii, stimulated by the decolonisation of the British Empire, postwar European emigration and the introduction of the Points System in 1967, Canadian immigration broadened to include more immigrants from Asia, India, Africa and the Caribbean. As a result of this demographic shift, the category of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing came to encompass

6 Published in 1936, the anthology was the result of the collective effort of ‘several authors’, as its subtitle suggests, and not that of a single editor. The 1976 reprint was the result of a single editor, Michael Gnarowski, and the view that the anthology was the first collection of Canadian modernist poetry.

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writers from beyond Europe. John Miska’s Ethnic and Native Canadian Literature: A Bibliography (1990) identified close to 5,500 references to primary and secondary materials, representing 65 national groups writing in more than 70 languages. Denise Helly and Anne Vassal, in their study Romanciers immigrés: biographies et œuvres publiées au Québec entre 1970 et 1990 (1993, Immigrant Novelists; Biographies and Works Published in Quebec between 1970 and 1990), list over one hundred authors of immigrant origin in Quebec. The emergence of these writers can be seen in part as a matter of demographics: by the 1960s and 1970s, both immigrants and generations of descendants constituted an audience for literature about their own heritages. Growing numbers of ethnic-minority Canadians, too, were themselves writers, teachers and critics. The period saw the publication of Mennonite-Canadian Rudy Wiebe’s Peace Shall Destroy Many (1962), which would be followed by Mennonite-Canadian writers such as Sandra Birdsell, Patrick Friesen and Di Brandt. Barbadian-Canadian Austin Clarke’s first novel, The Survivors of the Crossing (1964) told the story of a revolt by black labourers in Barbados against an alliance of white elites and middle-class blacks, paralleling the class and racialised oppression of Barbados with the position of Caribbean immigrants in Canada.7 In the decades that followed, these themes and others would be explored by Caribbean-Canadian writers such as M. NourbeSe Philip, Dionne Brand, Olive Senior, Nalo Hopkinson and Shani Mootoo. Following the 1951 Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences and Canada’s Centennial in 1967, increased nationalism led to more resources for Canadian culture. There was a marked increase in small literary presses in Canada and, just as House of Anansi Press published the work of the young Margaret Atwood, it also published Sri Lankan immigrant Michael Ondaatje’s first novel, Coming Through Slaughter (1976). The development of Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy in the 1970s provided a rationale for including non-French and non-British representations within the dominant bicultural tradition. The civil rights era also generated more interest in alternative cultures so that, even as Canada was defining itself as a state with two founding nations, some ‘mainstream’ writers challenged that representation. Daphne Marlatt’s long poem Steveston (1974) drew attention to the lives of Japanese-Canadians in the west coast fishing industry and Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners (1974) placed Métis history at the heart of the Canadian story. A Canadian interest in cultural difference began to develop. 7 Clarke’s career spanned five decades and produced short fiction, poetry, memoirs and eleven novels, including The Polished Hoe (2002), which won both the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Giller Prize.

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As the number of immigrants increased, the combination of diversity and critical mass resulted in the identification of literary subgroups such as Italian-Canadian, Asian-Canadian or South-Asian-Canadian writers, and an ­accompanying increase in the interpretation and discussion of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing according to cultural identification. This was not without its challenges, as the ‘hyphenation debates’ discussed below indicate. The size and prominence of these groups waxed and waned with evolving immigration patterns, demographics and critical frameworks. Thus, for example, Italian immigration of the 1940s and 1950s to Quebec was followed by the arrival of significant numbers of Haitians fleeing the Duvalier regime in the 1960s and 1970s, then by refugees from Vietnam throughout the 1970s and, subsequently, by immigrants of Arabic background. While better known ethnic-minority writers such as Michael Ondaatje were published by major presses, others who were as yet less known increasingly developed their own publication space. In English Canada, Italian-Canadian writers such as Frank Paci, Mary di Michele, Pier Giorgio de Cicco, Nino Ricci, Maria Ardizzi and Caterina Edwards, supported by the Association of Italian Canadian Writers and by critics such as Joseph Pivato, Enoch Padolsky and Francesco Loriggio, explored new perspectives on identity and belonging. The trilingual (French, Italian and English) cultural magazine Vice Versa and the publishing house Guernica Editions (founded in 1978) served writers of Italian background in both English Canada and Quebec. Similarly, the Toronto South Asian Review was founded in 1981 by immigrant and ethnic-minority writers, including Kenyan-born and Asian-descended M.G. Vassanji, to provide access to literature from outside Europe. It expanded into the Toronto Review of Contemporary Writing Abroad and published authors such as Austin Clarke, Michael Ondaatje and Trinidadian-Canadian Dionne Brand among many others. In 1985, Tsar Publications developed as an offshoot and began to publish criticism and literature by and about writers from the Caribbean, Africa and South Asia.8 Like other immigrant and ethnic-minority literary groupings, Asian-Canadian writers emerged at the critical forefront during the final decades of the twentieth century. This broadly defined group encompassed such individuals as Joy Kogawa, whose ground-breaking novel Obasan (1981) brought national attention to the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War ii, as well as writers such as Fred Wah, Michael Ondaatje, Roy Kiyooka, Neil Bissoondath, Rohinton Mistry, M.G. Vassanji, Wayson Choy, Cyril Dabydeen, Roy Miki, sky Lee and Larissa Lai. 8 During this same era, the development of Theytus, Canada’s first Indigenous publishing company (1980), contributed to the environment that brought attention to non-British, nonFrench literature in the Canadian context.

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During these decades Williams-Wallace (now closed) published AfricanCanadian and Caribbean writers (Gingell 2011). African-Canadian poet and Governor General’s Award-nominee Claire Harris was first published by ­Williams-Wallace. Others, such as Africadian poet and critic George Elliott Clarke, a descendant of Loyalists, were published by regional presses such as Pottersfield Press. In Quebec, venues such as the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (founded 1968) and the Théâtre de la Manufacture supported ‘multicultural drama’ and the journal La Parole Métèque published writing by immigrant women. Besides meeting existing demand, such publishers, theatre groups and journals provided exposure and developed audiences for immigrant and ethnicminority writers and literatures. While feminist publishers founded during this period – such as Éditions Remue-Ménage in Quebec in 1975 – did not explicitly embrace immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in their mandates, their oppositional politics welcomed writers such as Haitian-Canadian Marie-Célie Agnant, whose novel Le Livre de Emma (2001, The Book of Emma, 2006) explores the intersections of race, gender and history. Agnant’s protagonist, Emma, in a psychiatric hospital after murdering her daughter, tells a multigenerational history of gendered and racialised oppression whose continuing resonance is revealed through the different ways in which her tale was received by the Creole translator Flore and the male psychiatrist Dr MacLeod. That early feminist presses could still be more open to alternative voices is attested to by the founding, in 1984, of Tiger Lily Journal – a literary magazine devoted to women of colour – and, in 1985, of Sister Vision: Black Women and Women of Colour Press. As the waves of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers gained critical mass, they found – or created – outlets for the dissemination of their work. In the 1980s, the writers gaining attention and seeking publishing venues were no longer Italian, Ukrainian or Mennonite but, increasingly, visible minorities representing Caribbean, South Asian and African cultures. In Quebec, these included writers of Haitian background (e.g. Gérard Étienne, Marie-Célie Agnant, Emile Ollivier, Joël Des Rosiers, Anthony Phelps, Dany Laferrière); Arabic Lebanese background (e.g. Naim Kattan, Mona Latif-Ghattas, Nadine Ltaif, Abla Farhoud, Wajdi Mouawad) and Latin American background (e.g. Sergio Kokis, Alberto Kurapel, Miguel Retamal). Where earlier minority writers such as the Montreal Jewish poets and novelists published in English, in the wake of Quebec’s 1970s’ language laws, minority writers like Naim Kattan, Alice Parizeau, Anne-Marie Alonzo, Marco Micone, Régine Robin, Gérard Étienne, Dany Laferrière, Jean Jonassant, Mona Latif-Ghattas, Nadine Ltaif and others published in French and not in their ‘first languages’ of, inter alia, Arabic or Spanish.

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The explosion of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec after 1980 tracked the demographic, social, economic and cultural changes within the country as well as globally. The pace and variety of these developments – particularly in colonial settler countries like Canada – differentiated this experience from that of other countries in terms of scale and scope. Prior to the 1980s, it was reasonably possible to name the country’s immigrant and ethnic-minority writers: early twentieth-century writers such as Grove, Lysenko and Salverson; mid-century writers such as Kogawa and Wah, or Austro-Hungarian immigrant John Marlyn and Italian-born F.G. Paci; and, in Quebec, Naim Kattan and Marco Micone, born in Iraq and Italy respectively. Within a decade, however, this became an impossible task, so quickly had immigrant and ethnic-minority writing developed. A considerable segment of this writing in Canada and Quebec would eventually be adopted by the literary ‘mainstream’, either gaining public status and recognition through accolades and public prizes, or being taught in schools and universities. Immigrant and ethnic-minority writers were also instrumental in the development of theory that would adequately characterise their writing. Indeed, in the Canadian tradition the writers are the theorists, publishing essays and books on writing, compiling anthologies of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing (discussed below), working as writers-in-residence, and teaching writing in universities (e.g., Fred Wah, George Elliott Clarke, Dionne Brand and Janice Kulyk Keefer, among many others). This has made for a creative dynamic between theory and practice. Writers such as Wah, Clarke, M. NourbeSe Philip and others have not only written criticism and theory about race discourse and Canadian culture but have also incorporated such theoretical concerns into their literary writing. In Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill (1996), a semi-fictional biography of his father, the narrator observes that ‘Even one of the country’s best-known writers has said “We are all immigrants to this place even if we were born here”. Can’t these people from central leave anything to itself?’ (1996: 125). Feminist writers were at the forefront of the often-difficult experience of acknowledging difference. Nowhere was this illustrated more concretely than in two very public events in the late 1980s and early 1990s: the ‘appropriation of voice’ debates and the ‘Writing Thru Race’ conference. In 1988 at both The Women’s Press in Toronto9 and the Third International Women’s Book Fair in 9 See Philip (1992b) for her essay ‘Gut issues in Babylon’: ‘To sum up, African Canadian women … did not view The Women’s Press as a particularly friendly place for their work. It was, in my opinion, no different from the other mainstream presses ... they held themselves out as being feminist and therefore representative of all women, when in fact they represented a very specific group – white, middle class women. And to be brutally frank, when the issue of

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Montreal,10 protest arose against the way in which some women appeared to be ‘speaking for’ others – most notably white middle-class feminists speaking for women from Canada’s Indigenous and Black communities.11 The controversy related both to cultural outsiders writing about the experience of racialised groups (thus contributing to the exclusion of writers from those groups) and to feminist groups that claimed to represent women, but did so largely from a white, middle-class perspective that marginalised other experiences. The events sparked national debate on the issue of cultural appropriation. The discussions were carried forward by minority writers, spreading from feminist communities to organisations such as the Writers’ Union of Canada. In 1989, Indigenous writers Lenore Keeshig-Tobias and Daniel David Moses called for the creation of a task force to look into issues of artistic appropriation and accessibility. An ad-hoc committee was established and, in 1992, it organised a three-day retreat on the topic of ‘The Appropriate Voice’. Among its ­recommendations was that the ad-hoc committee be renamed the Racial Minority Writers’ Committee and that the Writers’ Union address voice appropriation, which the committee identified as the ‘misrepresentation of cultures and the silencing of their peoples’ (Ty and Verduyn 2008: 8). This issue was one of several that Indigenous and immigrant and ethnic-minority writers have confronted in common. The anti-racism discourse that animated literary studies in the late 1980s reached a critical point with the ‘Writing Thru Race’ conference in 1994, which was organised as a forum for discussion about issues related to minority writing in Canada.12 Daytime sessions were limited to minority and Indigenous

racism exploded at the Press and became public, my first gut response was: “It’s about time – they’ve had it coming for a long time”’ (1992: 214–215). 10 At the Third International Women’s Book Fair in Montreal, Lee Maracle voiced the concern of many Indigenous writers that non-Indigenous writers were ‘speaking for’ Indigenous culture. Maracle asked these writers to ‘move over’ so that Indigenous writers could write about their reality and their experiences themselves. Immigrant and ethnic-­ minority writers agreed. Dionne Brand (1990b: 277) stated ‘categorically that whites cannot write about native life … should not and cannot ... not in the absence of native writers having the opportunity, the possibility, and the material resources for writing about native life and having that work published and read’. 11 In her 1992c essay ‘Who’s listening? Artists, audience and language’, for instance, poet and novelist M. NourbeSe Philip wrote, ‘There is much that I find to criticize in the articulation of Western liberal feminism: the movement has become racist and classist in its practices’ (1992c: 43). 12 See Challenging Racism in the Arts: Case Studies of Controversy and Conflict (Tator et al. 1998) for a detailed account of the development of the conference from its origins in the Writers’ Union’s 1989 task force on cultural appropriation.

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writers, while evening sessions were open to public participation. Criticism of the conference attracted international attention. The conference established the necessity for anti-racism theory in the study of immigrant and ethnic-­ minority writing, and the development of anti-racism discourses helped to shift the focus to writing by Canadians from such parts of the world as the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. New names became prominent – M. NourbeSe Philip, Dionne Brand, Claire Harris, M.G. Vassanji, Rohinton Mistry and Shyam Selvadurai, among others. For these writers, the ‘Writing Thru Race’ conference was ‘an affirmation and recognition of their identity as critical participants in … redefining what it means to be Canadian, redefining what it means to be a Canadian writer, redefining the literary landscape of Canada’ (Tator et al. 1998: 107). The development of a strong and diverse community of critics and writers, and activism that brought increasing attention to the racialised history of Canada, encouraged the critical recognition of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing as part of Canadian and Québécois literatures. This has been a relatively late development, however; before the 1980s, this writing was often ignored, deemed unimportant, or dealt with in trivial terms. Contexts and Research Prior to 1980 Scholarly publication on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec prior to 1980 was modest in both scope and volume and focused largely on the work of a handful of writers such as the previously mentioned Grove, Salverson and Martha Ostenso, or the Montreal Jewish writers (e.g. Klein, Layton and Richler). Henry Kreisel (1968), himself an (Austrian) immigrant writer and critic, included Grove and Ostenso together with Sinclair Ross, W.O. Mitchell and Margaret Laurence in his analysis of Canadian prairie fiction. Margaret Atwood discussed work by immigrant writers in her seminal study of Canadian literature, Survival (1972), and Eli Mandel drew attention to immigrant writers in his 1977 essay ‘The ethnic voice in Canadian writing’. For the most part, however, little critical attention was paid to the early work of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers. As a result, Joseph Pivato (1991: 26) observed that ‘they remained part of an invisible literature’. For example, Trinidadian Sam Selvon was an established novelist before immigrating to Canada in the late 1970s. Although he wrote, published and taught creative writing, and was writer-in-residence at universities in the Canadian West during the 1970s and early 1980s, a survey of the critical literature reveals that his work received only passing attention until Caribbean-Canadian literature gained recognition in the 1990s. Prior to that, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing tended to be ‘dismissed as work of low literary value because it was perceived

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as too sociological … criticized as poor realism or naturalism [or] reduced to the oral history of immigrants or to the sociology of new settlements in ethnic neighbourhoods’ (Pivato 1998: 158). Alternatively, it was valorised for its ‘Canadian’ traits rather than for its immigrant or ethnic-minority character. Thus, Pivato explains, ‘In the work of Andrew Suknaski the western Canadian elements [were] emphasised over the Ukrainian. […] In the poetry of Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, it [was] the North American perspective that [was] considered over the Italian’ (Pivato 1991: 26–27). In the first instance, then, minority writing was read in relation to Canadian characteristics or to abstract or universal literary categories. Even well into the 1980s, Enoch Padolsky pointed out, much of the criticism treated minority writers in relation to mainstream categories that effaced difference (1994: 377) – Grove as a prairie realist, poets Klein, Layton and Cohen as key figures in the development of modernism rather than as voices for Jewish culture in Quebec, and Fred Wah as a member of the west coast tish group. Explanation for this lies in part with 1960s’ and 1970s’ existential debates about national identity in English Canada and Quebec. This period was shaped by Canada’s relationship with the United States, which loomed large in Canadian identity and national development. Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967 strengthened a sense of Canadian identity, as reflected in the adoption of a new national flag, the creation of national cultural institutions, the flirtation with independent nationalist economic and foreign policies and, in the literary domain, the search for a distinct Canadian identity and a unifying thesis for Canadian literature. Nationalist sentiments in English Canada were countered by separatist sentiments in Quebec, where a ‘quiet revolution’ in a ‘national’ Quebec challenged any notion of a unified pan-Canadian nation and led to the 1963 Laurendeau-Dunton Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Its mandate was to ‘inquire into and report on the existing state of bilingualism and biculturalism in Canada’ and to ‘develop the Canadian Confederation on the basis of an equal partnership between the two founding races, taking into account the contribution made by the other ethnic groups to the cultural enrichment of Canada and the measure that should be taken to safeguard that contribution’ (Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism 1967: xxi). However, these ‘other ethnic groups’ took exception to the ‘two founding races’ conceptualisation of the country13 and, in 1971, Canada adopted an official Multiculturalism Policy. Within this political and social context, immigrant and ethnic-minority writers faced a literary framework built on the 13

So, too, did Indigenous peoples, underscoring once again the unavoidable link in the Canadian context between immigrant and ethnic writers/writing and Indigenous writers/ writing.

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nationalist construct of two founding nations and a generation of Canadian critics determined to find unity between the famous ‘two solitudes’ of English and French Canada (MacLennan 1945). A substantial body of literary criticism produced during the 1970s exemplified these ‘nationalist’ periods, weaving a tapestry of themes, images, metaphors and motifs to characterise the country’s literature as Canadian and Québécois.14 This thematic and/or mythopeoic tradition (Pivato 1991) dominated literary analysis throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, canonising some writing as Canadian or Québécois literature, and marginalising other writing to minority status. The dominance of this canon contributed to a time lag between the development of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec and its recognition by the critics. As Pivato (1991: 29) observed, ‘The same nationalism that promoted the development of Canadian literature [thwarted] the development of the multicultural dimension of that literature’. Similarly, in Quebec, Mary Jean Green (2004: 13) remarked, ‘A multiethnic Quebec would not find its real place in Québécois fiction until the 1980s’. Contexts and Research after 1980 The 1980s brought a boom in immigrant and ethnic-minority writing and criticism, as official multiculturalism began to take root in the popular conception. This paralleled and was informed by an explosion of critical work in the burgeoning interdisciplinary fields of ethnic studies, women’s studies and Canadian studies. Their methodologies and investigations brought new attention to issues of immigration, multicultural policies, language, class and gender. For example, the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies published the proceedings of its 1979 conference on the subject of ethnicity and Canadian literature. Identifications: Ethnicity and the Writer in Canada (Balan 1982) was the first study of its kind, editor Jars Balan declared in the introduction to the volume. Like ethnic studies, the interdisciplinary field of women’s studies paid early attention to the work of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers. The field of comparative Canadian literature contributed early studies as well, such as E.D. Blodgett’s Configuration: Essays on the Canadian Literatures (1982) and work by critics Enoch Padolsky and Joseph Pivato. In Quebec, 1983 was a landmark year 14

Examples include D.G. Jones’s Butterfly on Rock: A Study of Themes and Images in Canadian Literatures (1970); Northrop Frye’s The Bush Garden (1971); Ronald Sutherland’s Second Image (1971); Margaret Atwood’s Survival (1972); Laurie Ricou’s Vertical Man/Horizontal World (1973); John Moss’s Patterns of Isolation in English Canadian Fiction (1974) and Sex and Violence in the Canadian Novel: The Ancestral Past (1977); and Clément Moisan’s La poésie des frontières: étude comparée des poésies canadienne et québécoise (1979).

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for the advent of serious critical attention to immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, with the publication of Gary Caldwell’s study Les études éthniques au Québec (Ethnic Studies in Quebec); the anthology of Italo-Québécois writing Quêtes (Quests), edited by Fulvio Caccia and Guernica Editions founder Antonio d’Alfonso; Régine Robin’s novel La Québécoite (The Wanderer 1989); and the cultural magazine Vice Versa. Such developments encouraged attention to immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. More traditional and discipline-based areas of study developed interest later, as the influence of interdisciplinary study spread; English literary studies, for example, rallied to attention in the 1990s with the influence of postcolonial theory. A developing Canadian discourse on race expanded the literary and critical corpus, influenced by a series of critical events15 – including the earlier mentioned ‘appropriation debates’ and the ‘Writing Thru Race’ conference in English Canada, and in Quebec the 1997 pure laine controversy, which sparked a fiery exchange about being a pure laine or Québécois de souche (a ‘dyedin-the-wool’ Quebecker having French ancestry and sovereign roots) versus being an immigrant Quebec writer.16 These events heightened social and critical awareness of racism in Canadian and Quebec society, including the arts community (Tator et al. 1998). This was an intense, emotional and divisive time of political and theoretical debate. Many immigrant and ethnic-minority as well as Indigenous writers were critical of Canada’s multiculturalism policy (e.g. Bannerji, Philip or Bissoondath) and of the use of ‘imported theory’ such as postcolonialism in the study of minority writing (e.g. Mukherjee, King or Maracle). Writing by mixed-race authors emerged to take its place on the

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For example, the 1989 Vision 21 protest at the 1989 pen conference in Toronto, which involved a public dispute between M. NourbeSe Philip and June Callwood about the representation of minority writers; the 1989 ‘Into the Heart of Africa’ exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum which, in Toronto’s Black community’s view, glorified the imperial conquest of Africa; and two American musicals – Miss Saigon and Show Boat – staged in Toronto in 1993. For analysis, see M. NourbeSe Philip (1992d) or Tator et al. (1998). The Sroka-LaRue debate, Patricia Smart explains, arose out of a short essay on Quebec literature and pluralism, L’arpenteur et le navigateur, by novelist Monique LaRue, which was harshly criticised by then-editor of La Tribune Juive Ghila Sroka, in an editorial entitled ‘De LaRue à la poubelle’. LaRue’s essay, which Smart (1997: 15) describes as ‘a call for greater openness to “the other”, i.e. the non-Québécois’, was characterised by Sroka as a ‘racist discourse [suggesting] that Quebec had produced only sublime Québecois pure laine writers and that all the others can be dismissed’ (quoted in Smart 1997: 16). Support for and criticism of both writers ensued (see also Maïr Verthuy (1998). The term Québécois de souche refers to the descendants of the first French colonists, or old-stock Quebeckers.

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l­ iterary scene in Canada, as authors such as Fred Wah, Lawrence Hill, SKY Lee and Larissa Lai explored relations with white society, as well as between immigrant and ethnic-minority Canadians, and increasingly between Canada’s immigrant and Indigenous populations. Feminist communities – in particular female authors writing as critics – played a crucial role in opening the discussion to concepts of racialised difference and anti-racism initiatives. They unpacked abstract, universal notions of identity and advanced the critical discourse of difference and specificity, beginning with gender and sexual orientation, but moving quickly on to cultural difference based on ethnic and racialised identification. A particularly striking feature of this work is how it crossed the English–French divide, as illustrated by collective publications such as La théorie, un dimanche (Bersianik et al. 1988, Theory, a Sunday 2013), Language in Her Eye: Views on Writing and Gender by Canadian Women Writing in English (Scheier et al. 1990), and Telling It: Women and Language across Cultures (Telling It Book Collective 1990), and by publishing collectives such as Tessera.17 Collections by Nicole Brossard, Margaret Atwood, Daphne Marlatt, Gail Scott, Lola Lemire Tostevin, Himani Bannerji, M. NourbeSe Philip, Lee Maracle and others were influential in deepening and nuancing the understanding of difference related to cultural background, as well as to gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnic identification and racialised difference. Feminist writers took a lead in recognising difference within difference and in advancing both the societal and the literary discussion from the discourse of immigrancy to that of racism. In Quebec, where the independence project constituted a dominant cultural context during the 1980s and 1990s, issues of identity, belonging and literary voice arose as well. A decade after the pure laine controversy, the Hérouxville affair led to divisive debates about ‘accommodation’ and to the creation of a commission to examine the issue.18 Quebec’s declining birth rates increased 17 18

See also Sounding Differences: Conversations with Seventeen Canadian Women Writers, edited by Janice Williamson (1993). Diana Brydon (2012: 253–271) offers a detailed analysis of the Hérouxville affair in her co-edited volume Crosstalk: Canadian and Global Imaginaries in Dialogue: ‘In January 2007, a small town in Quebec posted a declaration of “norms” for immigrants on the town website as its contribution to an ongoing controversy in the province regarding the accommodation of religious and cultural minorities. This act became a media event’ (2012: 253) and led to the creation of the Commission de Consultation sur les Pratiques de l’Accommodement Reliées aux Différences Culturelles/Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences. Chaired by Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor, it resulted in the report Building the Future: A Time for Reconciliation (2008).

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the importance of immigration, and the presence of new cultures intensified efforts to conceptualise a changing Québécois society. In addition to policy initiatives and studies, ranging from economic and social development through to cultural, language and immigration policies, the people of Quebec saw the successful development of a mainstream separatist political party that initiated two referenda on Quebec sovereignty (1980 and 1995). This intense nationalist period in Quebec featured an outpouring of both mainstream and ­minority culture and writing that undertook to define a modern and independent Quebec. Critics and artists charted the changing nature of Québécois society, its deepening diversity and the separation – if not dissolution – of the dominant discourses of identity and nation. These modifications were mirrored in Quebec literature, which shifted to include the work of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers such as Dany Laferrière, Ying Chen, Sergio Kokis, ­Nadine Ltaif and Abla Farhoud. Ultimately, Québécois literary critics and writers alike came to identify a minority or ‘migrant’ character of writing as integral to Quebec culture in general and to Québécois literature in particular. In English Canada, works by Joy Kogawa, Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry and Dionne Brand, among others, were similarly gathered under the single umbrella of Canadian literature.

Bibliographies and Anthologies

Anthologies and bibliographies played an important role in the development and dissemination of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec. During the 1990s in particular, publications featuring Canada’s ‘other’ literatures were so numerous that it is impossible to address them individually here. Special note might be made of a few examples, however, such as John Miska’s Ethnic and Native Canadian Literature: A Bibliography (1990) or Linda Hutcheon and Marion Richmond’s anthology, Other Solitudes: Canadian Multicultural Fictions (1990), both published at the outset of the decade. As the title of Miska’s bibliography indicates, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing is consistently considered in relation to work by the country’s Indigenous writers and, as the anthology by Hutcheon and Richmond also indicates, it is understood to encompass writing by immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike. The eighteen writers presented in Other Solitudes include both immigrant writers (Josef Skvorecky, Austin Clarke, Himani Bannerji, Michael Ondaatje, Marilu Mallet, Frank Paci, Rohinton Mistry, Dionne Brand, Neil Bissoondath and Yeshim Ternar) and writers born in Canada (Mordecai Richler, Rudy Wiebe, Joy Kogawa, Katherine Vlassie, W.D. Valgardson, Matt Cohen,

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J­anice Kulyk Keefer and Paul Yee). This 1990 anthology was instrumental in bringing immigrant and ethnic-minority writing into classrooms across Canada by providing easy access to a sample of work by, and a short interview with, each of the writers included in the anthology. Other anthologies and publications in English Canada continued this work throughout the decade and into the new millennium. Some focused on writers from Canada’s Asian and Black communities: Shakti’s Words: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women’s Poetry (McGifford and Kearns 1990); Many-Mouthed Birds: Contemporary Writing by Chinese Canadians (Lee and Wong-Chu 1991); Fire on the Water: An Anthology of Black Nova Scotian Writing (Clarke 1991–1992); The Other Woman: Women of Colour in Contemporary Canadian Literature (Silvera 1995); Beyond Silence: Chinese Canadian Literature in English (Chao 1997); and Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Chinese Fiction (Chao and Wong-Chu 2003). Others, such as anthologies by Smaro Kamboureli (1996, 2007a) and Eva C. Karpinski, gathered minority writers from a variety of different backgrounds. The subtitle of Karpinski’s Pens of Many Colours: A Canadian Reader (1997, 2002) captured the view that immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada is simply Canadian writing: In putting together this collection, we recognized a growing need among the reading audience to explore the areas outside of what used to be called the literary mainstream. The 1980s and 1990s have seriously put into question the centrality of culture that has been mostly white, European based and male dominated. The so-far marginalized or silenced groups of women, minority, Native, or ethnic writers have become visible and active participants in a dialogue for a pluralistic society. Of primary importance in the process of revising cultural assumptions and traditional literary canons is the increasingly multi-ethnic and multicultural make-up of Canadian society … Thus the major goal of our multicultural reader is to give a realistic account of the presence of women and men of Native and immigrant stock in our society and to celebrate their contributions to Canadian life and letters. karpinski and lea 1993: v

Kamboureli echoed this view in her introduction to the first edition of Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature (1996): ‘Canadian ­Multicultural Literature. In some respects, one word too many. For Canadian literature is, should be thought of, as reflecting the multicultural make-up of the country’ (1996: 1). Acknowledging ‘that inclusion is synonymous with ­exclusion’ (1996: 2), Kamboureli outlined the factors that guided her selection of authors,

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­beginning with a challenge to the concept of minority writing itself. Contributors to Making a Difference, Kamboureli explained, represent ‘a counter reading of what we have come to call mainstream and minority literature in ­Canada’ (1996: 3). Arguing that minority literature is ‘a construct, an expression of the power and literary politics of any given time’ (1996: 3), she asserted that Multicultural literature is not minority writing, for it does not raise issues that are of minor interest to Canadians. Nor is it, by any standard, of lesser quality than the established literary tradition. Its thematic concerns are of such a diverse range that they show the binary structure of ‘centre’ and ‘margins’, which has for so long informed discussions of Canadian literature, to be a paradigm of the history of political and cultural affairs in Canada kamboureli 1996: 3

Making a Difference includes established and emerging authors, recent immigrant writers, writers who arrived in previous generations and writers who have always been in Canada – Indigenous writers. A decade later, Kamboureli reaffirmed this approach in a second edition (2007a), its slightly modified subtitle – Canadian Multicultural Literature in English – signalling its recognition of a different literary story in French-speaking Quebec. In Quebec, the production of anthologies was less common, but studies by a number of noted Québécois critics drew attention to the contributions of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in the development of Québécois literature. Examples include L’écologie du réel: mort et naissance de la littérature Québécoise contemporaine (Nepveu 1988, The Ecology of Reality: Death and Birth in Contemporary Quebec Literature), Le voleur de parcours: identité et cosmopolitisme dans la littérature québécoise contemporaine (Harel 1989, Identity and Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Quebec Literature) and L’étranger dans tous ses états: enjeux culturels et littéraires (Harel 1992, Cultural and Literary Stakes), Multi-culture, multi-écriture: la voix migrante au féminin en France et au Canada (Lequin and Verthuy 1996, Multiple Cultures, Multiple Writings : Migrant Women’s Voice in France and in Canada), Romanciers immigrés: biographies et œuvres publiées au Québec entre 1970 et 1990 (Helly and Vassal 1993, Immigrant Novelists: Biographies and Published Works in Quebec Between 1970 and 1990), and Le trafic des langues (Simon 1994, Languages in Transit) and Hybridité culturelle (Simon 1999, Hybrid Culture). In Quebec and English Canada alike, studies and anthologies of minority writing have typically included crucial bibliographic information. George ­Elliott Clarke’s Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature (2002a),

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for example, presents a hefty ‘Africana Canadiana: a select bibliography of literature by African-Canadian authors, 1985–2001, in English, French and Translation’ (Clarke 2002b). Anthologies and collections of essays on Canada’s and Quebec’s immigrant and ethnic-minority literatures have thus served in a twofold capacity. On the one hand, they have established a community of scholars and theorists to study and debate these literatures. On the other hand, together these publications introduced many new writers and literary works to a wider critical and public audience, demonstrating the scale and variety of Canadian and Québécois minority writing.

Approaches and Interpretations

New concepts, theories and approaches in literary criticism grew out of the intense social and intellectual changes of the decades since 1980. These changes included ongoing modifications to the country’s immigration and multicultural policies and resulting demographic shifts, the evolution of political and social movements nationally and internationally, and the rise of such cultural movements and critical theories as feminism, anti-racism, postcolonialism, transculturalism, transnationalism and globalisation. The earliest critical approaches to immigrant and ethnic-minority literature focused on identifying the literatures of specific minorities: Jars Balan’s Identifications: Ethnicity and the Writer in Canada (1982), mentioned above, addressed such topics as ‘Ukrainian emigré literature in Canada’, ‘Icelandic Canadian literature’, and ‘Canadian Yiddish writers’. Italo-Québécois playwrights, poets, novelists, essayists and critics like Marco Micone, Fulvio Caccia, Lamberto Tassinari, Antonio d’Alfonso, Tiziana Beccarelli Saad and Bianca Zagolin examined issues of Italian ethnicity in the development of twentieth-century Quebec culture. Critic Simon Harel has examined the importance of the work of this group which, he argues, has traced ‘a unique trajectory’: It was necessary for young Italo-Québécois intellectuals to speak out at the beginning of the 1980s to show the limits of the concept of ethnicity in Québécois social discourse. It was necessary for them to demonstrate that all forms of belonging based on ethnicity are an illusion in order to finally change the implicit criteria underlying Quebec’s national and identitarian discourse. HAREL 2004: 237

This period of change created new opportunities for minority writing to flourish and for new approaches to and interpretations of it to develop. The scope

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and diversity of the approaches and interpretations were as varied and dynamic as the writing to which they were applied. Ranging from comparative literary and ethnic studies, to feminist, anti-racist and postcolonial theories, transculturalism and globalism and, more recently, Indigenous studies, these approaches unfurled in overlapping waves through the 1980s and 1990s into the first decade of the twenty-first century. Beyond the sheer quantity of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing after 1980, critics grappled with questions of terminology and conceptualisation, and with the concern to avoid any ‘onesize-fits-all’ theoretical frameworks that flattened out and overlooked individuality, particularity and specific national circumstances. Ethnicity and Hyphenated Canadians: Comparative Approaches At the outset of the 1980s, a comparative literature approach was critical in providing an early avenue for the study of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. In encouraging the recognition of an international framework for analysis and reflection, it helped to open the doors to minority writers in a way that earlier approaches, which had often positioned immigrant and ethnicminority writers as marginal or regional figures against dominant anglophone or francophone cultures, did not. Early 1980s’ publications such as Blodgett’s Configuration: Essays on the Canadian Literatures (1982) or Caldwell’s Les études éthniques au Québec: bilan et perspectives (1983, Ethnic Studies in Quebec: Assessment and Perspectives) set the stage for a decade of critical work. Blodgett’s attention to the subject of ethnicity and to non-anglophone and non-francophone writing was a new perspective in Canadian literature at the time, and broadened its scope. Joseph Pivato (1991: 18)19 described Configuration as ‘a model and a guide for future studies of Canadian writing from both majority and minority cultures’. In his chapter on ethnicity in prairie writing, Blodgett analysed Vera Lysenko’s Yellow Boots (1954) alongside Gabrielle Roy’s La Route d’Altamont (1966, The Road Past Altamont 1966) and Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God (1966). In Laurence’s novel, Blodgett argued, Nick’s abandonment of Rachel justifies her parents’ rejection of him as Ukrainian and therefore ‘other’. In contrast, Blodgett read the rebellion of Lilli, the adolescent daughter of Lysenko’s Ukrainian immigrant farmer family, as the beginnings of

19

While Pivato declares Blodgett’s (1982) book to be the first serious critical study of ethnic writing’s contribution to Canadian literature, he also mentions Watson Kirkconnell’s edited collection of ‘ethnic poetry’, Canadian Overtones: An Anthology of Canadian poetry written originally in Icelandic, Swedish, Hungarian, Italian, Greek and Ukrainian (Columbia Press, 1935) and J. Michael Yates and Charles Lillard’s Volvox: Poetry from the Unofficial Languages of Canada in English Translation (Sono Nix Press, 1971).

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the transformation of the immigrant subject and of Canada itself. In rejecting a traditionally arranged marriage to become a singer in the city, Blodgett (1982: 91–95) suggested, Lilli draws upon her ethnic folklore roots to make a new life, but also to make her heritage and immigrant voice heard. For Blodgett, tension or opposition between immigrant and Canadian cultures ultimately transforms into exchange. Blodgett proposed the notion of ‘exchange’ as ethnic writing’s contribution to dominant culture: the process of adaptation to a new country requires what Blodgett termed a ‘dialectical operation’ – ‘a transformation of the semantic or, in fact ideological code’ (1982: 106). Blodgett compared work by Grove and Hugh MacLennan, Anne Hébert and Alice Munro, Sinclair Ross, Rudy Wiebe and Robert Kroetsch, and others, and declared them all to be Canadian literature. Under the terms of the 1973 Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, Blodgett maintained, everyone in Canada is ethnic, though some, he noted ‘are more dominant in their ethnic character than others’ (1982: 86). Blodgett’s reconfiguration of English-Canadian and Québécois literatures through the lens of comparative analysis played an early role in bringing immigrant and ethnic writing into critical view. Building on the comparative study of minority writing, Enoch Padolsky (1991) called for a pluralistic, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to Canadian and Québécois literary studies and argued for the need to distinguish between ‘ethnic majority’ and ‘ethnic minority’ as a more meaningful approach to the historical, cultural and social realities of Canadian experience. The distinction between ethnic-minority and ethnic-majority identities made it possible to read canonical English-Canadian writers such as Margaret Laurence, W.O. Mitchell, Robertson Davis, Alice Munro, Timothy Findley and Margaret Atwood as ethnic writers of British-Canadian fiction, and to interpret their ‘fixation with roots and “Canadian” identity’ as an ‘ethnic identity crisis’ in a period of increased non-European immigration that threatened Anglo-Celt cultural dominance. This kind of pluralist distinction between ethnicities also provided a framework for reading English-language literature of Quebec – hitherto marginalised by Quebec’s focus on its francophone identity – as an ethnic literature that is part of Quebec literature and culture (Padolsky 1991: 120). Reading the literary canon as a negotiation between multiple (majority and minority) ethnicities not only decentres dominant voices, Padolsky observed, but also provides a critical framework for reading work by immigrant and ­ethnic-minority writers that is set in other countries and their histories (Rohinton Mistry – born in the Parsi community of Mumbai, India in 1952 and an immigrant to Canada in 1975 – or Austin Clarke – born in Barbados in 1934 and an immigrant to Canada in 1955), embraced within other literary traditions

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and written in other languages: ‘a serious pluralism’ Padolsky argued, could engage with the ‘very clear Canadian perspective’ (1991: 123) in such works. Thus Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey (1991), about a small Parsi (religious minority) community in Bombay in the early 1970s, may be considered entirely relevant to Canadian culture and readers, owing to its concern with minority survival in the context of cultural dominance in a period of heightened nationalism. A pluralistic approach, Padolsky proposed, encourages ‘new kinds of analyses and some very suggestive cross-cultural ­comparisons. In its multidisciplinary aspects, it offers a strengthened connection to work being done in other areas of Canadian studies. Finally, it is simply more complete, offering a more comprehensive view of how the diversity and complexity of Canadian society and culture are reflected in Canadian literature’ (1991: 125). Comparative and pluralist approaches also involved a greater number of theories, concepts, categories and languages in an increasingly complex critical environment. Deliberations about hyphenation and ‘the hyphenated Canadian’ (e.g. Ukrainian-Canadian, Italian-Canadian, German-Canadian etc.) informed much of the early 1980s’ discussions, conferences and publications about minority writing. The ‘hyphenation debates’ questioned the early ­tendency to simplify complexity; hyphens could hide socially sensitive and politically exclusionary experiences and consequences for many minority ­Canadians. Hyphenated labelling also seemed to acknowledge difference while essentialising it. In reality, cultural groups are internally very diverse, both in terms of the specific cultural backgrounds and perspectives of their ‘members’ and in terms of literary style. In Quebec, Simon Harel (2004: 228) described the works of Italo-Québécois writers Marco Micone and Antonio d’Alfonso as ‘worlds apart’. Numerous writers themselves pointed out that, while they might be considered to be part of a group, they were not its representative. This stance was made forcefully clear by Ukrainian background writer and critic Janice Kulyk Keefer: I’m uncomfortable with the universalizing ring ‘the immigrant experience’ conveys, as if there were only one kind of immigrant, one narrative of experience to be told. And yet I’m also aware that I’m speaking of these matters from a point of view very different from, for example, those pertaining to a NourbeSe Philip or Fred Wah. I also know that I can’t claim to speak for European immigrants or even Eastern-European immigrants to Canada – nor can I attempt to present ‘the Ukrainian-­Canadian’ point of view, since I situate myself on the margins of my highly fractured e­ thno-social group … Thus, I speak for myself … When I speak of

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i­mmigrants in general it is with the consciousness that much of what I say might be found contentious or even alien (1998: 97–98). Kulyk Keefer is firm about the limits of generalisations even for ‘practical’ critical purposes. The lasting impact of the way hyphenation was read by both writers and critics as implying a kind of Canadian who was not quite Canadian, qualified by the hyphenated modifier, is summed up in an observation by critic Chelva Kanaganayakam (2005: 162): ‘The term “hyphenated-Canadians” sometimes gets used as a way of circumventing the issue of cultural identity, although writers continue to resist such labels that are ostensibly inclusive but in fact tend to marginalize’. The contingent nature of the concepts of ethnicity and majority/minority, as Padolsky (1991: 124) had observed, gave added importance to a pluralistic, comparative approach to Canadian literature, in particular to its potential for analysis of work by Canadian feminist writers. Indeed, the development of feminist critical discourse together with anti-racist analysis offered new approaches to the discussion of immigrant and ethnicminority writing in Canada and Quebec. The Racialisation of Difference: Feminist and Anti-Racist Theory As the discussion of the ‘Writing Thru Race’ conference above indicates, in the Canadian literary tradition it is often writers themselves who drive the development of theory and criticism. In ‘The birth and rebirth of Africadian literature’, poet and critic George Elliott Clarke (2002a: 119) traces the evolution of an African-Canadian tradition from its immigrant origins to its renaissance in the 1970s: ‘Africadian Renaissance literature is, to large extent, the disavowal of a perilous marginality as an English literature formed in the crucible of colonialism and slavery’. Robert Budde notes that non-fiction work by writers Roy Miki, Wah and NourbeSe Philip established ‘a new tradition of race theory in Canada’ (2003: 289). Attention to race discourse in Canadian literature and culture is equally rooted in the activism and cultural critique of Indigenous writers and intellectuals. At the beginning, however, it was feminist writing during the 1990s that brought attention to bear on the representation of gender and sexuality and on the racialisation of difference in work by immigrant and non-immigrant alike. In ground-breaking collections of essays such as Language in Her Eye: Views on Writing and Gender by Canadian Women Writing in English (Scheier et al. 1990), women writers from various backgrounds wrote not only about the difficulty of expressing female experience in a patriarchal culture and language but also, for many, about the painful difficulty of doing so from o­ utside the ­dominant Canadian cultural assumptions of, in Indian writer Himani

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­ annerji’s words, ‘trying to capture alive, and instead finding yourself caught B up in a massive translation project of experiences, languages, cultures, accents, and nuances’ (Bannerji 1990: 30). Dionne Brandt (1990a: 53) commented: ‘There is never room, though there is always risk, but there is never the room that white writers have in never speaking for their whole race, yet speaking in the most secret and cowardly language of normalcy and affirmation’. Theorising the intersecting space of race and gender in such collections as Language in Her Eye (Scheier et al. 1990), La théorie, un dimanche (Bersianik 1988) or Telling It: Women and Language across Cultures (Telling It Book Collective 1990) had powerful ramifications for criticism. In her introduction to the anthology Making a Difference (1996: 15), Smaro Kamboureli observed that ‘questions of how gender is constructed, how the representation of gender impinges upon desire and sexuality, how who we are as men or women relates to where we come from are addressed in various ways by such authors as Claire Harris, Mary di Michele, Di Brand, Yeshim Ternar, Sandra Birdsell, M.G. Vassanji, Ian Iqbal Rashid, Ven Begamudré and Shyam Selvadurai’. Thus, for example, Katherine Bell (2012: 256) argued that Shyam Selvadurai’s novel Funny Boy (1994) dramatises the protagonist’s ‘difference’ as a young Tamil immigrant in Canada and as a gay man within his immediate Tamil and wider Canadian communities alike. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1965, Selvadurai came to Canada with his family in 1984 and followed up his award-winning Funny Boy with two novels set in Sri Lanka, Cinnamon Gardens (1998) and Swimming in the Monsoon Sea (2005), and an anthology of short fiction by South Asian writers, Story-Wallah! (2004). Like the exploration of cultural and sexual identity and belonging in Selvadurai’s writing, in Dionne Brand’s novels (In Another Place, Not Here 1996; At the Full and Change of the Moon 1999; What We All Long For 2005), the characters’ marginalisation stems as much from their identification as ‘women of colour’ as from being lesbian in a dominantly heterosexual society. In work by these and numerous other minority writers, issues of immigrant and ethnic-minority experience and identity intersect with those of gender and sexuality. Feminist and anti-racist theory debated concepts of immigrant and ethnicminority writing in terms of visible and invisible ethnic-minority writing, and then further still as racial-minority or racialised writing. Terms such as marginalised or minoritised writing circulated as well. In Quebec, debate revolved around an equally complex set of possibilities: écriture (writing) pluriethnique, ímmigrante, minoritaire, mineure, transculturelle, métisse, migrante (Simon and Leahy 1994: 388); écriture néo-québécoise; écriture nomade (Gauvin 2000); writing of ‘transculture’, of ‘multicultures’, of ‘mélange de cultures’, or ‘production littéraire des auteur-e-s migrant-e-s’ (Lequin 1998: 37–46). Of these d­ ifferent

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phrases, écriture migrante – evoking issues of exile and othering while circumventing categorisation by ethnic origin – has had the most staying power in Quebec. Its translation – ‘migrant writing’ – has not had similar success in ­English Canada, where the concept of diasporic writing emerged to usage in the new millennium. The combination of feminist and anti-racist theory in the 1990s characterised some of the most compelling work on Canadian and Québécois minority writing during the decade, drawing special attention to the writing of women of Caribbean and Asian background. Poet and novelist M. NourbeSe Philip (1992a: 264), in an essay entitled ‘Conversations across borders’, reflects on her responsibility as a Black writer to depict in her work the cultural practice of African, Asian and Native artists in Canada: ‘Artists from these communities have been engaged in a protracted struggle to resist appropriation of their cultures, to eradicate racism in funding and cultural practices such as book publishing and curating, and to develop strategies that ensure cultural institutions treat them and their work with respect’. Articulating a ‘culture of resistance’, Himani Bannerji (2000: 5) asserted that ‘antiracist and feminist class politics must be its articulating basis. It is this which would prevent […] falling prey to colonial, racist discourse’. In essays such as ‘On the dark side of the nation: politics of multiculturalism and the state of Canada’, Bannerji investigated literary and political-theoretical formulations of the ‘two-nation’, ‘two solitudes’ concept of Canada, and delivered a sustained critique of the capacity for racism embedded in multiculturalism’s construction of visible minorities. Theories of writing by Philip, Bannerji, Brand and others informed the work of a generation of critics re-reading the canonical texts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as the contemporary literature of immigrant and visible-minority writers, both in the context of individual immigrant and ­ethnic-minority traditions and in studies situating this work within the postcolonial, diasporic, transcultural and transnational approaches discussed below. These writers were instrumental in assuring approaches to minority w ­ riting that were not blind to the part played by gender and sexuality in Canada’s minority literature. Postcolonial/Transcultural/Transnational/Global-ISMS From the context of feminist and anti-racist theory, discussion of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec evolved toward an increasingly international and global terrain and discourse, mirroring political, economic and social developments in world politics, economies and cultures. This theoretical and conceptual discussion was informed by theories of postcolonialism, transculturalism, transnationalism and globalism.

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The Plurality of the Postcolonial Experience in Canada Canadian and Québécois literary and cultural critics have not been immune to the enormous influence of postcolonial theory. Concepts of the subaltern, the uncanny, the unhomely, the haunted, the liminal, the spectral, ambivalence and hybridity brought new attention to immigrant and ethnic-­minority writing, as English department circles and their venues became animated by postcolonial theory in the 1990s.20 The decade saw an avalanche of writing on p ­ ostcolonialism and Canadian literature, including important edited collections by Laura Moss (Is Canada Postcolonial? Unsettling Canadian Literature 2003) and Cynthia Sugars (Home-Work: Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and C ­ anadian Literature 2004a; Unhomely States: Theorizing English-Canadian Postcolonialism 2004b) as well as individual work by critics such as Stephen Slemon (2000), Diana Brydon (1995; 2003) and Sneja Gunew (2004). Exploring Canada’s literary landscape through the lenses of postcolonial theories, these critics addressed a vast array of Canadian writing. Postcolonial reading of ­Canadian literature, Laura Moss explained in the introduction to her (2003) volume, highlights immigrant workers’ stories in Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion (1987) and diasporic migration in Anil’s Ghost (2000); the local and postnational in Larissa Lai’s When Fox Is a Thousand (1995) and SKY Lee’s Disappearing Moon Café (1993); hybridity in Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill (2006); immigrant endurance in Kristjana Gunnars’ The Prowler (1989); border-crossing in Janette Turner Hospital’s Borderline (1985) and Thomas King’s Truth and Bright Water (1999); the legacy of residential schools in Tomson Highway’s The Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998); governmental hypocrisy and displacement of the local Black population in George Boyd’s ‘Unconsecrated ground’ (1992) and Consectrated Ground (1999); the assertion of longstanding Black presence in Canada in George Elliott Clarke’s Execution Poems (2001), and so on. To read postcolonially, Moss asserted, is to read Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night [1996], Shauna Singh Baldwin’s What the Body Remembers [1999] and Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance 20

English departments were slow to take up the study of minority writing. Arun Mukherjee (1994: 38), for instance, remarked that ‘If one looks at the 1984 accute [Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English] conference program, one gets the impression that the only officially sanctioned valid response to literary works is structuralist-formalist’. Chelva Kanaganayakam pointed out that ‘postcolonial studies is a fallout from Empire and that English departments tend to be custodians of post-colonial literature’ (2004: 730); he wondered if practitioners of postcolonial studies ‘may be guilty of recolonizing the field’ (2004: 728).

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[1995] as Canadian literature even though Canada is only mentioned in passing in Mootoo’s novel, and is not at all in Baldwin’s novel or in Mistry’s. To paraphrase In the Skin of a Lion’s epigraph from John Berger, to read Canadian literature postcolonially is to accept that never again shall a single story be told as though it were the only one. moss 2003: 6–7

In his contribution to the collection, Robert Budde (2003) explores how poet NourbeSe Philip, in her poem ‘Discourse on the logic of language’ (Philip 1988), pushes the language of the slave trade to the margins of the page, juxtaposing regulations for slave behaviour (silence) and fragments of language theory with a birth narrative and poetry exploring a stuttering slippage between ‘language’ and ‘anguish’; the texts run at different angles and thus decentre dominant structures of meaning at the same time as the poem makes visible the clash of meaning and fragmentation associated with colonialism and the slave trade. Writers like NourbeSe Philip, Wah and Miki, Budde argues, do not simply write against the Canadian literary tradition; in the twenty-first century, they are the Canadian literary tradition. For Cynthia Sugars, the postcolonial is ‘anything but “post”’ (2004b: xx); Indigenous writers and critics have made crucial interventions in the field (2004b: xxi); critical attention has shifted from ethnicity to the politics of race (2004b: xxii); and, as a pedagogical tool, postcolonial theory and literary analysis facilitate ‘a much-needed link between the realms of aesthetics and social practice’ (2004b: xxiii). Such theorising enriched critical work on immigrant and ethnic-­minority writing, as well as the writing itself. In Robert Fraser’s (2001) postcolonial analysis of Ondaatje’s (1987) In the Skin of a Lion, the imperial civic vision of ­Commissioner Rowland Harris ‘dreaming up an Augustinian ‘“ideal city” … monumental and dynamic’ (2001: 232) with the construction of the Bloor Street Viaduct and the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, is undercut by the novel’s focus on the immigrant workers who build the city of Toronto and the oppressive and violently destructive conditions under which they labour. When Canadian-born Patrick comes to 1920s Toronto from the northern bush, he arrives like an immigrant himself, having to learn new skills in an alien place, unable to speak the languages of the immigrants he lives among (Fraser 2001). This reversal of the immigration experience assimilates Patrick into the immigrant workers’ resistance to the forces of nationalist capitalism, their fight for social justice informing his own. Not all minority writers or critics in Canada and Quebec considered postcolonial theory to be a particularly appropriate approach to their work. ­Indigenous

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writers – Thomas King in ‘Godzilla vs post-colonial’ (1997) and Lee Maracle in ‘The “post-colonial” imagination’ (2004) – challenged p ­ ostcolonial readings, stating that the literary context in which their work was being read was still very colonial. The assertion resonated for many in immigrant and ­ethnic-minority communities. Critic Chelva Kanaganayakam cautioned against the unifying underpinnings of postcolonial readings of Canadian literature: If we were to agree on the notion that Canada is postcolonial in the same way that, say, India or Nigeria is, then it is possible to claim that resistance to colonial hegemony not only unites Canadian literatures with other postcolonial literatures, but also establishes a grid for accommodating all immigrant literatures within a Canadian umbrella. Kanaganayakam 2005: 167

Moreover, Kanaganayakam noted, a corollary of this line of thinking would be that Canadian writing has been always concerned with interrogating the complex issue of identity (2005: 167). Such assumptions would be dangerously reductive. While important in generating new perspectives, then, postcolonial theory was not without its critics. For Diana Brydon (2004: 694), postcolonialism’s entry into the academy was ‘additive rather than transformational’ while for George Elliott Clarke (2005: 57), ‘A mere theory of postcoloniality – without a theory of neoimperialism – becomes an abject helpmate of globalization’. Other critics worried about the potential for flattening or universalising a terrain that was neither level nor undifferentiated. Postcolonialism’s concept of hybridity was perhaps too binary for the complexities of Canadian minority reality, Donna Bennett (2005) suggested, citing work by authors such as SKY Lee, Michael Ondaatje and Fred Wah. Wah’s (1996) semi-fictional biography Diamond Grill, for instance, challenges simplistic notions of racial and ethnic identity through the narrator’s ancestry, which includes a Chinese immigrant grandfather, a Scottish immigrant grandmother, their son (Wah’s Canadian-born father) and Wah’s own Swedish immigrant mother, combined with childhood in twentiethcentury Saskatchewan. The book’s form, 132 short pieces that merge fiction and fact, reflection and description, memoir and polemic, resists formal categories just as it resists official multiculturalism’s simplistic categories of identity. For the growing complexity of Canadian and Québécois minority writing, transculturalism – a ‘fluid transformative process in which people no longer perceive themselves under one single culture’ (Benessaieh 2010: 25) – together with transnationalism, offered new critical and conceptual potential.

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Reinventing Identities beyond Binary Structures: Transculturalism, Transnationalism In their introduction to Canadian Cultural Exchange/Echanges culturels au Canada: Translation and Transculturation/Traduction et transculturation (2007), editors Norman Cheadle and Lucien Pelletier explain their preference for a transcultural approach to literary analysis: Rather than focus exclusively on the twin positions of bad conscience and victimhood that tend to fuel postcolonialist discourse [...], we have opted for Fernando Ortiz’s notion of transculturation, the turbulent and unpredictable process resulting from the interaction among cultures in contact and which potentiates, in spite of unequal power relations, the emergence of new cultural forms.21 Cheadle and Pelletier (2007: xi)

Transcultural theory was of special interest in Quebec, where postcolonial theory competed with a critical preference for re-reading – ‘lire autrement’ (Simon and Leahy 1994: 392) – minority writing and Quebec literature in general. Fulvio Cacci and other writers associated with the cultural criticism magazine Vice Versa saw transculturalism as a way to understand, navigate and ultimately connect an immigrant population with a population that was already in place. Such a process could avoid dualist notions of identity and otherness and help to ‘combat the discourse that linked language, the sense of belonging to an ethnic group, and community (Harel 2004: 232, 237). The critical thrust towards a convergence of writing from the communautés culturelles (e.g. minority communities) with ‘traditional’ Quebec literature was in keeping with the emerging vision of Quebec as a place of intercultural relations, or what Pierre Nepveu referred to as ‘québécité [‘Quebeckness’] elle-même transculturelle’ (Nepveu 1998: 27).22 Critics like Nepveu (L’écologie du réel 1988) and Simon Harel (Le Voleur de parcours 1989) conceptualised écriture migrante in 21

22

Transculturation, too, Cheadle and Pelletier (2007: xi) acknowledge, ‘has come to be a contested term. It has been denounced in terms similar to those used against official multiculturalism – i.e., as an ideologeme that ultimately serves a hegemonic power. However, the similar term ‘transculturalism’ … is now common currency among scholars in Quebec’. See the Spring 2003 issue of ijcs: Transculturalism/Les transferts culturels (Schwartzwald 2003) and Canada in the Sign of Migration and Transculturalism (Ertler and Löschnigg 2004). As Lucie Lequin (1998), Maïr Verthuy (1998), and Christl Verduyn (1998) demonstrate, many ethnic-minority writers in Quebec expressed a sense of marginalisation during the 1980s (see also Armony 2007: 255).

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affiliation with the central tradition of Quebec writing whereby ethnicity and alterity are perceived as historically integral to one another. For many critics and writers in Quebec, then, transculturalism offered the opportunity to reinvent identity – both individual and collective – beyond over-simplified and exclusionary binary structures. Transculturalism, Harel (2004: 237) observed, ‘became a way of breaking down the unspoken colonial tenets of contemporary Quebec’. As a concept and theoretical framework, transculturalism offered a productive approach to the study of minority writing. Like postcolonialism, however, transculturalism has not been without its critics. Cheadle and Pelletier (2007) sound the same note of concern about transculturalism that Donna Bennett (2005) expressed about postcolonialism: crucial specificities of difference could be lost in tendencies toward generalisation or abstraction. Transculturalism, Pelletier (2007: 366) insists, is neither an abstract nor a corrective to multiculturalism or to attitudes of tolerance that suppress and do not address cultural differences, contradictions and particularities. These must be allowed to exist and flourish.23 Thus, Carol Stos (2007) examines the small but significant differences embodied in the Spanish and English versions of Chilean immigrant Carmen Rodriguez’s collection of stories of exile And a Body to Remember With (1997). Rodriguez fled Chile after the 1973 coup, and her book, Stos (2007: 149) argues, ‘[by] using the memories of resistance from within the experiences of exile and immigration, urges the Chilean reader to participate in the politic act of not-forgetting’. Rodriguez’s ‘bilingual, bicultural creation’, Stos (2007: 143) proposes, ‘creates a bridge between the two countries and two cultures’ but, as the English and Spanish texts are not entirely the same, the book implies that ‘the same protagonists may cross that bridge, [but] their experiences and their stories cannot be said to be perceived in precisely the same manner on both sides’. The dissociation and estrangement of exile are thus enacted as an irresolvable but productive space of memory and difference between two texts. As an approach, transculturation envisions the expression of difference within a process of cultural exchange that leads to the creation of new cultural expression. 23

Pelletier (2007: 372) introduces a philosophical perspective on transculturalism by discussing its potential for new cultural truths or authenticity (le vrai). He also suggests, as possible alternatives to transculturalism, Jocelyn Létourneau’s (2003) notion of actualisation culturelle (cultural actualisation), as well as François Paré’s (1992) theory of a writing of exiguité (exiguity). The latter explored the material and psychological conditions facing minority writing such as Acadian writing (the writing of French-speaking Canadians in Eastern Canada).

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Mainstreaming Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing: Globalism In the evolving contexts of globalisation that dominated mainstream and intellectual debates at the end of the twentieth century, critical thinkers in other disciplines – political science, economics and sociology, for example – ­developed tools, concepts and approaches that resonated with new global realities. These included issues of citizenship, diasporic experience and identity, economic disparities, justice and the global environment. In this social and intellectual context, globalism emerged as yet another framework for analysing immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec. In Crosstalk: Canadian and Global Imaginaries in Dialogue, Diana Brydon and Marta Dvorak (2012: 10) address Canadian literature and culture from a global perspective, exploring ‘what it means for Canadian literature (and to a lesser extent, culture) to re-envision its participation within a field of transnational production, circulation, and reception: a field where the Canadian may not disappear but may well become destabilized and rearticulated’. Recalling postcolonial critic Debjani Ganguly (2008: 119), Brydon and Dvorak (2012: 9) suggest that ‘the new century has heralded “globalism” as the state-of-the-art literary paradigm’. Ganguly explains literary globalism as a field of transnational production, circulation and reception of literary texts in a world radically transformed by a high-velocity interconnectivity [and] as a discipline that demands new theoretical and methodological approaches that go beyond the Eurocentric underpinnings of the comparative literature discipline and the Nation/Empire literary studies models of the last century. 2008: 119

Both Brydon and Smaro Kamboureli chart current transformations of Canadian literature and literary criticism in English Canada. Brydon’s research into globalisation and literary and cultural studies explores the new meanings of home, belonging, cultural identity and literary studies. Canadians increasingly accept the idea that there is more than one nation in Canada, Brydon asserts Quebec has officially been recognized as a distinct society. First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and non-status natives are increasingly visible as important communities with their own distinctive relationships to the Canadian state and the international community. As dual citizenships proliferate, some former immigrant communities are reimagining themselves within diasporic structures of imagination. Brydon and Dvorak 2012: 4–5

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Kamboureli’s TransCanada project is a rethinking of Canadian literary studies within broader contexts, including ‘globalizing processes and critical methodologies ... [and] institutional structures such as the Humanities, the cultural industries, curricula and anthologies’ (Kamboureli 2007b: xii–xiii). The project has involved conferences, workshops, seminars and ­publications such as the co-edited collections Trans.Can.Lit: Resituating the Study of Canadian Literature (Kamboureli and Miki 2007) and Shifting the Ground of Canadian Literary Studies (Kamboureli and Zacharias 2012). The groundwork for these and other publications was laid in the two editions of Kamboureli’s anthology Making a Difference (1996; 2007a) and in her study Scandalous Bodies: Diasporic Literature in English Canada (2000). In close readings of Frederick Philip Grove’s 1925 novel Settlers of the Marsh and Joy Kogawa’s 1981 Obasan, Kamboureli conducts her analysis at the intersection of diaspora and ethnicity. She observes that Swedish immigrant Niels Lindstedt in Grove’s novel does not struggle with ethnicity-related issues of belonging, but rather appears as a kind of universal hard-working settler subject for whom Canada offers opportunities unavailable in Europe. At the same time, she suggests, Niels sees himself as belonging to ‘a special race’ (2000: 50) recruited out of the ‘wastage’ (2000: 50) of other nations. Kamboureli links that representation to the author’s own sense of an identity constituted by ‘diasporic displacement’ (exile from Europe) but also by a sense of being something greater than European, a ‘kind of global consciousness’ (2000: 53) that means that Niels manifests not the nostalgia of exile, but excessive desire for land and a home and the sexually promiscuous Clara, whom he marries. In Kamboureli’s reading, then, Niels’ murder of his unfaithful wife and his reformation and re-education in prison ­represent the necessity of containing and shaping the immigrant’s excessive desires to a form acceptable within the dominant national culture. The ­intention of ­reading with attention to globalism, Kamboureli (2000: viii) declares, is to ‘move beyond the inclination, fostered by multiculturalism, to mythologize and hence to idealize articulations of ethnicity’. Brydon and Dvorak’s 2012 collection, Kamboureli’s co-edited collections (Kamboureli and Miki 2007; Kamboureli and Zacharias 2012), and work by Kit Dobson (Transnational Canadas: Anglo-Canadian Literature and Globalization, 2009), Winfried Siemerling (1994; 1996; 2005), Siemerling and Phillips Casteel (2010), Chelva Kanaganayakam (2004; 2005), and Daniel Coleman (2008), among others, measure and assess the impact on Canadian and Québécois literary studies of globalisation, transnationalism and transculturalism. This has placed minority writing at the forefront of literary criticism. While this marks a watershed for Canadian and Québécois literatures, the ‘belatedness’

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of this acceptance of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has not gone unnoticed – and critiqued. As critics like Kamboureli (2007a: xiii–xiv) warn, the ‘celebratory’ embrace of these literatures ‘signals at once the ideology of liberalism that permeates Canadian society and culture and the institutional limits of Canadian practices […] The marketability of racialized authors may render the construct of minority writing obsolete, but it also reveals the instrumentality attributed to it’. Further Developments: Immigrant, Ethnic and Indigenous In drawing this section to a close, it is worth highlighting a recent important development in the complexity of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec, namely mixed-race experience and, in particular, mixed immigrant and Indigenous experience. SKY Lee’s novel Disappearing Moon Café (1993) explores the relatively unmapped terrain of the inter-relations of Asian and Indigenous Canadians. This constitutes a new and important area of study in minority writing. Donna Bennett has proposed the term polybridity to describe ‘inheritance from more sources than two’, provided that inheritance be understood in all its complexities: ‘not just in terms of the gene pool but also as describing influences and cultural mixing’ (Bennett 2005: 12). Binary systems, even those of hybridity, Bennett suggested, are ‘inadequate to the complex narratives that describe the history of colonization and immigration and the personal stories of its citizens that form Canada’ (2005: 12). At the beginning of the twenty-first century, minority writing in Canada and Quebec continues to reflect the growing sociological and ethnic complexity and the increasing cultural sophistication of modern Canada. In short, the evolution of theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing since 1980 has traced the contours of growing critical consciousness and diverse, multifaceted changes to ­Canadian and Quebec society. Indeed, approaches such as legal studies – in particular Indigenous legal studies (Henderson 1995, 2002) – have joined the wide array of interdisciplinary work that literary scholars have adopted to study this writing, which can perhaps no longer be referred to as anything but ‘literature’. Works such as Obasan (1981) by Joy Kogawa and In the Skin of a Lion (1987) by Michael Ondaatje have come to be regarded as ‘simply’ Canadian ­literature, and cultural touchstones that reference key moments in Canadian history and society (the World War ii internment of Japanese Canadians, the post-World War i period). These examples illustrate the increasingly engaged and nuanced interpretations of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in English Canada. Similarly in Quebec, a strong and diverse community of critics – such as Pierre Anctil, R ­ obert Berrouet-Oriol, Fulvio Caccia, Maxmillien Dorsinville, Madeleine Gagnon, Simon Harel, Pierre L’Hérault, Jean Jonassaint,

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Monique LaRue, Lucie Lequin, Pierre Nepveu, Régine Robin, Sherry Simon and Anna Vassal, among others – has brought nuance and complexity to the study of minority writing and broad recognition of an equally diverse community of writers, such as Marie-Célie Agnant, Ying Chen, Abla Farhoud, Sergio Kokis, Dany Laferrière, Marco Micone, Emile Ollivier, Régine Robin, and Wajdi Mouawad.

Impact

As attention to immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has grown, a significant number of writers have moved from the margins of the literary scene to the middle or mainstream and, in some cases, into the country’s literary ‘canon’. One measure of the degree to which the work of Canada’s and Quebec’s minority writers today is increasingly considered to be part of, or synonymous with, Canadian and Québécois literatures is the allocation of national literary awards (e.g. the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize or the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal). On the one hand, many more minority writers have received these highly public and prestigious awards in recent years: for example, Emile Ollivier (in 1991), Ying Chen (1995, 1996), Sergio Kokis (1994), Joël Des Rosiers (1999), Régine Robin (2001), Dany Laferrière (2009), M.G. Vassanji (1994, 2003, 2009), Rohinton Mistry (1995), Dionne Brand (1997), George Elliott Clarke (2001), Austin Clarke (2002), Roy Miki (2002), Nino Ricci (2008) and Esi Edugyan (2011). On the other hand, this development is viewed by some writers and critics as a means of subsuming cultural difference. As the preceding discussion indicates, the development and discussion of minority writing in Canada and Quebec is a complex story. Immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has had considerable impact on the literary terrain in Canada and Quebec. Critical study has introduced work by minority writers into most literature departments. It has also encouraged the development of more comparative, interdisciplinary and international critical approaches, resulting in a far greater diversity of perspectives in Canadian literary studies. This is not to suggest that the project is complete. Challenges and lacunae remain, such as an accessibility to writing in languages other than English and French. There can be no doubt that the broad understanding of what comprises the literatures of Canada and Quebec has changed as a result of the development and discussion of minority writing and that it has enriched and internationalised Canadian and Québécois literary studies. Any measure of the impact of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing to this point should be a mixed one, however, both as a broad theoretical issue and in concrete empirical terms. It is not Pollyanna-ish to celebrate the creative, liberating impact

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of minority writing and literary criticism in Canada and in Quebec. Nor does it require a Cassandra to evaluate that impact in cautionary terms. Many critics and practitioners have applauded the fact that the work of immigrant and minority writers has expanded, diversified and deepened the Canadian and Québécois literary landscape. However, this has not happened without some friction and upset. Literary studies are not exempt from the possibility that change and growth can disrupt and unsettle, as reflected in the titles of recent examples in Canadian literature such as Cynthia Sugars and Gerry Turcotte’s edited collection Unsettled Remains: Canadian Literature and the Postcolonial Gothic (2009) and Aloys N.M. Fleischmann, Nancy Van Styvendale, and Cody McCarroll’s Narratives of Citizenship: Indigenous and Diasporic Peoples Unsettle the Nation-State (2011). Kamboureli (2007b: ix) has assessed Canadian literature today as at once ‘troubled and troubling’: Troubled because ‘Canadian’ minus any qualifiers evokes the entirety of the geopolitical space it refers to, but it also siphons off large segments of this space and its peoples into oblivion at worst, and circumscribed conditions at best. Nevertheless, the term conveys a semblance of plenitude … [one that] has been forged by means of occlusion and repression, marginalizing particular idioms of English, as the language has been othered by indigeneity and diaspora. If CanLit has revamped itself, and is employed today as a referent to a body of work that includes Sto:lo, Okanagan, Cree, Ojibway, Métis, South Asian, Japanese Canadian, Trinidadian Canadian, and Italian Canadian authors [...], it remains a tradition that bears the signs of its troubled trajectory. Kamboureli points to an ongoing project, one that carries within itself the burdens and limits of the past that may never be completely resolved. These constraints present the terrain for further work – a central goal for the community of participants in the TransCanada project and for Canadian and Québécois literary critics in general. While Kamboureli points to the elements of the unfinished project in ­English Canada, in Quebec Simon Harel (2004: 227) reflects on the impact for minority writing of its mainstreaming as Quebec literature. Harel notes with some regret that ‘the notion of écriture migrante has become commonplace [which] signals the ideological oversimplification that Québécois literature has used, out of necessity, to distinguish itself from an identitarian discourse, which, until quite recently, overlapped with the discourse of the nation’ (2004: 227). If minority writing in Quebec has lost some of its avant-garde edge, however, Harel nevertheless asserts that minority writers have made an enormous

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contribution to the uncoupling of ethnic identity and belonging in contemporary Quebec. As seen in this chapter, the development and discussion of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Canada and Quebec have had significant influence on contemporary literary and critical studies there. In turn, as both critics and writers have observed, work around minority writing has put Canadian and Québécois literatures on the international stage. Winfried Siemerling and Sarah Phillips Casteel (2010) have positioned Canadian and Québécois writing from the perspective of hemispheric American studies and in the context of the current cultural and transnational transformation of North America. Today’s international contextualisation of Canadian and Québécois literatures and literary criticism recalls the 1980s’ comparative literature approach, seen not only as a productive way to read minority writing but also as a way to reflect its international dimensions. Indeed, the ‘awareness of difference’ called for by the earliest critics of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing remains a priority for critics today, serving to maintain awareness of the ever-present possibility of slippage into stasis or reinscription of even the most resistant critical perspectives. ‘Writing that stays sharp, on its toes, or electrically in motion’, Dobson (2009: 207–208) observes, ‘challenges the thought processes and imaginative worlds that are available in today’s multiply thought and lived Canada’. In 1994, Padolsky suggested that it was essential to ask whether the new literary critical models are being ­applied with a full awareness of the complexity and diversity of Canadian minority writing and its various literary traditions, whether these models are taking into account the large body of Canadian work available in other disciplines on the social, psychological, and historical contexts of minority ethnicity in Canada, or whether these models [are] being applied top-down, in a distant, ethnocentric, or purely formal way (1994: 379). These questions remain relevant today, given the far-reaching power of theoretical perspectives such as transculturalism or transnationalism and the increasing complexity of a creative, intellectual and critical terrain that is more diverse and interdisciplinary than it has ever been – and thus ever less apt to being understood in over-simplified theoretical models. In moving forward, an area that remains a concern is the availability of work in languages other than English and French. The need persists for more translation and greater dissemination of both official and non-official ­minority

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writing and criticism (Padolsky 1994: 382). This includes the translation and dissemination of writing in Indigenous languages. A greater investment in translation would allow readers and critics in English Canada and Quebec to know more about each other’s minority writing. The impact of works that have been translated – such as Dany Laferrière’s Comment faire l’amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (1985; trans. How to Make Love to a Negro without Getting Tired 1987) or Régine Robin’s La Québécoite (1983; trans. The Wanderer, 1989) or Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion (1987; trans. La Peau d’un Lion, 1989) or Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance (1995; trans. L’Equilibre du Monde, 1998) – bears out the importance and value of translated work in the field of minority writing and criticism as Canadian and Québécois literatures move forward into the twenty-first century. References Agnant, M.-C. (2001) Le livre de Emma. Quebec: Editions du Remue-Ménage. Agnant, M.-C. (2006) The Book of Emma. Toronto: Insomniac (trans. Zilpha Ellis). Armony, V. (2007) ‘La “latinité” des Québécois à l’épreuve’, in N. Cheadle and L. Pelletier (eds) Canadian Cultural Exchange/Echanges culturels au Canada: Translation and Transculturation/Traduction et transculturation. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 247–268. Atwood, M. (1972) Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature. Toronto: House of Anansi Press. Balan, J., ed. (1982) Identifications: Ethnicity and the Writer in Canada. Edmonton: The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta Press. Baldwin, S.S. (1999) What the Body Remembers. Toronto: Knopf Canada. Bannerji, H. (1990) ‘The sound barrier: translating ourselves in language and experience’, in L. Scheier, S. Sheard and E. Wachtel (eds) Language in Her Eye: Views on Writing and Gender by Canadian Women Writing in English. Toronto: Coach House Press, 26–40. Bannerji, H. (2000) The Dark Side of Nation: Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism and Gender. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press. Bell, K. (2012) ‘Breaking the narrative ties that bind in Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy’, English Studies in Canada, 28(3): 255–275. Benessaieh, A. (2010) Amériques transculturelles/Transcultural Americas. Ottawa: Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa. Bennett, D. (2005) ‘Getting beyond boundaries: polybridity in contemporary Canadian literature’, in C. Kanaganayakam (ed.) Moveable Margins: The Shifting Spaces of Canadian Literature. Toronto: Tsar, 9–16.

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Chapter 5

A Belated Arrival: Flemish Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing Sarah De Mul Abstract Belgian Neerlandophone immigrant writing generally started to flourish only in the 2000s and has principally been led by second-generation Moroccan-origin authors. Research about immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, which to date is equally a borderline phenomenon, is influenced by two external traditions: research on Dutch immigrant writing and postcolonial feminist theory. Although state-sponsored efforts have been made to stimulate the burgeoning careers of ethnic-minority writers (rather than, for example, rendering the literary field structurally more inclusive), the success of these efforts seems rather limited whereas, in recent years, various literary and artistic projects were initiated by ethnic-minority artists, curators and authors outside of the established structures of the literary field. Taken together, ethnic-minority and immigrant writing and its scholarship promises to continue to develop as a steady, though thus far still rather submerged, literary trend in Flanders.



Introduction

Since its onset a multilingual and culturally diverse country, Belgium has a national literature which is by definition decentralised and multiple, divided as it is into two main literary traditions following the most prominently spoken languages in the country, the Belgian variant of Dutch – Flemish – and Belgian French.1 Up till today, discussions have not abated about the possible mutual influences and intertwined historical developments of these two arguably distinct national bodies of literature in different languages (e.g. Berg 1990). Yet, Flemish and Belgian Francophone literatures are predominantly discussed in parallel and separate fields of literary criticism – to be more specific, 1 German is the third language in Belgium and is spoken by a small community of about 70,000 on the Belgian border with Germany (for more on Belgian literature in German, see Sepp 2010).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���8 | doi 10.1163/9789004363243_007

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in ­subfields of the wider disciplines of Neerlandophone and Francophone literary studies respectively. Although the literature written in Flanders was regarded as an integral part of Dutch literature until the early nineteenth century, the question of Flemish literature’s autonomy and distinctiveness from Dutch literature is now relentlessly provoking heated debates. While scholarly discussions of Francophone Belgian literature are less influenced by self-conscious assertions of cultural identity and regional nationalism, a critical awareness of Francophone Belgian literature as a distinctive presence within international Francophone culture is also visible. These specific features of Belgian literature and scholarly debates have evidently influenced the emergence and development of Belgian (Flemish and Francophone) immigrant or ethnic-minority literature and the scholarship existing about this literature, not least in its multilingual and decentralised nature. Given that they are situated within the wider literary fields of Neerlandophone and Francophone literary studies, it seems justifiable to study Belgian Neerlandophone and Francophone ethnic-minority writings in separate, yet parallel, scholarly contexts, not least given their manifold distinct features and idiosyncrasies related to the specific linguistic context in which they have been published. In what follows, I focus on ethnic-minority and immigrant writing in Flanders and its scholarship. Whereas Belgian Francophone immigrant writing has emerged approximately since the 1970s, and has primarily been dominated by first-generation authors of Italian origin, Belgian Neerlandophone immigrant writing generally started to flourish only in the 2000s and has principally been led by secondgeneration Moroccan-origin authors. Up until today, immigrant and ethnicminority writing and its literary research is still a marginal phenomenon in Flanders. Its relative non-existence in the Flemish part of Belgium is interesting in itself, especially compared to very different developments in the Francophone part of Belgium, as well as to the flourishing of immigrant writing in neighbouring countries. The relatively limited production of ethnic-minority and immigrant writing in Flanders also implies that, thus far, it has only been a borderline topic of literary research. Most efforts that have been made have come not so much from scholars of Flemish literature or Dutch literary criticism but, rather, from scholars whose main specialism is literature, migration and multiculturalism in other European literatures and neighbouring countries such as Britain, the Netherlands, France or Germany. Additionally, concepts of immigrant writing – cultural (rather than national) identity, ‘accented’ language, minority versus majority – which have gained increasing attention in the international

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a­ cademic arena over recent decades have given new impulse to the question of Flemish literature’s position in a wider literary field that has its epicentre in Amsterdam.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

The currently predominant image of Belgium as a ‘bicultural’ country, rather than a multicultural nation, has never been a reality, not even before Belgium became a country of immigration. In the nineteenth century, massive internal migration took place in Belgium as Flemish peasants in the north were attracted by the industrialisation of the southern region of Wallonia. Yet after World War ii, the labour-hungry Walloon industries also started to recruit more workers from surrounding countries and, later, from Poland and Italy. The government pursued several bilateral agreements with Italy (1946), Spain (1956), Greece (1957), Morocco (1964), Turkey (1964), Tunisia (1969), Algeria (1970) and Yugoslavia (1970). As in other European countries, officially halting all new immigration of foreign workers in the course of the 1970s did not manage to stop immigration, although the flow abated and changed, especially with regard to the types of immigration and the national origins of the migrants. In the 1990s the number of undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing from Iran, the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the republics of the former ussr (Gemenne 2009: 48) increased dramatically. In 2005, 10.2 per cent of the total Belgian population were born abroad, of whom 8.2 per cent were of foreign nationality (Gemenne 2009: 48). Most of Belgium’s immigrants are Europeans, while Moroccans and Turks, as the fourth- and sixth-largest immigrant groups, represent the main non-European immigrant groups (2009: 57). While the immigrant population makes up 28.5 per cent of the Brussels-Capital region, with much higher concentrations in certain neighbourhoods in poor areas, it forms barely 5 per cent of the total population in the Flemish region. The figure is 10 per cent for the Walloon region, the oldest area for immigration in the country. The immigration histories of the Francophone south and the Flemish north of the country have evolved in uneven ways. Early waves of Italian immigrants in Belgium have predominantly settled in the Francophone south, while successive immigrants from Maghreb countries have settled in the ­Flemish-speaking north of Belgium. This partly explains the dissimilar ­developments in the emergence of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Flanders and ­Wallonia. Italians, the most numerous of immigrants legally

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residing in Belgium, have made up for the oldest tradition of Belgian Francophone immigrant and ethnic-minority writing since the 1970s. Moroccanand Turkish-origin second-generation Belgians have dominated the stream of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Flanders, which originated only about fifteen years ago and which will be the main focus of this overview. Apart from these immigrant groups, generally speaking there is no direct correlation discernable between the size of the ethnic-minority group and literary output. The starkly dissimilar development of Francophone and Neerlandophone immigrant writing has certainly been affected by Belgium’s regionalised h ­ istory of immigration (policy). Since the late 1980s, migration policy has been the (­financial) responsibility of the Belgian federal government – more specifically of the Royal Commission for Migration Policy (Koninklijk Commisariaat voor Migrantenbeleid) – but the Flemish, Francophone and Brussels communities gradually defined their own integration policies (Coffé and Tirions 2004: 30). However, the reasons why Flemish immigrant and ethnic-minority writing emerged so much later than its Francophone counterpart are more difficult to pin down. To address this question, one might consider a range of differences between the socio-cultural experiences of Maghreb- or Italian-origin immigrants in Flanders and Wallonia respectively, as well as dissimilarities between those of first- and those of second-generation immigrants. One could also try to explain the existing time gap between first-generation Maghrebi immigrants settling in Flanders and the moment when second-generation ­Moroccan-origin writers started publishing literary texts. With regard to the latter question, it is reasonable to assume that, in the 1970s, the first generation often expected to stay only as temporary ‘guests’ in Belgium/Flanders and were generally not stimulated to engage with Flemish culture and language. This climate changed radically in the late 1980s, when the realisation came that immigrants were here to stay and the phenomenon of ‘multiculturalism in Flanders’ increasingly became a topic of public debate in the wake of the electoral success of the extreme-right nationalist party Vlaams Belang (‘Flemish Matters’). Compared to their parents, then, second-generation Maghrebi immigrants grew up in Flanders with Dutch as their primary or secondary language and accepted Belgium more readily as their home country. Explaining the relative absence of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Flanders, some o­ bservers (Amadou 2004) also pointed to the failed implementation of ‘multicultural’ cultural p ­ olicies or the ever-growing sentiments of cultural nationalism in Flanders, which would continue to play a role in excluding ethnic minorities from Flanders as an imagined community, with its culture and literature.

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Not all immigration flows to Belgium have thus far brought about immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, in either the French or the Dutch language. For example, immigration from Spain, Greece or Yugoslavia has not yet yielded any literary production. Additionally, some of the major immigration flows to Belgium are intra-European and ‘immigrant’ writers from eu countries such as France, the Netherlands, Germany or Britain are usually not recognised as such. Renowned Dutch-origin writers such as Benno Barnard, Marc Kregting or Marc Reugebrink, who are based in Flanders, would conventionally not be labelled ‘immigrant or ethnic-minority writers’. Moreover, there are several non-Western intellectuals, poets and writers living in Flanders who are writing in their mother tongues, and enjoying critical acclaim in their home countries and abroad – for example, Emad Fouad, Mohammed Berrada, Taha Adnan or Madjid Matrood. However, they have so far remained ­invisible in Flanders, ­perhaps because they do not write in Dutch and they orient ­themselves to readerships elsewhere. Current discussions on immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in Flanders principally focus on second-generation ­authors of ­Moroccan (­Rachida Lamrabet, Sadie Choua, Fikry El Azzouzi), Turkish (­Mustafa Kör, Kenan Serbest, Inan Akbas, Birsen Taspinar) and Nigerian (Chika Unigwe) origin. Altogether the above overview shows that the Flemish context is characterised by what has been called a certain ‘belatedness’ concerning the emergence of ethnic-minority and immigrant writing, especially compared to the growing bodies of ethnic-minority writing that has emerged in recent decades in neighbouring European countries such as the Netherlands and Germany (e.g. Behschnitt, De Mul, Minnaard). An important background for discussing this belatedness is certainly the cultural nationalism that governs the structures of the Flemish literary field – a small subfield of the Dutch-language market place dominated by Dutch publishing houses in Amsterdam. Flanders, which once figured as a predominantly rural and impoverished region, has over the past century developed into one of the wealthiest regions of Europe, one steeped in a regional nationalism which has propelled Belgium towards an increasing federalisation. Throughout these reforms, Flanders turned itself into an autonomous cultural and regional entity that not only distinguishes itself from its French-speaking southern counterpart – Wallonia – but also from its northern neighbour, the Netherlands. In parallel, the Flemish literary field has, over the last 20 years, experienced a steady professionalisation and autonomy, with burgeoning Flanders-based literary organisations, publishing houses and journals. The lack of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in Flanders has certainly not gone unnoticed. Critics, authors, policymakers, publishers and

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e­ thnic-minority intellectuals have regularly framed ethnic-minority writing as ‘lacking’ in Flanders – as an abnormal absence in need of clarification, a problem that requires solving. As is often the case with ‘problems’ concerning ethnic minorities, the debates on the non-existence of ethnic-minority and immigrant writing in Flanders can be seen as a barometer for deeper and wider social problems there. In framing the absence of ethnic-minority authors as a problem, interlocutors, in various ways, projected onto the desired category of ethnic-minority writers their own ideas about the state of Flemish literature, culture and society and about how these should develop in the future. When the much-desired immigrant writers made their debut in Flanders, then, they certainly had expectations to fulfil. In the course of the 1990s, debates about the lack of immigrant and ethnicminority writing in Flanders took place against a background of blooming public debates about multiculturalism and integration. This context was marked geopolitically by a new centrality of cultural discourse and conflict after the end of the Cold War, a development which coincided in Flanders with the rise of racism and xenophobia and the electoral success of the extreme-right Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang. Although ethnic minorities had, for a long time, been part of the fabric of Flemish society, during the 1990s they became more visible in discussions about multicultural society in politics, newspapers and the media. It is worth noting that, in public debates on multiculturalism, an ethnocultural paradigm characterised by a cultural binary between ‘authochtony’/‘allochthony’ and Flemish versus non-Flemish citizens has been prevalent, even though academics and public intellectuals have repeatedly and in various ways disapproved of the binary vocabularies for keeping ethnic minorities from imaginations of Flanders (e.g. Abou Jahjah 2003; Arnaut et al. 2009; Blommaert and Verschueren 1998; Fraihi 2004; Maly 2009). In debates about the perceived lack of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing and the search to compensate for it, a number of interlocutors took part and expressed concern. The first group of people with perhaps the most ­obvious – economic – stake in the promotion of ethnic-minority and immigrant writing are publishers. That ethnic-minority writers in the West can be commercialised as exotic marketing products is a point that Graham Huggan (2001) already convincingly showed in his book The Postcolonial Exotic. Marketing the Margins (see also Brouillette 2007). In the course of the 1990s in the Netherlands, the popular commercialisation of ethnic-minority and immigrant writing by publishers such as Vassallucci provided a concrete example of how the margins could effectively be marketed, as convincingly suggested by authors such as Kuitert (2001), Nijborg and Laroui (2013). In this context, we can understand how publishers participated in debates on the n ­ on-existence and subsequent promotion of ethnic-minority writing in Flanders – for e­ xample,

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Harold Polis, editor of what used to be one of the largest general literary publishing houses in Flanders – Meulenhoff Manteau. In so doing, Polis could be seen to reconcile his social and literary commitment to the wellbeing of Flemish culture and society (as exemplified in his essays) with his commercial interests as editor. A second group of people who showed concern about the non-existence of ethnic-minority writing in Flanders is comprised of left-wing politicians, people working in multicultural socio-cultural organisations and ­ethnic-minority intellectuals and public figures. Names that spring to mind are, for example, the left-oriented magazine *Mo, the multicultural organisation Kifkif and writers such as Rachida Lamrabet or Jamila Amadou. In general terms, the latter sought clarification of the absence of ethnic-minority writers in the prevailing climate of xenophobia and racism and the perceived failure of the country’s ­multicultural policy. For example, in the newspaper column entitled ‘Wij spreken pas als jullie luisteren’ (We only speak when you listen), ­Moroccan-Belgian writer Jamila Amadou (2004) argues that e­thnic-minority writers have been ­absent from the literary field since they reject the only ­position in the ­Flemish literary field available to them, namely as spokesperson for his or her ­ethno-cultural community. Her point is that at stake is an ethno-cultural understanding of what an ethnic-minority literary voice should sound like, which is limiting. Finally, anxieties about the non-existence of ethnic-minority and immigrant writers were also articulated by literary critics and scholars of Flemish literature – for example, Mark Cloostermans, the reviewer of the newspaper De Standaard, or the scholar Tom Van Imschoot. In relation to these interlocutors, it is worth pointing out that, in debates about the non-existence of ethnicminority writing, the neighbouring country of the Netherlands is often cited as an example of ‘good practice’ when it concerns the proliferation of the genre, as in the following fragment by Marc Cloostermans (2006): [The Netherlands has Hafid Bouazza […] The Netherlands has Khalid Boudou. […] The Netherlands has Abdelkader Benali […] And the Netherlands has a few minor gods. […] Yes, the Netherlands is doing well. Allochtonous writing talent is blossoming there. And in Belgium? There is probably only one thing that the Flemish book sector desires more than a high-quality book programme on television: a number of allochtonous writers (2006: 71–72). Thus Cloostermans opens the essay in his book De tak waarop wij zitten (2006, The Branch on Which We Sit), in which he tackles the following issue. When Flanders compared itself to European neighbouring countries such as

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the Netherlands, where a growing number of texts written by authors from ethnic-minority backgrounds had been published, it had to face the fact that there was no comparable trend visible in Flanders. Cloostermans’ awareness of a negatively marked exceptionality of Flanders compared to the literary ­situation in the Netherlands (rather than, for example, Francophone Belgium) indicates not only how he perceives the Flemish and Dutch literary fields as separate, yet closely intertwined spheres, but also how he desires the situation in Flanders to equal the one in the Netherlands. From this perspective, it seems that the desire for a multicultural literature expressed by some interlocutors can indeed not be divided from the broader discourse on Flemish national/ cultural identity and from a Flemish longing to withstand the competition (as an independent ‘national’ literature) with Dutch literature (De Mul 2013). In light of these debates, the then socialist Flemish Minister of Culture, Bert Anciaux, announced in 2000 that diversity and intercultural relations would be among the main issues addressed by his cultural policy programme and this remained so during the two successive terms of his tenure. Anciaux’s policy programme was elaborated into specific policies for the literary field by the Flemish Literature Fund (Vlaams Fonds voor de Letteren), an autonomous governmental institution that promotes Dutch-language literature in Belgium and abroad, particularly the literary production of Flemish authors. The Flemish Literature Fund stipulated a so-called ‘intercultural literature programme’ (intercultureel letterenbeleid), which aimed both to improve contacts between the Flemish literary world and authors living in Flanders who do not have Dutch as their mother tongue and to facilitate access to the literary field for debuting authors belonging to ethnic-minority communities. Organisations and publishers could subsequently apply for subsidies to realise literary projects and publications that would stimulate and enable the emergence of ethnicminority and immigrant writers in Flanders. Consequently a number of established literary organisations in Flanders undertook initiatives for the promotion of ethnic-minority talent. When, in 2002, Antwerp-based literary organisation Villanella programmed their yearly literature festival De Nachten around the theme of Arab culture, they failed to find Flanders-based authors of Arab origin to include in their line-up and decided to launch a so-called ‘diary project’ (dagboekproject) in collaboration with editor Harold Polis. In this project, young ethnic minorities were invited to write autobiographical pieces and then perform them on stage. In 2003 Passa Porta, a renowned Brussels-based literary organisation, arranged their first creative-writing workshop Vreemd in het schrijven (Foreign in writing) in which aspiring ethnic-minority debutants were guided towards publishing their texts under the auspices of distinguished Flemish authors

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such as Kristien Hemmerechts, Stefan Hertmans and Peter Verhelst. Among those participating in these workshops were the second-generation Turkishorigin writer Mustafa Kör, who debuted with his novel De lammeren (The Lambs) in 2007, and Rachida Lamrabet, who debuted with Vrouwland (Woman Country) in the same year. Last, but not least, Kifkif – at the time a relatively young socio-cultural ­organisation for social diversity which, unlike Villanella and Passa Porta, is predominantly governed by ethnic minorities – launched the literary writing contest ‘Colour the Arts’ (Kleur de kunst) in 2004. In 2004–2005, Kifkif ­exclusively allowed competition entry to aspiring debutants of ethnic origin. However, candidates soon objected to these participation criteria, which they saw as a condescending form of positive discrimination. Kifkif then opened up the contest to all participants, regardless of their ethnic origin, although the focus on authors of ethnic-minority descent remained present. However, the initial idea of the contest was, to some extent, undermined by this change of focus. Nevertheless, for various ethnic-minority authors and artists – Kenan Serbest, Sadie Choua or Rachida Lamrabet, for example – participation in Colour the Arts was one of the pivotal entry points into the Flemish literary and cultural field. Another established player involved in the multiculturalisation of the Flemish field is the Antwerp-based publishing house Meulenhoff Manteau. In the course of the 2000s, Meulenhoff Manteau released a number of non-fiction publications and collections of newspaper columns by ethnic-minority intellectuals and writers such as Tarik Fraihi and Abou Jahjah. These were immediately followed by prose publications, among these the Albdiouni et al. (2006) volume KifKif. Nieuwe stemmen uit Vlaanderen (Kifkif. New Voices from Flanders) that collected together the nominated submissions of the earliermentioned contest Colour the Arts. Meulenhoff Manteau also publishes the prose works of Naima Albdiouni, Malika Chaara, Chika Unigwe and Rachida Lamrabet. Initiatives such as these seem to have faded towards the end of the first ­decade of the 2000s. Meanwhile, still somewhat in the margins, new literary initiatives and young cultural organisations with a focus on ethnic diversity in literature have burgeoned. What distinguishes organisations and initiatives such as Nuff Said, Mama’s Open Mic, Moussem and Sin Collectif is that, in stark contrast to the predominantly white established literary institutions such as Passa Porta or Villanella, these newer organisations are run and led by a group of younger individuals with immigrant roots. Another example is the independent publishing house Beefcake Publishing, a one-man project run by Turkish-origin author Inan Akbas, which specifically targets the publication of work by ethnic-minority and immigrant authors, though thus far without

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very much appraisal. More generally there also seems to be a wider tendency to shift away from classical notions of literature and to invest in contemporary cultural expressions – such as stand-up comedy and slam poetry – which are closer to the urban youngsters’ world and to which a large group of ethnic minorities belongs. The extent to which these initiatives have played a role in the growing number of immigrant and ethnic-minority authors emerging in the Flemish literary field over the last decade is difficult to measure. What is clear, however, is that, since 2005, a growing number of immigrant and ethnic-minority ­authors have published literary works in Flanders. In 2005 the ­Dutch-Palestinian poet Ramsey Nasr was prominent in the public eye as the official ‘city poet’ of A ­ ntwerp. The young Flemish journalist Tom Naegels published Het boek Saida (2005, The Saida Book) together with Saida Boudjaine, a young ­Moroccan-origin woman on whose autobiographical life narrative the book is based. 2005 was also the year when Chika Unigwe debuted with De feniks (The Phoenix), a novel shortlisted for the Vrouw and Kultuurprijs, a literary prize for women writers, in the same year. Yet so far Rachida Lamrabet and Chika Unigwe and, to a lesser extent, Mustafa Kör and Fikry El Azzouzi, are the main authors who have developed a flourishing writing career and are recognised by the mainstream literary field in Flanders. Among these, Chika Unigwe deserves specific mention here because she has found her way into the Flemish literary field via Nigeria and Britain, where she won several prizes – amongst which the 2003 bbc Short Story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Award – and where her second Dutch novel, Fata Morgana (2007, On Black Sisters’ Street 2009), was nominated for the 2011 International impac Dublin Literary Award and prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. After her debut in Flanders, Unigwe has continued to publish both Dutch and English short stories, essays, translations and editions of her writings.

The Emergence of Literary Research on Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing The genealogy of scholarly interest in immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Flanders, if we can even use this term for such a contemporary and rather submerged phenomenon, is difficult to pin down to one point in time or location. At present, one could hardly speak of a visible scholarly debate on ethnic-minority writings in Flanders written in departments of Dutch literary criticism. At the moment the bulk of immigrant writing in Flanders is still awaiting in-depth critical scrutiny. Despite the fact that immigrant writing as a phenomenon has been generally longed for, most published texts categorised as such have thus far not received major critical acclaim by the

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l­iterary press and the wider audience, let alone by literary researchers. This was the case, for example, with the debut novels by Mustafa Kör (2007), ­Malika Chaara (2007) or Naima Albdiouni (2009), which were all released without much notice. The relative absence of scholarly debate on ethnic-minority writing in Flanders must undoubtedly, and in part, be related to the fact that texts traditionally ­collected under this banner have been published in Flanders only very r­ecently. Another reason may possibly be that most of these works have not been c­ onsidered aesthetically innovative or exceptional, as they deploy fairly traditional psychological-realist techniques or conventional literary genres such as the Bildungsroman. One of the reasons must certainly also be that the study of contemporary literature is not one of the most popular and often-practiced research traditions in mainstream Dutch literary criticism, where current ­methodological interests seem predominantly to lie in the d­ evelopment of a variety of literary historical, narratological or institutional-sociological approaches. Initial research located Flemish immigrant writing within the wider tradition of Dutch immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, due in part to the lack of contemporary authors to discuss, in an attempt at charting a newly emerging collection of texts. In a special issue Schrijven tussen culturen (Writing between Cultures), the literary magazine Vlaanderen presents a collection of essays largely focused on Dutch immigrant writing. One of the contributions is the (2009) essay ‘Culturele diversiteit in de Nederlandse literatuur. Aanzet tot bibliografie’ (Cultural diversity and Dutch literature. Preliminary bibliography), in which Julien Vermeulen lists approximately 250 titles categorised as ‘Nederlandse migrantenliteratuur’ (Dutch immigrant literature). He notices in particular that only ten of these authors are based in Flanders and mentions them in a remark preceding the bibliographical list. In another contribution entitled ‘Turkse migrantenauteurs in Nederland en Vlaanderen’ (Turkish immigrant authors in the Netherlands and Flanders), Johan Soenen (2009) sets out to present an overview of Turkish-origin authors in the Low Countries, but his actual overview is, by and large, a descriptive impression of the work of authors of Turkish descent living in the Netherlands. His essay concludes with a sub-section entitled ‘Finally, a Fleming!’, introducing Mustafa Kör, a Turkishorigin writer living in Flanders, who immigrated from Turkey when he was three years old. Kör debuted with the novel De lammeren in 2007, a nostalgic, lyrical prose narrative in which a protagonist named Umut mourns his brother’s death and returns to his birth village in Anatolia. In the next section, I outline how research on Flemish immigrant literature is influenced by two external traditions: research on Dutch immigrant writing and postcolonial feminist theory, the latter with regards to the work of the Belgian-Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe in particular.

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Approaches and Interpretations

Placing Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in African Diaspora Writing Public debates on multiculturalism since the late 1980s, which were, as mentioned before, informed by a vocabulary centred on the cultural binary between authochtony and allochthony, have determined the primary vocabulary which literary critics and reviewers deployed to discuss ‘ethnic-minority and immigrant writing’, even if it was discussed as an absence. More than the ­somewhat-dated term migrantenliteratuur (migrant literature) deployed by Julien Vermeulen, as mentioned above, the categories of allochtone literatuur (allochthonous literature) and allochtone auteurs (allochthonous writers), borrowed from the Netherlands, soon found their way into mainstream literary discourse (e.g. Leyman 2006; T’Sjoen 2004: 58–59). At the same time, however, it was by that time known from discussions of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in the Netherlands that the categorisation of an amalgamate collection of texts under the umbrella term ‘allochthonous writing’ posed exclusionary problems to which notable Dutch immigrant writers such as Hafid Bouazza had already strongly objected. One of the problematic consequences of the term ‘allochthonous writing’ is indeed that the author’s ethnic identity is singled out as the defining feature of his or her text, while a very different approach is adopted for white Flemish authors, whose work is collected under the universal, non-ethnic category of ‘contemporary Flemish literature’. Alongside the emergence of Flemish immigrant writing, various critics soon started searching for more adequate analytical tools and categories by means of which to understand this diasporic body of texts and their relation to various literary traditions. Below, I focus on one strand of scholars who have, in a variety of ways, contextualised and situated Flemish ethnic-minority and immigrant writing in particular literary traditions, often related to the author’s place of origin. In her essay ‘Chronicling beyond Abyssinia: African writing in Flanders, Belgium’ (2009) Elisabeth Bekers introduces African writing in Flanders as a brand new group of African literary voices. The essay is mainly focused on the work of the Belgian-Nigerian author Chika Unigwe, who speaks Igbo and English and has Dutch as her third language. Before making her appearance on the Flemish literary scene in 2005, Chika Unigwe had already successfully made her debut with English-language publications in Nigeria and Britain. Her poetry was published in Nigeria (1993, 1995), her short stories won the 2003 bbc Short Story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Award and were published in Wasafiri and a number of anthologies of contemporary African

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writing and she wrote the two children’s books A Rainbow for Dinner (2003a) and Ije At School (2003b). Unigwe’s second novel On Black Sisters’ Street in particular received positive acclaim in the Anglophone global literature market, with reviewers of major uk- and us-based newspapers such as The Independent (Evaristo 2011) or The New York Times (Eberstadt 2011) praising the book’s literary merits and a nomination for the 2011 International impac Dublin Literary Award. In 2012, Unigwe’s Night Dancer won international praise (Evaristo 2012) and she was nominated for the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature with On Black Sisters’ Street. This rather impressive list of international accolades suggests that Unigwe’s work resonates not only locally in Flanders but also internationally. Unigwe’s work indeed easily transcends the specific locale and literary world of Flanders, not only as far as its formal features, settings and central themes are concerned, but also because her work enjoys a global readership, participates in Anglophone global literary networks of African (diasporic) writings and is discussed in an international field of scholars of African literature. To Bekers, Chika Unigwe belongs to a newly emerging African (diasporic) literary tradition in Dutch – Bekers’ entry on Unigwe in the Dictionary of African Biography also illustrates this approach (2011). Not only Bekers’ but also several other readings of Unigwe’s oeuvre suggest that her work is informative for those concerned with literary-historical questions of contemporary African (diasporic) literature. Pius Adesanmi and Chris Dunton consider Chika Unigwe as belonging to what they call ‘the third generation of Nigerian writers’ (Adesanmi and Dunton 2005: 7). Their characterisation of third-generation African writers has lingered on their position as ‘temporally severed from the colonial event’ (2005: 14) and therefore shaped more astutely by contemporary notions of cosmopolitanism, globalisation, nomadism and liminality than their predecessors. Positioned in this postmodern milieu, third-generation Nigerian writers such as Unigwe, as the authors contend, question over-determined identity markers and deconstruct ‘totalities such as history, nation, gender, and their representative symbologies’ (Adesanmi and Dunton 2005: 15). In a similar vein, in ‘Metonymic eruptions: Igbo novelists, the narrative of the nation, and new developments in the contemporary Nigerian novel’, Obi Nwakanma (2008) devotes attention to Unigwe’s questioning of the Nigerian nation, which he characterises as a particular concern of Igbo authors. Nwakanma places Chika Unigwe amongst an array of other Igbo authors, such as Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Emeka Aniagolu and Okey Ndibe. Adopting a diachronic perspective, Nwakanma retraces the evolution of the Igbo novel in English, ranging from Chinua Achebe’s seminal Things Fall Apart (1958) to

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the ­emergence of a new generation of authors who, since the mid-1980s, have displayed an ambiguous stance towards the Nigerian nation. Focusing comparatively on the work of Moroccan diasporic authors in Spanish, French and Dutch, Ieme van der Poel also undertakes a critical endeavour characterised by an exploration of the writer’s literary bond with his or her country of origin, in casu Morocco. This bond, as van der Poel argues, often still forcefully exists, as does the relationship between Moroccan immigrant writers who share the same roots but have settled, or at least have published, in different European countries. In her study Diasporic Writing: New Moroccan Voices in French, Spanish and Dutch (2015) van der Poel focuses on the ‘Moroccanness’ of Moroccan diasporic authors and their work in various European languages in order to consider the multiple external connections of French, Spanish and Dutch literature. Her case studies include Vrouwland, the aforementioned debut novel by the Moroccan-Flemish author Rachida Lamrabet, a kind of short-story cycle which narrates and connects the lives of Moroccan youngsters in both Belgium and Morocco.

Rethinking Flemish Literature: Minority Literature and Multilingualism Some critics have read ethnic-minority and immigrant writings as providing us with a new understanding of Flemish literature in times of global change. In ‘Naar een Vlaamse minderheidsliteratuur’ (Towards a Flemish minority literature) Tom van Imschoot (2009) offers an astute critique of the aforementioned ‘intercultural literature policy’, arguing that it is based on the erroneous assumption that ethnic-minority and immigrant authors would represent the ethnic communities from which they stem and from this position would enrich Flemish literature. According to Van Imschoot, Lamrabet’s debut novel Vrouwland and short-story collection Een Kind van God (2008, God’s Child) force the Flemish literary mainstream to reflect critically upon itself and its own blindspots. He situates Rachida Lamrabet in a long-standing tradition of Flemish literature, defined by him as a minority literature ‘which has always been more political than the Dutch one’ (Van Imschoot 2009, my translation). From this perspective, ethnic-minority writing could be the element that could make ‘Flemish literature move towards an “inclusive minority literature”: written not for, but by a minority claiming the right to speak, which literature sometimes demands when a majority prevents it’ (2009, my translation). How does immigrant and ethnic-minority writing help us to understand Flemish literature as one of the ‘weaker’ national literatures in Europe, struggling as these literatures are today to assert themselves with and against

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other European literatures on the global literary market? This question is the driving force behind the two chapters focused on Flanders which are included in the edited collection Literature, Language and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries (Behschnitt et al. 2013). By juxtaposing (analyses of) the emergence and development of multicultural literature in four West-European countries – Sweden, Denmark, Belgium-Flanders and the Netherlands – the volume aims to offer insight into and understanding of the particular(ly) national complexities involved in these multicultural literatures and in the ways in which the multilingual dimensions of multicultural literature can be seen as specific strategies in relation to the linguistic context in which these are inscribed and the language struggles that characterise this context. The chapter written by De Mul (2013) focuses in particular on the recurrent expression of the desire for ethnic-minority and immigrant writings in Flanders, particularly in combination with the incessant reference to the thriving of ‘allochtoon’ writing in the Netherlands. I argue more specifically that this discursive pattern reveals an attempt to define and distinguish Flemish literature from Dutch literature; paradoxically, this is accomplished by duplicating the literary situation in the Netherlands, and attempting to create in Flanders a category of ‘allochtoon writing’ similar to that existing in Dutch literature. Put differently, I try to suggest that the Flemish literary field is caught in the oxymoron of the Flemish multicultural literature that it posits; on the one hand, the need to assert a singular cultural identity informing Flemish literature and language – particularly in its complex relationship with Dutch literature and language – and, on the other hand, the notion that one of the important conditions of possibility for this body of Flemish literature to exist is an openness to cultural difference and diversity. The chapter written by De Mul and Ernst (2013) focuses on the strategies of multilingualism deployed in texts by both Flanders-based ethnic-minority and -majority writers so as to suggest that the predominant image of a monocultural, monolingual Flanders is challenged in various ways in contemporary Flemish literature. Chika Unigwe’s (2009) On Black Sisters’ Street, is analysed alongside De grote Europese roman (The Great European Novel) by Koen Peeters (2007) and the writings on the notion of Belgitude by the Dutch-origin author Benno Barnard (2001). Whereas Unigwe draws on the status of black femininity to draw our attention to a narrative and performative notion of community and belonging beyond ethnic origin, cultural descent or geographical and national affiliations, Barnard (2001) and Peeters (2007) rely on a notion of Europe imagined through the spaces of Belgium and Brussels for the creation of a humanistic, multicultural and multilingual identity.

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Feminist and Postcolonial Approaches There are interesting parallels between the growing scholarly attention given to Unigwe’s work and the burgeoning trend of transnational, postcolonial and comparative approaches in Dutch literary criticism, which has certainly benefited the scholarly attention Unigwe has enjoyed in Flanders over the last few years. In particular, Unigwe’s overt focus on questions of black African identity and womanhood in Europe lends itself well to those scholars who are interested in exploring possible adaptations of Anglo-dominant postcolonial feminist theory to Low Countries’ texts and contexts, as illustrated by the collection of essays The Postcolonial Low Countries (Boehmer and De Mul 2012), a volume seeking to consolidate the many piecemeal interventions in recent years that have sought to make connections between international, often largely Anglophone, postcolonial debates on the one hand, and explicitly Neerlandophone perspectives on the other. In my own analysis of Unigwe’s authorial self-representation, juxtaposed to the representations of black female identity in Unigwe’s second novel, I have theoretically drawn on the social construction of blackness in African postcolonial theory dating back to Frantz Fanon. Central to the inquiry is the question of how Unigwe as author on the one hand and the African sex workers in On Black Sisters’ Street ‘become’ black in Belgium and how they negotiate a sense of self vis-à-vis the already pronounced social order. Their self-representations, as I intend to suggest, reveal the mediation of dominant historical images and Western symbolic meanings and their attempts to wrest control of the construction of their bodies away from the distorted visions of dominant culture. Without conflating Unigwe’s situation as a black middleclass author in the Flemish literary field with the position of the four Nigerian women working in the sex industry described in the book, parallels can be drawn between them in the ways in which their agency is established in the performance of cultural configurations of black identity which have seized hegemonic hold. Given its thematic focus on African sex workers in Belgium, On Black Sisters’ Street has also attracted attention from scholars interested in feminist postcolonial issues. Daria Tunca (2009), a scholar of Anglophone Nigerian literatures based at University of Liège, focuses on the ways in which Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street can be said to redress the ‘narrative balance’ in at least two ways. First, the novel gives voice to the ‘silenced minority’ – African prostitutes in the red-light district of Antwerp – and, secondly, it presents a sensitive and nuanced picture of its heroines’ personalities and fates. To Tunca, Unigwe manages to arouse the reader’s empathy for these protagonists through the act of w ­ riting,

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by establishing a complex interplay between subjectivity and s­ ubjection in its portrayal of black diasporic women’s identity in a transnational world. Eze (2014) similarly focuses on African feminism in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street, arguing that the novel belongs to a new generation of African women’s writing that recasts feminism as a moral issue of our times. To Eze, the novel draws attention to some of the central issues of feminism, i.e. the rights and dignities of the female body and, in so doing, establishes women’s rights as fundamental human rights that have to be urgently addressed in contemporary Africa.

Impact

The situation in Flanders has been characterised by a discernible belatedness when it concerns both the production of ethnic-minority and immigrant literature and the emergence of literary research on it. Rachida Lamrabet and Chika Unigwe and, to a lesser extent, Fikry El Azzouzi and Mustafa Kör are among the few ethnic-minority authors who have thus far managed to develop a career as a fully recognised writer in the mainstream literary field in Flanders  – while, for Unigwe, it is probably more apt to say that she has enjoyed more international than national accolades, as a Nigerian rather than an ethnic-minority writer. Although in the course of the 2000s the Flemish literary field made visible efforts to stimulate the burgeoning careers of ethnic-minority writers (rather than, for example, rendering the literary field structurally more inclusive), the success of these efforts seems to be rather limited, despite the fact that these initiatives received subsidies from and acclaim by the mainstream media. At the same time, in recent years there has been an increase of ethnic-minority artists and authors who engage with non-traditional literary expressions such as slam poetry and stand-up comedy and who started their careers outside the established structures of the literary field. These latter initiatives have had a somewhat local, grass-roots character and have so far enjoyed less attention by the mainstream media; nevertheless, they certainly seem to be successful in functioning as a talent pool for ethnic-minority youngsters and in attracting culturally diverse audiences, compared to earlier initiatives by recognised organisations in the Flemish literary field. Although it is not known exactly how fruitful these efforts are going to become, there is no doubt that ­ethnic-minority and immigrant writing will continue to develop as a steady, though thus far still rather submerged, literary trend in Flanders.

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Since, up to now, there has only been a small body of literature produced by ethnic-minority authors in Flanders, it is not surprising that it has been only marginally addressed by mainstream Dutch literary criticism, whose conventional focus is not in the first instance on contemporary literature. Whereas the study of ethnic-minority and immigrant literature in Flanders has thus far been a side-lined topic in university courses on Dutch literary criticism, in comparative literary critical research projects outside Belgium there has been somewhat more critical attention paid to ethnic-minority authors in ­Flanders – such as, for example, the virtual platform ‘Multicultural Netherlands’ led by Jeroen Dewulf at Berkeley University. At the same time, however, analytical concepts and tools of the international field of migration literature seem to considerably impact on current topics of debate in Dutch literary criticism. In recent years, calls for papers and programmes of major conferences and symposia gathering together (Flandersbased) scholars of Dutch literature increasingly show an interest in, and awareness of, the need to address questions of boundary crossings, transnationalism and migration. Perhaps in the absence of a vast body of ethnic-minority and immigrant literature in Flanders, critical efforts have, meanwhile, increasingly turned to questions of the relations between Flemish and Dutch literature, its position in a global world and the increasingly global nature of Dutch literature. Examples of such events are the International Conference Cross-Over 2015 organised by the Internationale vereniging voor neerlandistiek (International Association for the Study of Dutch Language and Literature), devoted to the theme ‘Regionaal, (trans)nationaal, continentaal, globaal. Definities en methodologieën, grenzen en gemeenschappelijke ruimtes’ (Regional, (Trans)national, Continental, Global. Definitions and Methodologies, Boundaries and Common Spaces) or the 19e ivn colloquium ‘Hyperdiverse neerlandistiek’ (Hyperdiverse Dutch Studies) held in Leiden in 2015. There are clear signs, therefore, that current debates on the future direction of Dutch literary criticism might also engender an increase of scholarly attention to ethnic and immigrant writing in Flanders. That the prestigious Flanders-based Royal Academy for Dutch Language and Literature in 2014 launched a prize call for studies about multiculturalism and Dutch literature could perhaps be seen as an attempt to consolidate this developing future direction.

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References Abou Jahjah, D. (2003) Tussen twee werelden. De roots van een vrijheidsstrijd (Between Two Worlds. The Roots of a Freedom Struggle). Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Achebe, C. (1958) Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann. Adesanmi, P. and C. Dunton (2005) ‘Nigeria’s third-generation writing: historiography and preliminary theoretical considerations’, English in Africa, 32(1): 7–19. Albdiouni, N. (2009) Voyeur. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Albdiouni, N., J. Amadou, J. Boukhriss, M. Chaara, S. Choua, P. Govaerts, M. Kör, R. Lamrabet, K. Serbest and A. Wauters (2006) KifKif. Nieuwe stemmen uit Vlaanderen. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Amadou, J. (2004) ‘Een knuppel in het hoenderhok. Wij spreken pas als jullie luisteren’ (‘A bat in the henhouse. We will only speak when you listen’), De Standaard, 13 October, http://www.standaard.be/cnt/g339ete9 (accessed 28 December 2015). Anciaux, B. (2000) Beleidsnota Cultuur 1999–2004, https://cjsm.be/cultuur/sites/cjsm. cultuur/files/public/beleidsnota1999-2004_cultuur.pdf (accessed 28 December 2015). Arnaut, K., S. Bracke, B. Ceuppens, De S. Mul, N. Fadil and M. Kanmaz (2009) Een Leeuw in een Kooi. De Grenzen van het Multiculturele Vlaanderen (A Lion in a Cage. The Borders of Multicultural Flanders). Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Barnard, B. (2001) Eeuwrest: Een genealogische autobiografie (Century Rest. A Genealogical Autobiography). Amsterdam and Antwerp: Atlas. Bekers, E. (2009) ‘Chronicling beyond Abyssinia: African writing in Flanders, Belgium’, Matatu: Journal of African Culture and Society, 36: 57–69. Bekers, E. (2011) ‘Unigwe, Chika’, in E.K. Akyeampong and H.L. Gates (eds) Dictionary of African Biography, Vol. 6. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 101–103. Berg, C. (1990) ‘De Frans-Belgische letterkunde en het Vlaams bewustzijn: het symbolisch tekort’ (‘Francophone Belgian literary studies en Flemish consciousness: a symbolic deficit’), in A. Deprez and W. Gobbers (eds) Vlaamse literatuur van de negentiende eeuw. Dertien verkenningen. Utrecht: HES, 156–170. Behschnitt, W., L. Minnaard and S. De Mul, eds (2013) Literature, Language and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. Blommaert, J. and J. Verschueren (1998) Debating Diversity. Analysing the Rhetoric of Tolerance. London: Routledge. Boehmer, E. and S. De Mul, eds (2012) The Postcolonial Low Countries. Literature, Colonialism, Multiculturalism. Lanham: Lexington. Boudjaine, S. and T. Naegels (2005) Het boek Saida. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Brouillette, S. (2007) Postcolonial Writers in the Global Literary Marketplace. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Chaara, M. (2007) Gezegend boven alle vrouwen (Most Blessed of Women). Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Cloostermans, M. (2006) De Tak waarop wij zitten. Berichten uit de boekenbranche. Berchem: Epo. Coffé, H. and M. Tirions (2004) ‘Migrantenbeleid in Vlaanderen en Wallonie: een parallel perspectief’ (‘Migrant policy in Flanders and the Walloons: a parallel perspective’), Ethiek en Maatschappij, 7(3): 27–43. De Mul, S. (2013) ‘“The Netherlands is doing well. Allochtonous talent is blossoming there”. Defining Flemish literature, desiring allochtonous writings’, in W. Behschnitt, S. De Mul and L. Minnaard (eds) Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 123–148. De Mul, S. and T. Ernst (2013) ‘Transnational authorship and multilingual literature in Flanders’, in W. Behschnitt, S. De Mul and L. Minnaard (eds) Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 283–316. Eberstadt, F. (2011) ‘Tales from the global sex trade’, The New York Times, 29 April, http:// www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/books/review/book-review-on-black-sisters-street -by-chika-unigwe.html?_r=0 (accessed 28 December 2015). Evaristo, B. (2011) ‘On Black Sisters’ Street by Chika Unigwe’, The Independent, 17 ­September, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/on -black-sisters-street-by-chika-unigwe-5486150.html (accessed 28 December 2015). Evaristo, B. (2012) ‘Review of Unigwe’s Night Dancer’, The Guardian, 3 August. www .theguardian.com/books/2012/aug/03/night-dancer-chika-unigwe-review (­accessed 2 February 2016). Eze, C. (2014) ‘Feminism with a big “F”: ethics and the rebirth of African feminism in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street’, Research in African Literatures, 45(4): 89–103. Fraihi, T. (2004) De smaak van ongelijkheid (Inequality’s Taste). Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Gemenne, F. (2009) ‘Belgium’, in H. Fassmann, U. Reeger and W. Sievers (eds) Statistics and Reality: Concepts and Measurements of Migration in Europe. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 47–66. Huggan, G. (2001) The Postcolonial Exotic. Marketing the Margins. London: Routledge. Kör, M. (2007) De lammeren. Amsterdam: Van Gennep. Kuitert, L. (2001) Vleugelspelers. Uitgevers tussen twee culturen (Wing-Players. Publishers between Two Cultures). Utrecht: Forum. Lamrabet, R. (2007) Vrouwland. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Lamrabet, R. (2008) Een kind van God. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Leyman, D. (2006) ‘Vlaamse allochtone schrijvers uit de kast’ (‘Flemish ethnic-­minority writers in the closet’), De Papieren Man, 9 December.

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Maly, I. (2009) De Beschavingsmachine. Wij en de Islam (The Civilising Machine. Us and Islam). Antwerp: Epo. Nijborg, M. and F. Laroui (2013) ‘The Emergence of a Dutch-Moroccan Literature: an Institutional and Linguistic Explanation’, in W. Behschnitt, S. De Mul and L. Minnaard (eds) Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 225–242. Nwakanma, O. (2008) ‘Metonymic eruptions: Igbo novelists, the narrative of the nation, and new developments in the contemporary Nigerian novel’, Research in African Literatures, 39(2): 1–14. Peeters, K. (2007) De grote Europese roman. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Poel, I. van der (2015) Diasporic Writing: New Moroccan Voices in French, Spanish and Dutch. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Sepp, A. (2010) ‘Grenzübergänge: Transkulturalität und belgische Identität in der aktuellen deutschsprachigen Literatur in Belgien’, Aussiger Beiträge: Germanistische Schriftenreihe aus Forschung und Lehre, 4: 13–26. Soenen, J. (2009) ‘Turkse migrantenauteurs in Nederland en Vlaanderen’, Vlaanderen, 58(328): 270–275. T’Sjoen, Y. (2004) De zwaartekracht overwonnen: dossier over ‘allochtone’ literatuur. (Gravity Conquered: Dossier regarding ‘Allochthonous’ Literature.) Gent: Academia Press. Tunca, D. (2009) ‘Redressing the “narrative balance”: subjection and subjectivity in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street’, AFROEUROPA, 3(1): 1–18. Unigwe, C. (1993) Tear Drops. Enugu: Richardson. Unigwe, C. (1995) Born in Nigeria. Enugu: Onyx. Unigwe, C. (2003a) A Rainbow For Dinner. London: Macmillan. Unigwe, C. (2003b) Ije at School. London: Macmillan. Unigwe, C. (2005) De feniks. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Unigwe, C. (2007) Fata Morgana. Antwerp: Meulenhoff Manteau. Unigwe, C. (2009) On Black Sisters’ Street. London: Jonathan Cape. Unigwe, C. (2011) Nachtdanser. Antwerp: De Bezige Bij. Unigwe, C. (2012) Night Dancer. London: Jonathan Cape. Van Imschoot, T. (2009) ‘Over literatuur en het recht van de minderheid. Naar een Vlaamse minderheidsliteratuur?’ Rekto:Verso, 33, http://www.rektoverso.be/artikel/ naar-een-vlaamse-minderheidsliteratuur (accessed 28 December 2015). Vermeulen, J. (2009) ‘Culturele diversiteit in de Nederlandse literatuur. Aanzet tot bibliografie’, Vlaanderen, 58(328): 306–309.

Chapter 6

Somewhere between ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in France Laura Reeck Abstract France provides an interesting case study with respect to migration and literature in that it has long been a host country to immigrants: its first waves of immigration in the nineteenth century were intra-European; its second waves from the mid-1950s forward were most significantly colonial, then postcolonial, and essentially African. However with virtually no immigrant literature to speak of from these first time periods, this chapter focuses specifically on postcolonial immigrant and ethnic-minority writing whose beginnings date to the early 1980s with beur literature by the sons and daughters of North African immigrants. Over time, both the groups of writers in this broad category and the field of scholarship on it have expanded and diversified. This chapter also highlights the tensions in falling between the ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’ designations and outside of the French literary establishment and university system as an object of study.



Introduction

France has a long history of immigration and also a long history of writers who have migrated to France, and yet it has a short history of discussing these writers as immigrant and ethnic-minority writers. This is tied to three factors influencing the French literary field: French republicanism, which aims to protect equality but which also works against the recognition of difference, the French national language and literary tradition that still dominate the literary establishment and literary studies at French universities and, somewhat paradoxically, la Francophonie. All this complicates any straightforward account of the fields of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing and research. In its principles reaching back to the Revolution, French republicanism is meant to make the public sphere indifferent to social differences, preventing discrimination based on these same differences. Just as republicanism works against recognising minority groups in France on the basis of their racial and/or

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ethnic identities, so, too, does a centralising tendency in the French literary establishment and universities work against designations that would allow for immigrant and ethnic-minority writing to exist by name as such. In the linguistic realm, the stronghold of the French language represents another republican value. Here, two positionings around the French language are of note – one regarding its internal diversity, the other its internationalism. Firstly, proponents of a centralised state as well as institutions such as the Académie F­ rançaise hold French as the sole language of France. These same bodies have not supported the ratification of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, for which France is the lone European country not to have signed. Secondly, France is unique in its promotion of la Francophonie, which can best be seen here as an ideology emanating from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Created in 1970 and today including 80 memberstates and observers, the organisation gathers together countries where French is spoken under the common theme of the universality of French language and culture. These vectors travelling in opposite directions – one to retain and contain standard French, the other to spread French in its diversity – point to some of the paradoxes that have impacted on the field of research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in France. The literary category of Francophone literature derives from and is sustained by la Francophonie. If its logic would have it that ‘Francophone’ designates all writers in French with origins outside the country, whether from French-speaking Canada, Algeria or an Eastern European country, ‘Francophone’ has often come to be seen – both in and outside France – as shorthand for postcolonial literature in French and, in this, it takes on racial and ethnic dimensions. What has resulted from the use of this designation in the literary field is a critical divide between ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’ literatures that has had the effect of keeping the latter at a distance from the former, containing it and ascribing it a foreignness and exteriority. Another consequence of the Francophone designation is that it has subsumed numerous writers who migrated to France. It follows that, when ethnic-minority writing by the descendants of North African immigrants was born in the 1980s, with the advent of beur literature (‘beur’ is backslang for ‘arabe’), there was no normative way to receive it. Despite the fact that many of its writers did not migrate to France but were born and raised there, beur literature was the first to be treated by literary scholars as immigrant literature. To this day, there is no direct equivalent for ‘ethnic minority’ in French social or literary vocabulary. French university structures, departments and curricula have not facilitated an easy housing of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. On the one hand, they have remained bound to the French national literary tradition and, on the

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other, interdisciplinary programmes of study, including postcolonial and cultural studies, only gained legitimacy as fields of study at the turn of the twentyfirst century. However, while both the French university system and the literary establishment have been hostile to immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, literary scholars working outside France have developed a pronounced interest in it since the 1980s. It was therefore external reception that gave these forms of writing their first institutional and conceptual home in the Anglo-Saxon context through the prisms of Africana and French studies in the first instance, and cultural and postcolonial studies in the second. For the purposes of this chapter, I sharpen the main focus to postcolonial immigrant and ethnic-minority writing (i.e. second-generation writing), some of it overlapping with the Francophone literary category, but most falling outside it. Implicit in this sharpening is the importance of colonial history and the ‘mission civilisatrice’ that brought the French language to some of its colonies, as well as the zones of obscurity born of the colonial era that persist today and that are sometimes reflected in the writing under review and in its reception. Specifically, I focus on the emergence and literary-critical treatment of (1) beur literature, (2) banlieue literature written by postcolonial immigrants and ethnic minorities, and (3) African emigrant writing, all the while evoking other bodies of literature, including Vietnamese immigrant literature and literature by the descendants of harkis.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

Context Prior to 1980 France provides an interesting case study in that it has long been a host country to immigrants: its first waves of immigration in the nineteenth c­ entury were intra-European; its second waves from the early 1900s forward were most significantly colonial, then postcolonial. The immediate period after World War i saw much the same need for workers as had existed at the time of nineteenth-century industrialisation; they came once again from within Europe and were once again predominantly male. Countries represented in the post-World War ii wave of intra-European emigration to France ­included Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain. By 1930, France had the second-largest number of immigrants in the world, second only to the United States. It also had the highest rate of foreign population growth in the world. While post-World War ii immigration continued to depend upon demographics and labour needs, it expanded to include a wave of what was, at first, a colonial immigration and, from the early 1960s

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onward, a ­postcolonial immigration. In the aftermath of the Algerian War, one million pied noirs, Europeans who had lived in Algeria, and the harkis, those ‘Muslim soldiers’ who sided with the French during the Algerian War, migrated to the French métropole, rendering more complex the nature of ­migration from Algeria. The history of later twentieth-century immigration thus largely overlays France’s colonial and postcolonial relationship to Africa. If the first intra-European wave tended to quickly blend into ‘le creuset français’ (the French melting pot, Noiriel 1988), the second did not. Postcolonial immigrants faced challenges to find and keep work, remained largely illiterate, embodied visible difference and often held Islamic cultural and religious heritage. Through the right to asylum granted in the 1958 constitution, an influx of political exiles arrived in France over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, fleeing South American dictatorships, in particular Augusto Pinochet’s regime, and Eastern European dictatorships, such as that of Ceauçescu, together with post-war Vietnam. Before this, France had welcomed refugees and exiles from Armenia and Russia (1920s) and Spain (1930s), and Jewish immigrants fleeing conditions in Eastern Europe in the years preceding World War ii. More recently, especially over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, asylum-seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia were received in France but not granted residence permits, which led to the highly mediatised sans papiers (undocumented) crisis of the 1990s. In addition to being an immigrant destination, France has historically been a prized location for philosophical and literary thought as well as for freedom of expression. Whether home to Harlem Renaissance and ex-pat American writers in the 1920s, Eastern European writers and intellectuals during the Cold War era or Spanish writers and artists during the Francoist era, Paris has long served as a world literary capital. Numerous writers have sought refuge in France (i.e. Vassilis Alexakis, James Baldwin, Tahar Bekri, Rachid Boudjedra, Paul Celan, Négar Djavadi, Linda Lê, Amin Maalouf, Andreï Makine, Leïla Marouane, Jacques Rabemananjara, Jorge Semprún and Samar Yazbek); others have ‘adopted’ France as a place of residence (i.e. Samuel Beckett, André Chédid, Albert Cossery, Abdelkader Djemaï, Jonathan Littell, Eduardo Manet, Julia Kristeva and Zoé Valdés); others studied in France and stayed on (i.e. Calixthe Beyala, François Cheng, Emil Cioran, Léonora Miano, Marjane Satrapi and Brina Svit); still others have continued to move between a home country and France, or France and other countries (i.e. Bessora, Mahi Binebine, Assia Djebar, Anne Hébert, Nancy Huston, Alain Mabanckou, Anna Moï and Abdourahman Waberi). Although all the above-mentioned writers migrated to France, they have typically been discussed as bilingual, bicultural and/or Francophone

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writers – not as immigrant writers. When discussed as Francophone writers, they retain a marked relationship with their home country and/or region and a certain distance with respect to France.1 Colonial and postcolonial North and sub-Saharan African immigration provided the first contours for a field of postcolonial immigrant and ethnicminority writing. Though it is commonly held that there was no immigrant writing to speak of at the end of one of the most dynamic eras of immigration (1960s–1970s), Susan Ireland has qualified an unstudied set of North African immigrant memoirs written either by or with a collaborator or co-author as ‘Autobiograph(ies) of Those Who Do Not Write’ (Ireland 2001: 26).2 Also, importantly, North African writers who had lived in France ‘witnessed’ for immigrant groups. Driss Chraïbi’s Les Boucs (1955, The Butts, 1993), Malek Haddad’s Le Quai aux fleurs ne répond plus (1961, The Quai of Flowers has gone Silent), Kateb Yacine’s Le Polygone étoilé (1966, The Star Polygon), Rachid Boudjedra’s Topographie idéale pour une agression caractérisée (1975, Ideal Topography for a Specific Aggression), Tahar Ben Jelloun’s La Réclusion solitaire (1976, Solitaire, 1988),3 and Mohamed Dib’s Habel (1977, Abel) were all published by French publishing houses, in particular Denoël. They evoked the North African immigrant’s condition in unabashedly harsh terms, dwelling on his disorientation in France as well as on his physical and emotional discomfort. While these 1 With this sharpening, I will not discuss literature from the Départements et Régions d’OutreMer, though an argument could certainly be made to include it. Part of my rationale is that the droms remain inextricably tied to France – the people living in the droms are French citizens with particular ties and history with France. And writing from the droms has been studied as Francophone literature though, in some rare instances, scholars have studied it through the lens of immigration (see, for example, Murdoch 2001; Proulx 2001). Another interesting contribution is Alison Rice’s (2007) assertion that postcolonialism also defines postCommunist Eastern Europe, and so Francophone Eastern European writer such as Agota Kristof, Milan Kundera and Andreï Makine can be read as postcolonial writers. 2 Ireland lists the following: Mohamed Belkacemi and Alain Gheerbrant’s (1974) Belka; Ahmed’s (1973) Une vie d’Algérien, est-ce que ça fait un livre que les gens vont lire?; Mohamed’s (1973) Journal de Mohamed; Christian’s (1977) Zistoir Kristian; Nedjma Plantade’s (1993) L'Honneur et l’amertume; and Dalila Kerouani’s (1991) Une fille d’Algérie éprise de liberté (Ireland 2001: 26). She also mentions a book ensuing from Tahar Ben Jelloun’s dissertation work, La Plus haute des solitudes, misère affective et sexuelle d’émigrés nord-africains (1977, The Greatest Solitude: Affective and Sexual Suffering among North African Emigrants). 3 Ben Jelloun has the most consistently explored immigration, from his essay Hospitalité française (1984) to a novel narrated from the perspective of the daughter of Algerian immigrants, Les Raisins de la galère (1996, Fruits of Our Labour) and Partir (2006, Leaving Tangier, 2009).

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writers all lived in France for a time – some of them settling there – and drew upon the theme of immigration, they did not consider themselves to be immigrants and have been discussed in literary-critical studies as Francophone Algerian or Moroccan writers. However, with the advent of beur literature in the 1980s, they came to be studied through the lens of immigrant literature, as was especially the case in the Littératures des immigrations en Europe (Bonn 1995, Literatures of Immigration in Europe) volumes that will be referenced in the next section. In the same timeframe, in novels by sub-Saharan African writers such as Camara Laye’s L’Enfant noir (1953, The Dark Child, 1994), Ousmane Sembène’s Le Docker noir (1956, Black Docker, 1988), Bernard Dadié’s Un nègre à Paris (1959, An African in Paris, 1994) and Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s L'Aventure ambiguë (1961, Ambiguous Adventure, 1972), the mythical colonial capital proves alienating for protagonists who leave West Africa for France with an educational pursuit. Kane and Laye themselves studied in Paris at university level, Dadié went as a chroniqueur and Sembène’s first episodes in France were being mobilised in World War ii and then living undocumented in France, working on the docks in Marseille. Like their North African counterparts, these sub-Saharan African writers were published in France. They heavily influenced the course of Francophone African writing and were also active commentators on the immediate post-independence era in Africa. In the early 2000s, their writings came to be a point of reference for scholars of African emigrant writing who sought to give shape and meaning to ‘Black Paris’ and/or ‘Black France’ in a turn toward transnationalism. There was immediate critical response: articles and reviews on the North African writers appeared in Notre Librairie and Cahiers Nord-Africains in France, and in such reviews as Books Abroad (subsequently World Literature Today) in the United States. Critical work on sub-Saharan writers also figured in Notre Librairie, as well as in Présence Africaine and the L’Harmattan bookstore and press when it opened in 1975 with the aim of publishing on Africa and the ‘Third World’. When these writers met with critical acclaim, it was as African writers, as was the case when Kane’s L’Aventure ambiguë won the Grand Prix Littéraire d’Afrique Noire in 1962. Anthologies proved to be of particular importance, since the above-mentioned writing emerged as the fields of research on North and sub-Saharan African writing were being delineated. Writers themselves compiled groundbreaking anthologies, such as Léopold Senghor’s Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache (1948, Anthology of New ­Negro and Malagasy Poetry), introduced by Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay ‘Orphée noir’ (1948, ‘Black Orpheus’). As in this case, French intellectuals of the time often

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collaborated with writers from Africa; there is no better instance than the 1956 Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris.4 Dissertations and university work by scholars who defined the emerging field of research on sub-Saharan African writing appeared in the 1960s and 1970s – Lilyan Kesteloot, Mohamadou Kane, Jahn Janheinz and Jacques Chevrier among them. Some contributed anthologies of note, for instance Kesteloot’s Anthologie négro-africaine (1967, Black Writers in French, 1974). There was a more considerable time lag for critical work on North African writing, perhaps because négritude and its literary-critical institutions had prepared the way for sub-Saharan African writing. Charles Bonn and Christiane Chaulet-Achour defended dissertations on Algerian literature in the early 1980s. When anthologies by Bonn (1990) and Chaulet-Achour (1990) ensued, they included the North African writers mentioned above and beur writers who had begun to make their mark in the early 1980s – itself a literary intersection of note. The Context since 1980 The arrival of beur literature on the French literary scene in the 1980s marked the beginnings of literary-critical theorisation and conceptualisation of postcolonial immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. It appeared as the policy of integration was taking shape in France, at a time when French institutions began to account for an immigrant community that had formed in France.5 In 1983, a threshold was crossed when anti-racism groups active in France, namely sos Avenir Minguettes (which would become sos Racisme), organised a demonstration march 60,000 persons strong from Marseille to the doorstep of the presidential palace in Paris. That same year, Mehdi Charef’s novel Le Thé au harem d’Archi Ahmed (1983, Tea in the Harem, 1989a) appeared. With his 4 Hosted at Paris’ Sorbonne University, this congress turned on discussion of slavery and European colonialism. It brought together a range of prominent literary personalities of the time, including the American writers Richard Wright and James Baldwin, fathers of négritude Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor, the Malian writer Hampâté Bâ, the Haitian philosopher Jean Price-Mars, Frantz Fanon, the Martinican writer and philosopher Edouard Glissant, the Haitian writer René Depestre, the Senegalese intellectuals Cheikh Anta Diop and Abdoulaye Wade, and the American dancer Josephine Baker, along with major figures in French intellectual life of the time, Claude Lévy-Strauss, Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso. 5 Tribalat’s Faire France (1995, Making France) was the first quantitative study to distinguish between ‘foreigners’ and ‘immigrants’ and also between immigrants and their descendants. Despite this new work, common perceptions persisted. ‘Immigrant’ coded for anyone of racial or ethnic difference from the majority and continued to connote a foreigner. This could include the descendants of North African immigrants who, in most instances, were French nationals, and French citizens from the French overseas territories.

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­mediatisation on literary talk shows such as Bernard Pivot’s iconic A ­ postrophes, Charef quickly became the spokesperson for the emergent beur literature.6 A wave of writing followed with writers such as Azouz Begag, Farida Belghoul, Ahmed Kalouaz, Leïla Sebbar and Akli Tadjer. They appeared with a range of publishers, including Barrault, Mercure de France, Seuil and Stock, following no one avenue to get published. Typically, the first beur writers were published as a result of the writer’s initiative, and sometimes with the help of a particularly receptive and encouraging contact or editor (e.g. Charef and Belghoul). Despite the interest shown by publishers, in critical reception and even by some of the writers, beur literature was often cast as ‘illegitimate’ (Sebkhi 1999). Early literary-critical studies of beur literature in France and the United States appeared in journals and reviews devoted to North or sub-Saharan Africa. In France, the literary journal Notre Librairie (since 2007, Cultures Sud) included book reviews and short articles, and L’Harmattan press published the first scholarly monograph on beur literature (Laronde 1993). In the United States, Research in African Literatures, the journal of the African Literature Association, published some of the first articles on beur literature (e.g. Djaout 1992; Rosello 1993). Meanwhile French-language reviews such as Algérie Littérature Action in France, Le Maghreb Littéraire in Canada and Etudes Francophones and ceflan (Centre d’Études sur les Littératures Francophones d’Afrique du Nord) Review in the United States as well as the bilingual The Maghreb Review brought beur literature into focus via its ties to North Africa. Algérie Littérature Action had the added component of a related press, Marsa Editions, which published a number of beur writers, many of them just starting out.7 A step toward formalising the study of postcolonial immigrant and ethnicminority writing in France occurred with a conference held at the ­Université Paris Nord in 1994. Its location in the north of Paris symbolised an important threshold: located outside the périphérique ring road in one of Paris’ workingclass and immigrant-based banlieues (suburbs), the conference was ­ex-centred and took as its object a field of writing that had also remained ­largely ­ex-centred. An imperative framed the conference – to consider beur literature 6 Published in 1981, Hocine Touabti’s L'Amour quand même (Love Anyway) is said to be the first beur novel, but Charef’s bookstore and media success placed him in the spotlight. He also directed a film version of his novel under Costa-Gavras’ sponsorship and guidance. This, too, contributed to his notoriety and reach, as the film was attributed numerous prizes in 1986, including the French César for the Best First Film. 7 Marsa Editions fills in an important void in publishing short fiction, such as Beur Stories (Talmats et al. 2001) and poetry – most recently by poets such as Habib Osmani (2014) and Kamel Rachedi (2014).

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in France and equivalent writing in Belgium from aesthetic and comparative standpoints and, in so doing, catch up with the field of sociology, which was much more advanced in studying immigration. In the introduction to the proceedings, conference organiser Charles Bonn posed the critical challenge in these terms:8 This first volume begins with a theoretical inquiry into the literary problems posed by the emergence of this new space of writing, which could be seen as illegitimate in that it evades all traditional critical approaches. So the problem then becomes the very possibility of literary activity in a space that, until very recently, was never considered a literary space. 1995: 11, author’s translation

While the central object of study was North African immigrant literature, literatures and immigrations were plural and concerned a variety of European immigrations. On the other side of the Atlantic, a pivotal issue of Yale French Studies (1993) had pointed to the burgeoning field of postcolonial studies, ‘Post/colonial conditions: exiles, migrations and nomadisms, Parts i and ii’. The editors of the double volume, Françoise Lionnet and Ronnie Scharfman, place these ‘post/ colonial conditions’ both within France and in what had typically been seen as the Francophone sphere, North and West Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Vietnam and the Indian Ocean: ‘We have included many areas of the postcolonial world, and addressed some of the concerns of the “New Europe” with its internal minorities such as the Beurs’ (1993: 1). In this issue, the editors and contributors at once broadened and problematised the category of Francophone literature with the introduction of postcolonial ethnic minorities. Beur writers juxtapose well-established Francophone writers, giving the

8 Then professor at the Université de Lyon ii, Charles Bonn played a vital role in bringing immigrant and ethnic-minority writing with ties to North Africa to French academic circles and universities. As one of the founders of the Coordination Internationale des Chercheurs sur les Littératures du Maghreb (ciclm), Bonn has coordinated numerous efforts, including colloquia (Expressions littéraires de l’immigration, 1994; Paroles déplacées, 2002), the associated Littératures du Maghreb (limag) website and database and, today, a Facebook page. The ciclm’s literary journal Expressions maghrébines has also published special issues featuring or intersecting with North African immigrant and ethnic-minority writing – e.g. ‘Azouz Begag From A to Z’ (Hargreaves 2002); ‘Au-delà de la littérature beur’ (Hargreaves and Gans-Guinoune 2008) and ‘Traversées francos-maghrébines’ (Hargreaves 2013).

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former an increased visibility and legitimacy within the postcolonial studies library. The above volume was the first to survey postcolonial literatures from across the Francophone sphere. Vietnamese immigrant literature, which had received less critical attention than its North or sub-Saharan African counterparts, finds representation in an essay on Pham Van Ky, who migrated to France in 1938 and whose Perdre la demeure (1961, Losing Home) led to his being awarded the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie Française. Ky wrote in isolation, not within a movement or alongside other writers (an early study of note is Yeager 1987; for recent studies on Vietnamese writing in French, see Pham 2013; Selao 2011). Another early writer of note was Pham Duy Khiêm, who wrote collections of Vietnamese legends, first published in Hanoi and then in Paris in 1953, that won him Le Prix Littérature d’Indochine in 1943. A recent example following the storytelling tradition is Xuan-Hung Nguyen, who wrote 30 contes du Viêt-nam (2010, 30 Stories from Vietnam) for his children, who were born in France. In the 1990s, a general quell in writing was reversed with a new set of writers, including Ly Thu Ho, Kim Lefèvre, Linda Lê, the Tran-Nhut sisters, Anna Moï and Duong Thu Huong (who took up residence in France in 2006). All born in thenIndochina, these writers left for France in the 1960s and 1970s either to pursue higher education or as exiles from revolution and war. As a result, their writing has concentrated on trauma, loss, and generational splits and turns. Theirs can be seen as a literature of exile or even, in some cases, as a refugee literature. One point of note in this field of writing is the preponderance of women writers; another is the emergence of second-generation writers such as Doan Bui, Hoai Huong Nguyen, Minh Tran Huy and Jean-Michel Truong. Another dimension of note is that numerous Vietnamese immigrant and ethnic-minority writers have worked in the literary arena – Linda Lê and Minh Tran Huy both worked for Le Magazine Littéraire, and Phan Huy Duong edits and translates for the Asia list with publisher Philippe Picquier. A set of distinctive literary-critical institutions has supported and promoted Vietnamese immigrant writers: the Prix Littéraire de l’Asie, the Sudestasie bookstore and L’Harmattan Asie. In the mid-1990s, beur literary production slowed: many early writers wrote only one novel, never pursuing a writing career or a second publication. This gap in production may have been bound up with the fact that socio-political discourse was moving away from integration, and the early writing that had turned on integration as a central concern quieted. Meanwhile, a cohort of young writers from sub-Saharan Africa came to reside in France as students and exiles. In 1998, Notre Librairie published a frequently referenced essay by the writer Abdourahman Waberi, ‘Les enfants de la post-colonie’, which generated lively discussion (see, for instance, Mongo-Mboussa 2002). In it,

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the ­Djibouti-born Waberi calls the new set of writers the ‘fourth generation’ of African writers and describes its members born after the African Independences as being international nomads who hold a double identity (African and French). With this set of writers, emphasises Waberi, the focus should no longer be on a return to a native land, but rather on arrival – and staying on – in France. Writers such as Calixthe Beyala, Daniel Biyaoula, Kossi Efoui, Alain Mabanckou and Waberi emigrated to France in their teens, often in the context of an emigration of choice or an intellectual emigration. Here a live tension arose in a differentiation along the lines of social class: writers who were the descendants of North African immigrants remained in a sort of no-man’s-land, and were sometimes studied as immigrant writers, whereas writers of ­sub-Saharan African origins were discussed as emigrant writers and, often simultaneously, as Francophone writers. Much as beur literature found sponsorship with its ties, however loose, to North Africa, the new wave of African emigrant writing found sponsorship through its ties, which were undeniably stronger, to Africa. Scholarship appeared with L’Harmattan, Présence Africaine, Notre Librairie or Research in African Literatures and in such magazines and websites as Jeune Afrique, ­Afrik. com and Africultures.com, the latter two primarily publishing interviews, short articles and events. Initially, the most common way to receive the African emigrant writing of 1990s was to relate it to the long-standing theme of migration from Africa to Paris going back to the 1930s with Ousmane Socé’s Les Mirages de Paris (1937, Mirages of Paris), and extending through Bernard Dadié and Cheikh Hamidou Kane. In the late 1990s, scholars also began to study it along the same conceptual and theoretical lines as beur literature – indeed, beur literature had created a new literary-critical space tied to immigration. In the mid-1990s, what came to occupy the headlines of French dailies in lieu of integration was a troubling disintegration in the banlieues défavorisées and the lack of social mobility for people living there. Though the subsidised housing projects, the Habitations à Loyer Modéré (hlms), had initially been built to accommodate the working class of the 1970s, they had come to house those families who had not experienced generational social mobility and who could therefore not afford to seek more ‘centred’ housing. In this same timeframe, the field of research on postcolonial immigrant and ethnic-minority writing turned away from the category of beur literature and toward a broader ­category – that of banlieue literature. Banlieue literature brought diverse ethnicities, grittier storylines and the peripheral space of the banlieue into focus. Rachid Djaïdani’s Boumkoeur (1999a, Bunker), in which an author-character sets out to document life in his banlieue, marked the beginning of this new literary line extending through such writers as Mouss Benia, Bessora, Faïza

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Guène, K ­ aoutar Harchi, Abd Al Malik, Thomté Ryam, Insa Sané, Rachid Santaki, Dali Misha Trouré and Yémi (on Djaïdani’s place with respect to banlieue literature and its complications, see Lia Brozgal 2011). As a result of its nominal location on the periphery, scholars have shown concern that banlieue literature may get assigned to a literary ghetto in which it is doomed to reside. Some have preferred to see it as ‘urban literature’, as will be discussed later, and others have argued for its pluralisation as ‘littératures de banlieues’ (Chaulet-Achour 2005). As postcolonial dimensions and dynamics, particularly those between the centre and the periphery, captured the attention of scholars, the category of Francophone literature came under review. In the American context, Christopher Miller’s Nationalists and Nomads (1998) and, in the French context, JeanMarc Moura’s Littératures francophones et théories postcoloniales (1999) and Pascale Casanova’s La République mondiale des lettres (1999, The World Republic of Letters, 2007) helped to unlock ‘Francophone’ from ‘postcolonial’. For his part, Miller provided an early and provocative argument for questioning the category of ‘Francophone literature’: In current usage ‘French’ and ‘francophone’ are often used in contradistinction to one another; curriculum is discussed in terms of French literature and ‘also’ francophone literature’ (that is, literature in the French language but coming from former overseas colonies or overseas territories) – as if French were not itself francophone […] With the impact of African immigration in France becoming more and more evident, with the complexion of French society changing toward greater diversity, the definition of what is French will evolve accordingly (1998: 55). In reference to the American university, Miller suggests that French curricula will have to extend to include what had formerly been thought of as a ‘Francophone’ curriculum. This goes hand-in-hand with the recognition of ethnic minorities in and of France. The Francophone designation came under further scrutiny in 2006, when many of France’s literary prizes went to writers of non-French origin: Jonathan Littell (Goncourt), Nancy Huston (Femina), Alain Mabanckou (Renaudot) and Léonora Miano (Le Goncourt des Lycéens). This unusual and exemplary literary prize season inspired writers Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud to bring together 44 signatories to sign the ‘death certificate’ of Francophone literature in a manifesto released on 15 March 2007 to Le Monde des Livres, ‘Pour une “littérature-monde” en français’ (‘For a world literature in French’). With such a stunning sweep for the French literary prizes by Francophone writers, they and

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their signatories argued that it is no longer necessary to differentiate French writing from France and extra-hexagonal Francophone writing. The periphery now occupies the centre: it is now possible to imagine a literary landscape in which centre and periphery no longer signify – a world literature in French. From among the 44 signatories, nearly half could be considered as Francophone postcolonial writers. Of note, not a single beur or banlieue writer was included.9 Thus, though the littérature-monde manifesto sought to eliminate the spatial divide between the French-speaking periphery and metropolitan France, it did not consider or alter the relationship for writing on the margins in metropolitan France.10 In the same timeframe, new writing appeared. Jean-Marc Roberts, then head of Stock publishing house – a publisher who has listed numerous beur and banlieue writers, spoke of one in five manuscripts coming from the banlieues défavorisées in the months following the 2005 riots, which started on the periphery of Paris and spread to the peripheries of France’s largest cities (Roberts 2007). This harkened back to the outpouring of beur novels in the wake of the March for Equality and Against Racism in the mid-1980s. Among the writers appearing in the generation of 2006, many of whom were published by Stock, were those writers participating in Collectif Qui Fait la France? with Mohamed Razane at its head. Collectif Qui Fait la France? was the first such writers’ group to be constituted and run by writers in the banlieues défavorisées; their manifesto, released in 2007 to Le Nouvel Observateur and Les Inrockuptibles only several months after the ‘Pour une “littérature-monde” en français’ manifesto was published, was the first of its kind. Although the descendants of North African immigrants figured the most prominently among its members, the Collective included descendants of sub-Saharan African immigrants: Thomté Ryam and Dembo Goumane were now, like the beur writers of the 1980s, born and raised in France. The tenor of the group’s manifesto, which also appeared as a preface to a volume of short stories by its members, Chroniques d’une société annoncée (2007), is decided and angry; it calls for the recognition of difference in France and for a committed literature emanating from the ‘ban’ (‘margins’) that holds 9

A follow-up volume to the group’s first collection of essays, Pour une Littérature-Monde (Le Monde 2007) rectified this in part: Je est un autre: pour une identité-monde (Le Bris and Rouaud 2010) includes essays by Azouz Begag and Ahmed Kalouaz (N’Sondé also has an essay, but he now resides in Germany). Leïla Sebbar also contributes an essay. 10 See Murphy 2010; Puig 2011b; Reeck 2010. Also, important discussion of the impact of the manifesto for sub-Saharan African writers is under review in an issue of Yale French Studies (Mabanckou and Thomas 2011). Writers and also university professors, Waberi and Mabanckou contribute important essays.

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a mirror to the world. Importantly, Razane declared the group definitively ­‘beyond immigration’ (Razane 2007).11 One of the consequences of the ‘Pour une “littérature-monde” en français’ manifesto is further and more serious thinking along the lines of a ­post-Francophone literary field. This has heralded a new lens through which scholars have considered immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, namely as migrant literature. Once again, a split in internal and external scholarship is obvious: efforts to conceptualise migrant literature in the French context have largely come from without, notably from French-speaking Canada and Germanophone Europe. Most recently, Ursula Mathis-Moser and Birgit MertzBaumgartner have spearheaded efforts to categorise and define migrant literature, including the 2012 publication of Passages et Ancrages en France: Dictionnaire des écrivains migrants de langue française (1981–2011), and a research programme at the University of Innsbruck, ‘Cultures en contact’. This shift means that writers formerly viewed as bilingual, bicultural and/or Francophone – Dai Sijie, Andreï Makine, Milan Kundera, Nancy Huston, etc. – are now being read as migrant writers.12 Most recently, Subha Xavier’s The Migrant Text: Making and Marketing a Global French Literature (2016) has interestingly added the category of migrant literature to discussions of minor and major literatures as its own entity. Placing migrant literature squarely within the economy of global literature, and thus evoking a comparative context, she studies the cases of French-language writers from both Québec and France (i.e. Calixthe Beyala, Mehdi Charef, Ying Chen, Naïm Kattan and Dany Lafferière). One group of writers who escape virtually all existing designations is the descendants of harkis. Much as there was no immigrant literature written by 11

12

On this point, Collective member Amellal, a trained and published social scientist and lecturer at Sciences Po, sees no reason to not borrow from the Anglo-Saxon multiculturalist model and to affirm ‘Let’s recognise cultural origins, ethnic minorities, and differences while remaining French’ (2005: 39, author’s translation). In their edited La Littérature ‘française’ contemporaine: contact de cultures et créativité (2007, Contemporary French Literature: Cultural Crossroads and Creativity), MathisMoser and Mertz-Baumgartner bring together essays exploring the formal creativity brought about through migration. In the first essay in the collection, Porra queries the effacement of socio-historical differences between the regions and writers included in ‘migrant literature’. She advocates for a ‘writing back to’ for postcolonial writers and a ‘writing in’ for those non-postcolonial writers who write in French (2007: 24). She notes distinctive features of their writing that separate them: the first adhering to a Third Space and the second to French values and discourse; the first using hybrid writing; the second Academic French (2007: 24). In so doing, she problematises the umbrella category of ‘migrant literature’.

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postcolonial immigrants in the 1960s and 1970s, the harkis themselves did not produce a literature. Rather, with the coming-of-age of the descendants of harkis, many of whom began their lives in France in the infamous harki camps, a literature has grown up, much of it testimonial and linked to the trauma of war and forced exile. Interestingly, the first scholarly treatment of the harkis in literature concerned Mehdi Charef’s second novel, Le Harki de Meriem (1989b, Meriem’s Harki), published in 1989, nearly a decade before the first writing by the descendants of harkis (see Reeck 2006; Rosello 2005). Much like recent Vietnamese immigrant literature, literary production has especially come from women writers, the daughters of harkis. Of note here are Zahia Rahmani, Dalila Kerchouche, Hadjila Kemoum and Fatima Besnaci-Lancou. Memory, testimony and witnessing, and claims for social justice characterise the scholarship to date. Cross-disciplinary methodologies combining historical, political-science, law and literary approaches inform the first edited volume (A Practical Guide to French Harki Literature, Moser 2014) on this growing field of writing and research that sits adjacent to, but not within, other second-generation writing. If African emigrant writers have been prized and recognised, as the 2006 literary prize season attests with Alain Mabanckou and Léonora Miano both receiving prizes,13 beur and banlieue literatures have been undervalued, perhaps because of non-normative aesthetic attributes or their often overtly political overtones. Despite their preponderance, they have not been recognised by France’s ‘national’ literary prizes and often occupy the margins of literary events such as book fairs or literary debates. It would appear as though those literatures the most proximate to French literature are the most nettlesome, as if internal diversity does not bear the same attributes as external diversity.14 Meanwhile, a range of outlets have contributed to making beur and banlieue literatures more visible. The first of these is Beur fm, founded in 1981 by 13

14

A case of note is Marie N’Diaye. For more on her 2009 Goncourt win and complicated ­ osition within the French literary establishment, see Thomas (2011b). See also Albert p (2005: 188–192). On this, Julia Kristeva is instructive in Strangers to Ourselves (1991: 39–40): ‘And yet, one is nowhere better a foreigner than in France. Finally, when your otherness becomes a cultural exception – if, for instance, you are recognized as a great scientist or a great artist – the entire nation will appropriate your performance, will assimilate it along with its own better accomplishments, and give you recognition better than elsewhere. This will not happen without a twinkling of the eye directed at your oddity, so un-French, but it will all be carried off with great panache and splendor’. This double standard might explain the nomination of certain Francophone writers to the Académie Française, including François Cheng, Assia Djebar, Dany Laferrière and Amin Maalouf.

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Nacer Kettane, author of Le Sourire de Brahim (1985, Brahim’s Smile), which ­institutionalised a literary prize in 1997 seeking ‘to highlight the literature of the Mediterranean by prizing a work published and edited in France dealing with topics related to the Maghreb, the Mediterranean, or plural identity’ (Radioactu, 2012, author’s translation). Another institution that has worked to promote and recognise immigrant and ethnic-minority writing is the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration (cnhi), whose affiliated literary critic and journalist, Mustapha Harzoune, reviews immigrant and ethnic-minority writing on the cnhi website and in its social-science journal, Hommes et Migrations. A second way in which the cnhi is furthering the visibility of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing is in its literary prize inaugurated in 2010, Le Prix de la Porte Dorée, which recognises the best work of fiction dealing with the themes of immigration and exile. This thematic approach importantly stands to broaden the view of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in France. Outside France, Florida State University’s Winthrop King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies has provided a venue for conferences and events related to immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in France. When the institute was founded in 2001, Alec Hargreaves became its first director and, under his leadership, several important conferences were held – e.g. Azouz Begag from A to Z in 2002, Littérature-Monde: New Wave or New Hype? in 2009 and Franco-Maghrebi Crossings in 2011 – with writers often invited to participate alongside scholars. In the United Kingdom, the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies (sfps) has provided a similar context. Founded in 2002, the society seeks to encourage research along numerous intersecting lines, including ‘Scholars/researchers of the “immigrant” cultures of ­ex-colonised populations in France/Belgium’. Its website – http:// sfps.org.uk/ – states as its mission: ‘[sfps] seeks to decolonise the term Francophone, emphasizing that it should refer to all cultures where French is spoken (including, of course, France itself), and it encourages a critical reflection on the nature of the cognate disciplines of French Studies, on the one hand, and Anglophone Postcolonial Studies, on the other’. The sfps sponsors an annual book-length volume published by Liverpool University Press. Another pole for scholarly activity on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing was at the Università di Bologna from 2008–16, where Ilaria Vitali hosted writers and conferences, including a 2014 one-day conference ‘Banlieues engagées: littérature, cinéma, et pouvoir’ (‘Commitment in the Banlieues: Literature, Cinema, and Power’). Also situated at the university, the Francofonia literary journal is of note, and particularly Vitali’s (2010) edited issue ‘Exilées, expatriées, nomades’

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(Italian-language scholars will be interested in Vitali’s 2014 monograph). Another important Italian-based conference was organised by Elisa Bricco, Serena Cello, Catherine Douzou, and Nancy Murzilli and held in Genoa in 2015. ‘Banlieues/Periferie’: quelles représentations contemporaines des quartiers ‘sensibles’? (Banlieues/Periphery: contemporary representations of the disadvantaged suburbs) was a comparative, interdisciplinary and international conference that resulted in a special issue of Itinéraires. Littérature, textes, cultures (Bricco et al. 2017) entitled ‘Banlieues: entre imaginaires et expériences’ (Banlieues: between imaginaries and experiences). On the ground level in France, recent writing fairs and contests such as ‘Des quartiers et des livres’ (‘Hoods and Books’) and ‘Exister à bout de plume’ (‘Write Yourself into Existence’) have legitimised immigrant and ­ethnic-minority writing, and especially banlieue (or ‘urban’) writing, in France in their own way. ‘Des quartiers et des livres’ was a 2013 book fair held in honour of writers from the banlieues défavorisées who practice urban literature; writers in attendance included Khalid El Bahji, Dali Misha Touré, Rachid Santaki and Berthet One. It was sponsored by neighbourhood cultural associations in the north of Paris. ‘Exister à bout de plume’ got its inspiration from Rachid Djaїdani, who once proclaimed on the programme Bouillon de Culture ‘I write to exist’ (1999b). This writing contest asks participants between the ages of 16 and 36 to invent a short story or poem about a young person born to immigrant parents. The manifesto of the contest organisers, most of them doctoral students in French literature, express their view as follows on the contest’s website (http://­ existeraboutdeplume.fr/): ‘We reject the idea of cultures as monolithic and impenetrable. We consider them fundamentally hybrid’ (author’s translation). The jury of ‘Exister à bout de plume’ selected five winning texts from over 100 submissions, and collected 30 of them together in Nouvelles migrantes (2013, Migrant Stories). In 2010 and 2011, events such as ‘Offensive sur la littérature urbaine’ (‘Urban literature on the attack’) aimed to familiarise the reading public with an under-recognised form of literature – urban literature. Its byline was ‘Notre révolution sera culturelle’ (‘Our revolution will be cultural’). Writers such as Mohamed Razane, Abdel-Hafed Benotman and Bader Lejmi participated. While these literary events came off with success, they have not been easily sustained, and the latter two have been discontinued. An undertaking that originated with writer Rachid Santaki is the ‘Dictée des cités’, in which people of all ages are invited to complete dictations in French for their age group in a view to a prize. In 2017, the programme celebrated its 100th dictation since its inception in 2013. Finally, an initiative that led to a printed product is the Banlieue Network begun by researchers Juliet Carpenter and Christina Horvath, which sought to explore and expose creativity in the banlieues défavorisées.

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An artistic collaboration between scholars and banlieue residents in 2013 led to an exhibition and its catalogue entitled Voices and Images of the Banlieue/Voix et Images de la Banlieue (Horvath and Carpenter 2014), which contains both original photographs and texts.

Approaches and Interpretations

With few academic structures or journals that regroup writers as ‘immigrant and ethnic-minority writers’, the field of research could be seen as fragmented. Looking primarily at monographs, edited volumes and journal special issues, the following sections highlight emblematic concepts and theories around which a critical mass of scholarship has formed and debates have arisen. To some degree, the sections follow the chronological progression of writers and writing as they emerged, and yet this progression is not strictly linear. While certain, and especially borrowed, concepts appear to have been time-sensitive, particularly those in the postcolonial-studies lexicon, others – such as ‘métissage’ – have been used across time. Another constant across time has been an attempt to locate immigrant and ethnic-minority writing – to find a categorical ‘home’ for it. In what follows, travelling through postcolonialism, métissage/ hybridity and transnationalism, the general arc maps to a post-migration literature now firmly implanted in France.

Reading beur and banlieue Literatures through ‘origins, integration and identity’ From the outset, a strand of literary scholarship placed beur literature in a Bourdieusian field. As such, it was seen within a web of social and political discourses, media influences and appearances, dismissal by the French literary establishment and a set of normed reading practices. Turning on the key concepts of ‘origins, integration and identity’ (Charef 2005: 103, ­author’s translation), early scholarship on beur literature simultaneously examined narrative invention and distilled the notion that the emergent literature should be read as autobiography or document. In 1990, Azouz Begag, a trained sociologist, author of over thirty novels, children’s books and a comic book  – Leçons coloniales (with D. Defali 2012, Colonial Lessons)  –  and the first-ever Minister for the Promotion of Equal Opportunity (2005–2007), copublished Ecarts d’identité (1990, Identity Gaps) with psychologist and anthropologist A ­ bdellatif Chaouite. In it, Begag and Chaouite insist that evidence of literariness and the writers’ critical distance complicate autobiographical interpretations:

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[…] this rebellion has found expression in a new type of writing that foregrounds hybrid sensibilities, revolt that explodes in humouristic terms, life stories seen through a relativising lens – which is to say with critical distance (1990: 101, author’s translation). They offer the example of Farida Belghoul’s first and lone novel, Georgette! (1986), a psychological shock-novel built on a young girl’s interior monologue as she attempts to accommodate her home and school environments, which stand for her Algerian and French contexts. Begag and Chaouite claim its formal elements – such as allusion and ellipsis (1990: 105) – show the reader more about the young girl’s situation than the novel’s ‘facts’ tell about it. This argument for Georgette! suggested turning away from the impulse to read beur literature as autobiography or document.15 Hargreaves’ Immigration and Identity in Beur Fiction (1991) became a ­literary-critical reference and starting-point for scholarship on beur literature. In it, Hargreaves provides a panoramic look at emergent authorial and narrative voices in beur fiction. Taking into account some 20 narratives by beur writers, Hargreaves’ study looks specifically at narrative invention, the narrators’ position on the narratological axis of space, within or outside, and their position on the narratological axis of time – narrative time vs time of narration. For the latter, Hargreaves leverages Gérard Genette’s narratological studies and such devices as flashback and flashforward (1991: 144–145). Using these, Hargreaves shows how some early beur narratives are not all ordered – rather some are disordered – and that this disordering tells the reader something about the narrator and/or characters – that they do not fit to their surroundings or expectations of them, as is particularly the case with Belghoul’s Georgette!, Leïla Houari’s Zeida de nulle part (1985, Zeida from Nowhere), and Mustapha Raith’s Palpitations intra-muros (1986, Interior Palpitations). This serves to disrupt the autobiographical and documentarian readings of beur literature. Also included in the study is extensive bibliographic information on the writers, many of whom Hargreaves informally interviewed. 15

Gadant’s provocative early article in Les Temps Modernes (1984) inspects a related idea – the assumptions that come with being an ‘emigrant writer’ – which she uses in lieu of ‘immigrant writer’: ‘Are emigrants, like the working class of which they are a part, destined to depict their condition of domination, and to continually reproduce it?’ (1984: 1991, author’s translation). She then asks if there is a way for writers like Mehdi Charef, whom she studies in the article, to move outside this: ‘Can an emigrant situate him/herself as a producer of culture in a field in which he/she is seen as an object to consume?’ (1984: 1995, author’s translation).

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Michel Laronde’s Autour du roman beur: immigration and identité (1993, On the Beur Novel: Immigration and identity) takes up 27 beur novels identified through his own criteria (novels with ‘beur’ content). Using a cross-disciplinary approach – ethnological, linguistic and sociological – he excavates a range of concepts influencing difference, alterity, métissage and foreignness, as well as discourses on power (Foucault’s panopticon; delinquency) and Orientalist exoticism. Laronde’s primary focus is to destabilise the identity of ‘immigrant’ that was being shaped around by negative stereotypes in the media.16 He nuances the relationship between French/immigrant, French/beur, beur/ immigrant to challenge the erroneous correlation in the mid-1980s that beurs were foreigners.17 At the same time, guided by Julia Kristeva’s Etrangers à nousmêmes (1988, Strangers to Ourselves, 1991) and Tzvetan Todorov’s Nous et les autres (1989, On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought, 1993), he aims to reduce the difference between a set of binaries: France/Algeria, Europe/Africa, Occident/Orient, French/Algerian (Laronde 1993: 43). In so doing, he highlights the bi-cultural nature of beur identity, which he defines in terms of ‘métissage’ (cultural hybridity), a concept that has been used across the field of research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, and which will get more attention in a later section of this chapter. It seems the 2005 riots on the periphery of France’s largest cities re-ignited interest – on the part of scholars – in returning to the themes of ‘immigration, integration and identity’. They did so with the new terminology of ‘banlieue’ or ‘urban’ literature. After a gap of nearly ten years, new studies appeared, and with them came more emphasis on film, as well as new concerns such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and belonging. Sylvie Durmelat’s Fictions de l’intégration: du mot beur à la politique de mémoire (2008, Fictions on Integration: From the Word Beur to the Politics of Memory) returns to the French policy of integration and tests it against literary and cultural production by the descendants of North African immigrants. She focuses on novels 16

For Rosello, conflated media and political discourse that made ‘Maghrebian’ equivalent to ‘immigrant’ (1993: 13) was misleading and restricting. She invokes the tactic of ‘departenance’: ‘Departenance would thus be a way of acknowledging that one had been called upon to “belong”, while fully recognizing what would be lost if one remained satisfied with a national or cultural identity fashioned by others’ (1993: 23). It is thus an act of resistance, a calling out. ‘Departenance’ connects to Rosello’s (1998) important theorisation of ‘declining the stereotype’. 17 See Rice (2014) for a recent study working around Kristeva’s notion of ‘étrangeté’ and highlighting three women writers who have chosen to live in France and write in French – Mauritian-born Nathacha Appanah, Senegalese-born Fatou Diome and Indian-born ­Shumona Sinha.

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by Azouz Begag, Farida Belghoul and Paul Smaïl (one pseudonym of Jacques Alain Léger), urban writing (Rachid Djaïdani and Mohand Mounsi) and feature films from the 1990s and documentary films and events – including the France vs Algeria football match of 6 October 2001 – that remember, rememorialise or re-enact events and moments significant to the North African immigrant community in France. She argues that the descendants of North African immigrants have moved to speak as individuals and as a collective, becoming actors in the cultural field and amassing cultural capital (Durmelat 2008: 301): ‘Critically reviewing national narratives includes producing fictions on/of integration in which the descendants of immigrants and their parents are not only the actors, but also for which they are the authors and audience’ (2008: 304, author’s translation). According to Durmelat’s line of argument, more work remains to be done on integrating ‘populations connected to France’s colonial history’ (2008: 23, author’s translation) into the political community. Reading beur and banlieue writers into the heart of French society is also the objective of Laura Reeck’s Writerly Identities in Beur Fiction and Beyond (2011). Reeck explores how Azouz Begag, Farida Belghoul, Saïd Mohamed, Leïla Sebbar, Rachid Djaïdani and Mohamed Razane position themselves as writers and filmmakers and how, through their use of the author-character, their writing evinces its own identity. Reeck inscribes the writers she studies as active participants in contemporary debates in France on education, immigration and the lived environment in the banlieues défavorisées, providing evidence of how they ‘want to reconnect French republicanism to reality and make it relevant to everyone in France’ (2011: 172). Another aim of the book is to show how the writers and their author-characters evoke a ‘reconstructed narrative pact’ (2011: 18) which protects dialogue and conversation. Reeck argues that it is suggestive of ‘a new social pact that does not deny shared values, but nevertheless safeguards differences’ (2011: 18), one built on ‘rooted and vernacular cosmopolitanism’. Attention to the parameters and pressures of nation and belonging motivates Vinay Swamy’s Interpreting the Republic (2011). In his study, Swamy pairs novels and films, setting them inside a broad field of socio-political discourse on the nation-state. He orients his analysis around Michel de Certeau’s ‘tactics’ for staking claims, Stuart Hall’s ‘identification’ – a process in flux and becoming, and Mireille Rosello’s interest in cultural practice as opposed to cultural identity. Taken together, these concepts, which speak to how marginalised groups knowingly gain access and power, guide Swamy in excavating novels by Azouz Begag, Farida Belghoul, Soraya Nini and Y.B. to explore marginalised ethnicities, and a set of films to explore marginalised sexualities. Swamy concludes his study by suggesting that the corpus studied ‘call[s] for a renewed

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engagement with the traditional understanding of the Republic, one in which difference is not seen as a divisive element in France’ (2011: 149). This reading coheres with Durmelat (2008) and Reeck (2011); together their studies point toward a wider view of French culture and society, one of the now and the future that includes the voices of immigrants and ethnic minorities. A more recent study by Kathryn Kleppinger offers an interdisciplinary approach with media studies at its centre. Branding the Beur Author: Minority Writing and the French Media (2016) examines a range of writers including many of those mentioned above, i.e Azouz Begag, Farida Belghoul, Mehdi Charef and Rachid Djaïdani, but also lesser-studied writers like Sabri Louatah. Across the study, Kleppinger focuses attention on how radio, television and print journalism have contributed to shaping the understanding and reception of second-generation North-African writers, and how the writers have often reacted in consequence. In a chapter on Faïza Guène drawing on Stuart Hall’s notion of an ‘oppositional’ reading, Kleppinger shows how Guène strategically used the media to contradict how it had framed her as an ‘outsider’. In so ­doing, Guène lay claims to the position of an ‘insider’ to the French literary establishment: ‘It is unlikely that Guène would have enjoyed such success on television had she come of age in the 1990s, when journalists only wanted to discuss Islamism and female oppression. Little attention was granted to authors who opposed dominant narratives in the 1990s’ (Kleppinger 2016: 234). Across her study, Kleppinger importantly queries why certain writers have been featured in the media, and why these same writers then get a preponderant amount of attention by literary scholars. What this suggests, among other things, is the media’s notable importance in shaping the contemporary literary landscape. Reading with the Postcolonial-Studies Lexicon Jean-Marc Moura speculates that reticence towards postcolonial studies in French universities may have stemmed from its appearing to be another ‘post’: poststructuralism, postmodernism, etc. (1999: 4) or a passing vogue. While historians and social scientists turned to postcolonial studies just as important translations reached France (i.e. Frederick Cooper, Paul Gilroy, Cornel West), literary scholars hesitated, much as they had in engaging with ­post-structuralist theorists such as Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva, themselves complicated French nationals who contributed to the nascent conversation on postcolonial theory (for more on this, see Zecchini and Lorre 2010). When postcolonial studies arrived in full in literature departments, it was in comparative literature departments where interdisciplinary thought and English-language theorists, including Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak, quickly became common currency. For his part,

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Charles Bonn has said: ‘Americans throw together under “postcolonial studies” all the texts produced by colonized writers: for us, it’s just a geographical question that overlaps with la francophonie’ (Bonn 2009, author’s translation). Yet if postcolonial literary studies merely overlap with the geographical sphere of la Francophonie in the French context – here linked to the colonial empire – they would not include many of the nuances that they are meant to introduce, including postcoloniality in the former colonial centres. From the historical perspective, postcolonial studies implies a laying bare of the colonial era but, as late as 2005, a law was passed in France to valorise the benefits of colonialism in school classrooms. Moura (1999: 1) identifies the refutation by historians of this law, which was ultimately repealed, as the entry point for postcolonial studies in France. In addition to Moura and Zecchini and Lorre, other discussions on postcolonial studies in France are in Albert (2005); Hargreaves (2005); and Joubert (2014). While French universities delayed in the adoption of postcolonial studies as a field of study in literature until the turn of the twenty-first century, scholars working in Anglo-Saxon countries, including French scholars working abroad, turned to several definitional interventions in the mid-1990s, namely Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus (1987) and Kafka: Toward a Minor L­ iterature (1986) as well as Homi Bhabha’s Nation and Narration (1990) and The Location of Culture (1994). The key concepts of minor literature and the deterritorialisation it produces, the Third Space and nomadism became the basis for the postcolonial-studies lexicon in the French context.18 Given the literary language often in evidence in beur literature – one built on the spoken register, slang, dialectical Arabic and a heavy reliance on dialogue – scholars were drawn to examining it as a minor literature. In a broad look at beur novels by Begag, Belghoul, Charef, Tassadit Imache and Ahmed Kalouaz, Hargreaves (1995) queries the judgment that beur writing constitutes a minor literature. In response to Deleuze and Guattari’s view of minor literature, Hargreaves believes that three conditions must be met in the French context: a narrative instance that sets itself apart from standard French, a project for cultural autonomy, and a publishing and distribution network that allows for this project to be realised and circulated (1995: 18). Situating beur literature 18

Nomadism, or ‘errance’ in his vocabulary, became an imperative for the Martinican thinker Edouard Glissant, who characterised relational movement in terms of detour, deviation and derivation in Poétique de la relation (1990, Poetics of Relation, 1997). In it, Glissant elaborates on the nature and challenges of contested identities, the importance of the oral register/history and the inevitability of the mixity of space. He drew direct inspiration from Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome and also in theorising his ‘errance’.

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in French cultural space, Hargreaves notes that beur writers have been published by Parisian publishing houses and have gone through an editorial process to make their writing accessible to the French reading public. As such, there can be no shared project for cultural autonomy. In an analysis of Farida Belghoul’s (1986) Georgette!, Mark McKinney queries this assessment, though he also interprets Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of minor literature loosely by equating oral culture with a minor language. Focusing on the novel’s oral texture, the scholar argues that Belghoul produces a deterritorialised language: ‘By injecting the minor languages of Maghrebi and French oral cultures into the dominant language of the French novel, she disrupts the conventional patterns of written literary expression’ (2001: 106). McKinney suggests that the novel should be seen as minor literature with ‘a radical minoritarian demand’ (2001: 112) for equity in French society. In Un passé contraignant: Double Bind and Transculturation (2000), Michèle Bacholle concurs with McKinney. In this comparative study, the scholar pairs Agota Kristof (the Hungarian-born Swiss writer), Farida Belghoul (the FrancoAlgerian writer) and the French-born Annie Ernaux. She unites them around the notion of the ‘double bind’ resulting from ‘the contradictory demands of their environments put upon the authors at a particular time in their lives’ (2000: 13). In her reading, the double bind is not destructive but, instead, leads to the Third Space and produces ‘transculturation’ (2003: 9) and, ultimately, a minor literature.19 In reference to Georgette!, Bacholle identifies four languages at work in the novel: dialectical Arabic, standard French, literary French and classical Arabic, also locating the stylistics that qualify minor literature, beginning with the exclamation mark in the title. Bacholle concludes that Belghoul’s novel is minor literature that deterritorialises, carrying with it a social and political function and charge to ‘denounce the fragile and uncomfortable situation in which the beurs find themselves and give the beurs a voice’ (2000: 159, author’s translation). In her contribution to the Yale French Studies issues, Samia Mehrez critiques Deleuze and Guattari’s minor literature, suggesting that they are interested in ‘“depoliticized” implications of minor literature for native speakers of major languages’ (1993: 27). She further suggests that deterritorialisation is not enough: ‘[…] the crucial task is to go beyond such a stage to trace new territories which minority discourses are acquiring, and to examine the strategies by which they seek to legitimate themselves’ (1993: 28). As her object of study, she takes Azouz Begag’s first novel, Le Gone du Chaâba (1986, Shantytown Kid, 19

Bacholle (2001) has also studied Vietnamese-born writer Linda Lê and pied noir writer Marie Cardinal through the concept of the Third Space, which she ties to métissage.

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2007), which follows Azouz, a young boy of Algerian origins, from the Chaâba, the shantytown outside of Lyon where he lives with his Algerian immigrant family, to the school classroom, where he enters the public sphere for the first time. Mehrez maps the narrator’s movements and struggles to find a ‘stable territory’ (1993: 39), which includes a linguistic anchor – as the boy operates between dialectal Arabic, standard French and Lyonnais slang. Mehrez does not see the narrator as having arrived at reterritorialisation, but as having put strategies in place – adapting, thwarting, avoiding. For her part, Martine Delvaux mobilises Bhabha’s Third Space of enunciation, built upon ambivalence, dissonance and, ultimately, the contamination of dominant discourse, as she reads the novels of Begag, Belghoul and Charef: ‘The ambivalence at the heart of beur novels is a double movement of moving away and back in, belonging and not belonging. This mirrors the discursive position of someone using irony, who both makes and uses a statement to an end’ (1995: 683, author’s translation). Delvaux insists upon irony and humour as tactics within the Third Space and upon mimicry as double movement.20 As to the latter, she argues: ‘In play with mimicry, the beur author/narrator shows his/her unwillingness to belong to a particular group. The choice is forced upon him/her, but refused’ (1995: 688, author’s translation). In line with Bhabha, Delvaux sees the Third Space as one that incites the reader and scholar to work with and around textual hybridity and an ideological ambivalence, according to which there is no one answer or solution, except for the contamination of dominant models.21 In contrast to the Third Space, scholars also explored the bounds of Deleuze and Guattari’s nomadism, which travels in a different direction as a ­non-binding, non-dialectical mode of thought – an unclosed space. In her reading of Vietnamese-born writer Pham Van Ky, who sits atop the 20th century genealogy of Vietnamese writers in France, and Tahar Ben Jelloun, Lisa Lowe (1993) moves through Foucault’s heterotopic spaces to the more complex view of spatial heterogeneity with Deleuze and Guattari, and ultimately to the way in which nomads and nomadic thought benefit from smooth space – moving freely and making their own way: ‘I mean to thematize in spatial terms the need to avert colonialism’s binary logic, which works to 20

21

Humour and irony are identified in Ecarts d’identité as important de-centring tactics in early beur novels (Begag and Chaouite 1990: 100, 106; see also Abdel-Jaouad 2002; Christiane Chaulet-Achour 1997; Laronde 2002). Talahite (2001) emphasises the place of the Third Space in beur literature, interestingly focusing on how new articulations of beur identity and ethnicity are kept ‘secret’ and are thus at once refractory and undetermined.

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project and o­ verdetermine certain forms of identity – nativist, nationalist, or fundamentalist – as the responses to colonialism’ (1993: 48). Equating Oedipal discourse to a ‘powerful instrument of colonialism and bourgeoisifcation’ (1993: 61), Lowe follows a strand of Oedipal discourse in Ky’s Des femmes assises ça et là (1964, Women Seated Here and There), showing how Ky uses it to keep his emigrant writer-narrator from getting framed: ‘The narrator wanders from location to location; he oscillates in his thoughts […]; he refuses to submit to the “choice”, which would be tantamount to accepting socialization as a male colonial subject’ (1993: 54). In this way, Lowe suggests that the splitting nomadic subject constitutes a form of resistance to the binary thought that pervaded colonialism.22 The postcolonial-studies lexicon prompted scholars to read immigrant and ethnic-minority writing through its subversive potential as well as through the claims it stakes to both nation and narration. Critiques and cautionary notes have shown that the postcolonial-studies lexicon does not always cross seamlessly from one context to another. Mehrez argued that deterritorialisation is not a productive endpoint in the case of beur literature and that, in this regard, scholars did not come up with a unified answer to whether or not it constituted a minor literature. However, one interesting side-effect of begging this question is that beur literature became positioned within the French cultural field; as scholars showed, it was only here that it could be a minor literature. Reading with métissage: Synonym for Hybridity? A concept that grew out the social sciences in France, métissage came to encompass literary studies as well. In the first instance, métissage, or mestizaje, was a lens through which historians and anthropologists examined the intermixing – both racial and cultural – between colonised and colonisers, slaves and slave-owners. In the colonial context, métissage led to social-class and racial hierarchies as well as to new cultural expression. In its more contemporaneous usage in literary studies, métissage has come to signify racial/ethnic, cultural, linguistic and even genre mixing, often in some combination.23 22

23

Oedipal and/or psychoanalytic readings surface the most frequently around the themes of trauma and loss in exile. Bacholle-Bošković (2006) has read Linda Lê through a deconstructive psychoanalytic approach. See also Pinçonnat (2012) on Lê, Zahia Rahmani and Assia Djebar. The French conceptualisation of métissage owes in part to discussions in the Caribbean. Edouard Glissant, along with Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphael Confiant, had long been attuned to cultural mixing and transculturation in Caribbean discussions of Antillianité, créolité and créolisation. For his part, Glissant often pointed to beurs and young Antillians, ethnic minorities in France, as uniquely ‘creolised’ and, as a result,

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In his contribution to Discours sur le métissage, identités metisses: en quête d’Ariel (Kandé 1999, Discourses on mixedness, mixed identities) – articles published following an international conference of the same name at New York University – Michel Laronde (1999) positions Leïla Sebbar’s Le Chinois vert d’Afrique (1984, Green, Chinese, African) and Calixthe Beyala’s Le Petit prince de Belleville (1992, Loukoum: The Little Prince of Belleville, 1995) using métissage, which he qualifies in the literary text as décentrage – or the pulling apart of linguistic and literary norms.24 Laronde shows how Camerounian-born Beyala scrambles conventional discourse on race from the young narrator’s first introduction, in which he confuses ‘gynecology’ with ‘genealogy’ (1999: 155), and then proceeds, through colour coding, to scramble the binary of black and white. In reading Sebbar’s Le Chinois vert d’Afrique, whose protagonist is a young boy with mixed Algerian and Vietnamese origins, Laronde emphasises the unusual importance of ‘green’ as a racial signifier and social stigmata – one that situates the young protagonist, Momo, in the margins: ‘A fitting empirical genetic hybridity because the color green elicits extreme alterity’ (1999: 145). Laronde is interested in how métissage moves from racial and social discourse to inhabit the literary text, where it gets undermined. Kim Lefèvre was born to a Vietnamese mother and an unknown French father in Vietnam and left the country for France in 1960 when she was in her twenties. She is known for not lauding but, rather, condemning her mixed origins, as Ching Selao points out: ‘The fear of “mixed blood”, which is a central theme of Métisse blanche (1989, White Métisse), is closely related to the rejection of Eurasians by the Vietnamese’ (2001: 214). Throughout Lefèvre’s first autobiographical installment, she suffers from her ‘mixed blood’, which is viewed and which she views as an impurity or perversion. As a result of feeling foreign in her own country, Lefèvre determines to leave Vietnam and garners a fellowship to study French at the Sorbonne. When she returns to Vietnam some 30 years later to visit, which she recounts in Retour à la Saison des Pluies (1990, Return to the Rainy Season), she does so as an immigrant and must confront her decision to have abandoned her family. Selao reads the two ­autobiographical

24

c­ apable of rendering borders and boundaries within Europe more porous (Glissant 2011). While Glissant’s créolisation has been equated at times to métissage, and Glissant himself sometimes used the two concepts in tandem, they do not have the same endpoint. Whereas the endpoint of métissage was a Third Space, Glissant aligned himself with Deleuze and Guattari by insisting that there is no end point to créolisation. Laronde (1996) defines ‘décentrage’ as: ‘Writing that produces a Text exerting linguistic and ideological decentering with respect to a centralized Language and Culture […] this Writing is produced within a Culture by writers who are partially external to this culture’ (1996: 8, author’s translation).

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installments in terms of the complications and complexities of a métissage born of the colonial era and refuses to glorify it. Rather, it appears as one motivating force behind Lefèvre’s writing in her quest to ‘exorcise the past’ (quoted in Selao 2001: 219). Michael O’Riley (2005) works along similar lines and with these same texts before arriving at Lefèvre’s Moi, Marina la Malinche (1994, I’m Marina La Malinche), in which he finds a mirror effect between Cortès’ translator, la Malinche, who becomes the mother of his mixed-race child, with Lefèvre’s mother who bore her. O’Riley locates ‘an embedded auto/biographical text’ (2005: 937), concluding in a way similar to Selao in suggesting that Moi, Marina la Malinche shows that the colonial domination, imperialism, and métissage of that era brought with them complexities and complications that cannot easily be effaced (for another reading of Lefèvre with métissage, see Yeager 1996). Beyond racial mixing, Françoise Lionnet’s influential work has defined métissage as producing a new way of thinking, one that opposes centuriesold Western philosophical binary thought: ‘Métissage is such a concept and practice: it is the site of undecidability and indeterminancy, where solidarity becomes the fundamental principle of political action against hegemonic language’ (1989: 6). On linguistic and literary métissage, Lionnet wrote: To write in French is thus also to transform French into a language that becomes a writer’s own: French is appropriated, made into a vehicle for expressing a hybrid, heteroglot universe. This creative act of ‘taking possession’ of a language gives rise to the kind of linguistic métissage visible in many contemporary francophone works (1996: 326). In this vein, Crystel Pinçonnat (2003) calls the way in which Azouz Begag mixes registers and languages in Le Gone du Chaâba ‘linguistic métissage’. In her estimation, North African immigrant writers invent a new diglossic language, all the while using humour to stand at a distance from it. For her part, using the concept of ‘l’hybridité textuelle’ (textual hybridity), all the while referencing Michel Laronde’s work on textual métissage, Martine Fernandes (2007) studies Farida Belghoul, Maryse Condé, Assia Djebar and Calixthe Beyala. Because she sees postcolonial theory as too abstract (2007: 275), she determines to examine the particular stylistics of postcolonial women’s writing in France. In her reading of Calixthe Beyala’s Tu t’appelleras Tanga (1988, Your Name Shall be Tanga, 1996), Fernandes remaps a stereotyped ‘destiny of the African women’ through the conceptual metaphors of moving through mud, carrying physical burdens and clothing worn to show that progressing despite all these, defies the notion of destiny – for her, this is ­tantamount to a

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conceptual alteration. She considers that Beyala calls upon women to use their imaginations to see their lives differently: ‘The call to use imaginative, creative reason constitutes a “cognitive” revolution’ (2007: 270, author’s translation). Fernandes concludes that the writers in her study undermine the dichotomies of reason and imagination, fiction and non-fiction, giving rise to a textual hybridity at the base of which sits ‘conceptual integration’ (2007: 271). In these studies, métissage and hybridity function as synonyms, with scholars alternating between them and affirming that they similarly lead to a Third Space (for a parsing of métissage and hybridity, see Prabhu 2007). A point of tension that sometimes arises with the postcolonial-studies lexicon is that métissage contradicts nomadism, which remains an unending, non-finite process. In Remnants of Empire in Algeria and Vietnam, Pamela Pears (2004) attempts to work around some of these tensions as she studies novels by Yasmina Mechakra, Ly Thu Ho, Malika Mokeddem and Kim Lefèvre. In this comparative study of Algerian women writers and Vietnamese immigrant writers on the theme of war, Pears again travels between métissage and hybridity (2004: 1), discussing them as synonymous. For all these writers, war is the basis for considerable suffering and, as evidence of this trauma, the main unifying feature of the writing discussed is fragmentation. In her study of Ly Thu Ho’s novel Le mirage de la paix (1986, The Mirage of Peacetime), Pears argues that fragmentation is a form of reconstitution in post-war Vietnam – a means of allowing past and present, tradition and modernity to coexist. Pears concludes that the female protagonists she features embody métissage insofar as they reappropriate such fragmentation and make it a survival tactic: ‘[They] weave together various traditions, languages, and concepts of identity’ (2004: 145). She goes on to thwart any contradiction with Deleuze and Guattari: ‘Superficially contradictory, this braiding allows these women to exist in the in-betweenness that Deleuze and Guattari invoke in their 1987 work A Thousand Plateaus (2004: 145). Interestingly, a similar conclusion is reached by Marie-France Etienne in her 2003 study of Linda Lê’s tortured and exilic oeuvre: ‘The in-between becomes the space sought out and found’ (2003: 81). In her study – Recasting Colonialism: Women Writing between Worlds (2001) – of Assia Djebar and Leïla Sebbar, qualified here as Algerian ­exiles, Anne Donadey also confronts the tensions between métissage and the  ­postcolonial-studies lexicon.25 Donadey’s aim is to blend anticolonial, postcolonial and feminist 25

In her epistolary exchange with Nancy Huston, Lettres parisiennes: autopsie de l’exil (1999, Parisian Letters, Dissecting Exile), Sebbar details her métissage and explains her close proximity to the descendants of North African immigrants.

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theory in a meaningful way. Her primary concerns are the way in which postcolonial theory does not attend to gender, and the way in which Bhabha’s theoretical concepts distill the relationship between coloniser and colonised. In the case of these women writing between Algeria and France, that relationship remains a key to the violence in their writing: ‘Indeed, many postcolonial writers such as Assia Djebar and Leïla Sebbar find narrative ways of focusing both on the violence of the colonial encounter and on its resulting hybridity’ (2001: xxiv). Donadey thus sets out to show the coexistence and cooperation between theories and theorists who are sometimes opposed (i.e. Fanon and Bhabha), and the importance of certain colonial-era discourses. In her reading of Sebbar’s (1984) Chinois vert d’Afrique and Shérazade trilogy (1982, 1985, 1991), Donadey studies the fragmented identities of the characters through ‘their masquerades as signs of resistance to Orientalism’ and the many names they use (2001: 132). Both amount to a ‘hide and seek’ that prevents their hybrid identities from being fixed or consumed. Whether the tensions between métissage and the postcolonial-studies lexicon are resolved in the above is less important than noting the way in which scholars have been led to grapple with them. A French-specific concept, métissage did not fit perfectly with the postcolonial-studies lexicon, though it has been used as a conceptual synonym for hybridity. One curious feature to the scholarship is that it disproportionately uses the concept of métissage to treat women writers. It has also been used in extension: an interesting case is that of Nina Bouraoui, born to an Algerian father and French mother, whose ethnic métissage gets refracted through her lesbian identification in numerous studies, making métissage synonymous with genderbending and lesbianism (e.g. Enjolras 2008; Jaccomard 2004). In those cases where writers have been read through their own racial or ethnic mixing, as with Leïla Sebbar and Kim Lefèvre, métissage has been a powerful way of accounting for postcolonial identities and for showing the complexities in such identities.

Transnational Readings: Black Paris, Black France, Afropean and Beyond From a literary standpoint, Black Paris became a reality in the early part of the twentieth century. In 1921, René Maran, a writer of Guyanese origins born in the then-colony of Martinique, won France’s prestigious Prix Goncourt with his novel Batouala: un véritable roman nègre (1921, Batouala: A True Black novel, 1972). In the same timeframe, the first minority literary movement in France, négritude, was born in the colonial capital of Paris with the Martinican Aimé

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­Césaire, Guyanese Léon Damas and Senegalese Léopold Senghor. A collaborative spirit also brought about Présence Africaine, a review founded in 1947 by the Senegalese philosopher Alioune Diop, which appeared in both France and Senegal, and a bookstore of the same name that opened in Paris’ Latin Quarter. France was also the stopping-off point for René Depestre, the Haitian poet and novelist, who exiled three times, once from Haiti, once from France and once from Cuba – when he returned to France. All this points to a vibrant ­Franco-African transnationalism, one which again came into focus with a new generation of African emigrant writers in the late 1980s and early 1990s (for a comprehensive survey of successive generations of African writers, including the new generation of African emigrant writers of the 1980s and 1990s, see Lydie Moudelino 2003). It is further worth pointing out that Paris remains the capital of Francophone African publishing through such specialised lists as Hatier’s Monde Noir, Gallimard’s Continent Noir, and the publishers Silex, Sepia, Serpent à plumes, L’Harmattan, Karthala and Présence Africaine though, as Lydie Moudelino (2003: 9–10) notes, since the 1980s attempts have been made to establish alternative presses in African countries (this centralisation of publishing in Paris, true for the whole of Francophone writing, has been discussed fully by Casanova 1999). Published in the wake of Paul Gilroy’s influential The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (1993), Bennetta Jules-Rosette’s Black Paris: The African Writers’ Landscape (1998) was the first of several scholarly monographs to make a turn toward transnationalism. With methods ranging from archival research to over 40 interviews and guided visits of neighbourhoods such as the immigrant-based Belleville, she examined the history of African writing and French identity. In her study, Jules-Rosette moves across generations of Black writers in Paris, beginning with négritude and ending with the African emigrant writers of the 1990s. The impetus for her study was to fill a void in critical studies on this last set, with whom Jules-Rosette identifies the loss of the Pan-African identity of the mid-twentieth century: African writing in France today is characterized by a psychological turn inward. This trend should be considered in terms of the social context for African writing. Problems of African immigration, assimilation, and marginalization in France are themes that give new meaning to contemporary authors’ narratives of longing and belonging (1998: 15). Related to this, from interviews with the new African emigrant writers living in France, including Simon Njami and Calixthe Beyala, Jules-Rosette picked up on the term ‘Parisianism’, which the writers used ‘[…] to describe their own

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works and to assert their cultural claim of belonging to French society’ (1998: 148). In this way, the writers positioned themselves within the ongoing history of Black Paris. Cazenave extends ‘Parisianism’ in Afrique sur Seine: A New Generation of Writers in Paris (2003), focusing on Calixthe Beyala, Daniel Biyaoula, JeanRoger Essomba, Yodi Karone and Alain Mabanckou. Cazenave argues they decentre both French and African literatures, initiating a new literature. In her introduction, she compares this emergent African emigrant literature to beur literature, noting a similarity in the textual dynamic of inclusion/exclusion bound up with the process of integration. However, notes Cazenave, ‘contrary to the Beur novel, this writing relies on an actual national experience and is written by first-generation emigrants, for whom memories and links with Africa are, for the most part, still fresh in their minds’ (2003: 6). Furthermore, the writers she studies do not want their writing to be seen as immigrant literature. Ultimately, Cazenave distinguishes African emigrant writers from beur writers: this literature of immigration does not evince a ‘right to difference’ as beur literature does; it does not evoke a collective, but rather focuses on individual destinies, and does not have a socio-political identity, since no claims are being made to or about French national identity. She further suggests that beur literature draws upon identity often cast as ‘neither/nor’, whereas the African emigrant literature has métissage at its centre. Dominic Thomas’ (2006) Black France: Colonialism, Immigration, and Transnationalism concentrates on the writers Henriette Akofa, Calixthe Beyala, Daniel Biyoula, Fatou Diome and Alain Mabanckou. Working to suspend overdetermination and categorisation, Thomas is careful to locate his study within France as a whole and not in Paris alone, which he believes leads to ghettoising the literature in question. In this, he takes distance from Jules-Rosette and Cazenave, whom he claims both overemphasise the importance of Paris. In fact, Thomas is not primarily interested in France, but rather in the intercultural and transnational relationship between France and Africa. He is attentive to how writers have had an impact in Africa, transforming it into a ‘global territorial signifier’ (2006: 22). In pairing colonial era and postcolonial texts, texts written in Africa with texts written in France with movement between and across space, Thomas uses a transnational framework to examine labour mobility, flows of capital, globalisation, immigration laws and youth culture. For instance, in his discussion of Diome’s Le Ventre de l’Atlantique (2003, The Belly of the Atlantic, 2006), Thomas claims that the writer’s overall project is to d­ emystify the centrality of France for African youth, to debunk ‘mental colonization’ (2006: 190). He shows that, with her emphasis on the socio-economic realities of African immigrants in France in juxtaposition with the ­consequences of globalisation

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for Africa, Diome evokes a ‘transcoloniality’ (2006: 186) binding past to present and local to global. Hitchcott’s and Thomas’ edited volume, Francophone Afropeans (2014), continues along the lines of the aforementioned studies but broadens the space under consideration to Europe. They write: ‘Through the different contributions in this volume, readers will discover the symbiotic ways in which Africa has transformed Europe and been transformed in/by Europe, and in turn how Africanness has (re)defined Europeanness’ (2014: 5). The volume also includes short stories by the Afropean writers studied – Fatou Diome, Alain Mabanckou, Léonora Miano, Wilfred N’Sondé, Sami Tchak and Abdourahman Waberi. The volume aims to show that the writers’ concerns reach beyond the borders of France to Europe, engaging decisions, policies and views of identity within Europe as a whole. Though not as evident in the research, transnationalism has also been used in relation to the Franco-North African relationship, and for the immigrant and ethnic-minority writers contained within it. Hafid Gafaïti, editor of the L’Harmattan series Etudes Transnationales, Francophones et Comparées, has led the way in this area with several edited volumes. Cultures transnationales de France: des ‘beurs’ aux…? (2001), Migrances, diasporas et transculturalités francophones (2006), and its counterpart Transnational Spaces and Identities in the Francophone World (2009) – the last two with Lorcin and Troyansky – are the fruits of a 2002 conference at Texas Tech University. In Cultures transnationales, Alec Hargreaves contributes an essay showing the influences of the ‘Black Atlantic’ on second-generation North Africans in France, and the transfer of images and information through the media, which results in ‘a profound hybridity going well beyond the ­Franco-Maghrebi couple’ (2001: 36, author’s translation). In Migrances, diasporas et transculturalités, the editors frame the volume in terms of the increasing diasporisation of the ‘immigrant identity’, which forces simultaneous consideration of ‘immigration, exile, diasporization, and transculturalism’ (2006: 8). Because transnationalism brings with it a particular insistence on geographical and geopolitical configurations and reconfigurations as well as a marked interest in migration and immigrant communities, its purview stands to be wide and comparative. A still-more-recent approach to unlocking the France– North Africa couple is in evidence in Claudia Esposito’s The Narrative Mediterranean: Beyond France and the Maghreb (2013) in which the Mediterranean Basin becomes the contact zone under study, and writers like Tahar Ben Jelloun, Mahi Binebine, Nina Bouraoui and Amin Maalouf are studied alongside North African immigrant writers in Italy like Abdelmalek Smari, Mohsen Melliti and Amara Lakhous. The space of the Mediterranean is also foregrounded

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in Thomas’ ‘The global Mediterranean: migration and literature’ (2011a), a tour de la question in which he gives voice to illegal immigration (for discussions of illegal immigration in fiction and film, see Abderrezak 2009; Redouane 2008; Rosello 2002). As for the sub-Saharan African emigrant writers, when studied through the lens of transnationalism and not as Francophone African writers alone, scholars placed them within a transversal space of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing.

Post-Migration Readings: Re-situating Postcolonial Second-Generation Writing? The 2005 riots in France followed by the 2007 Qui Fait la France? manifesto prompted scholars to evaluate the state of the beur/banlieue literary and cultural field. Several monographs in this line have already been discussed in the first section. Journal issues of note also appeared. With them, scholars asked, among other things, if a new generation of writers had emerged with literary production in the wake of the riots, and how they related to previous generations of writers. One common thread to the issues was the notion of a dépassement. In a 2008 issue of Expressions maghrébines edited by Alec Hargreaves and Anne Marie Gans-Guinoune – ‘Au-delà de la littérature beur: nouveaux écrits, nouvelles approches critiques?’ (Beyond beur literature: new writing, new critical approaches?) – contributors refer to the transcended category of beur literature in terms like ‘post-migration’ literature (Geiser 2008: 121) and ‘post-beur’ literature (Thomas 2008: 33). In much the same vein, a doubleissue, Intrangers: Post-Migration et Nouvelles Frontières de la Littérature Beur (In-Strangers: Post-Migration and the New Boundaries of Beur Literature), edited by Ilaria Vitali and published in 2011 in Academia Bruylant’s Sefar series, explores the dimensions of post-migration literature.26 In the Expressions maghrébines issue, Dominic Thomas examines Faïza Guène’s first two novels (Kiffe kiffe demain 2004, Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow, 2006a) and Du rêve pour les oufs (2006b, Dreams from the Endz, 2008), qualifying them

26

A comprehensive survey of second-generation North African writing appeared in two volumes edited by Najib Redouane Où en est la littérature ‘beur’? (2012, Where Does ‘Beur’ Literature Stand?) and Qu’en est-il de la littérature ‘beur’ au féminin? (2012, Where Does Women’s ‘Beur’ Writing Stand?), the second of which is co-edited with Yvette BénayounSzmidt. Contributions came from scholars around the world – Algeria, Canada, Spain, the United States, Finland, France, Morocco, Moldavia, the Netherlands and Romania. Both volumes include studies of recent writing and scholars look at novels, short fiction, essays and memoirs, mixed genre (creative non-fiction) testimonies, and writing by the daughters of harkis.

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as ‘new writing for new times’. In Thomas’ view, these are new times because France has had to confront the ‘glaring failure’ (2008: 34) of decolonisation and remaining forms of neocolonialism in the wake of the 2005 riots. In his view, this new writing is to be distinguished from beur and banlieue literatures, because Guène’s protagonists are not trying to escape the banlieue setting and because the novels contain an optimism, albeit sometimes an ironic or selfdeprecating one, rarely found in beur and banlieue literatures (2011a: 43). As for how this post-beur literature fits into the literary landscape in France, Thomas notes that writing by Guène and the Collectif Qui Fait la France? participates in a transversal space with a range of postcolonial writing in France, including ‘immigrant literatures, Afro-Parisianism, Black Paris, and banlieue writing’ (2011b: 35). The critical direction here is toward a widening, a dialogic relationship with other bodies of literature; at the same time, it heralds the post-migration moment in which postcolonial second-generation writing in France sits. For her part, Myriam Geiser points out that migrant literature excludes and should exclude ethnic-minority writing. Geiser argues that beur and banlieue literatures should not be considered migrant literature because migration is not typically a part of the writers’ experience: they do not inhabit or produce writing that evinces an entre-deux. Rather, she situates beur literature in Homi Bhabha’s Third Space (2011: 127) and calls it a ‘post-migration literature’: ‘The point of reference is not the experience of immigration itself, but rather the transformational process and the mixity that it brings for generations to come’ (2011: 127, author’s translation). She also points out that, while ‘post-migration’ might imply the conditions in which a writer writes, it does not highlight the writer’s ethnicity. While Geiser does note that post-migration literature shares certain characteristics with migrant literature and postcolonial writing, notably in that it is an ‘écriture du métissage’ (2011: 127 – hybrid writing), she pulls post-migration literature apart from them because of its rootedness in France. In her introduction to the Intrangers volumes, Ilaria Vitali quotes the Algerian writer Y.B. in his Allah Superstar (2003, Allah the Superstar): ‘L’Intranger is a word I made up, but if you’re not of complicated origins, you won’t be able to understand it. It just means that you’re a foreigner in your own country’ (Vitali 2011: 13). This post-migration perspective places postcolonial secondgeneration writers at the heart of France, all the while suggesting the challenges of this positionality and a continued lack of recognition. Vitali explains the first of the two Intrangers volumes as being an investigation of how the beur designation was deconstructed over time, both by writers/filmmakers and by scholars. Now, Vitali points out, postcolonial second-generation writing is more often characterised as ‘post-migration’ or ‘urban’ literature. Indeed, both the ‘ecological novel’ – as explored by Crystel Pinçonnat (2008) in

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the above-mentioned Expressions maghrébines issue – and ‘littérature urbaine’ can be seen as post-migration designations that tie into questions of space, mobility, demographics and lived environment without fixing the banlieue in name. ‘Urban’ literature, in particular, has gained favour with scholars (e.g. Horvath 2007; Puig 2013; Vitali 2009). But before contributors deconstruct the beur and banlieue designations, Kathryn Kleppinger (2011) importantly opens the first volume with an analysis of the mediatisation of beur writers, showing how the beur designation was constructed, at least partially, from the outset. In the second volume, Stève Puig (2011a) leverages ‘urban literature’ in an attempt to break apart the way in which banlieue literature had come to be read as ethnicity-centred; he asserts that descendants of immigrants broadly writ, and even Franco-French writers, can and should be included. Studying Azouz Begag’s L’Intégration (2006, Integration) alongside Ahmed Djouder’s Désintégration (2006, Desintegration), Puig suggests that one of the features of ‘urban literature’ might be the lived environment it depicts; this despite its showing the postcolonial second generation to be culturally integrated. He also raises the issue of including postcolonial second-generation writing in school curricula as a means of adjusting the wide view of multicultural France. As Vitali rightly suggests, it would be possible to re-read the bulk of beur and banlieue literatures as post-migration literature (2011: 9) and, indeed, many of the above interventions extend those previously mentioned studies that read through ‘immigration, integration and identity’.27 However, in contrast to early studies on beur literature, here there is the assumption that post-migration literature is French writing, and its writers French ethnic minorities. However, to see it as such, certain tensions will have to resolve, and this might well include new French social vocabulary and categories that name ‘minorités visibles’ (­Begag 2004: 6) and ‘minorités ethniques’ (Amellal 2005: 39), along with a revisioning of French republicanism so that it does what it professes to do. Or as the Collectif Qui Fait la France? manifesto puts it: ‘Because, contained as banlieue writers, which derives from the space of the ban (margins), we want to invest the cultural field, transcend borders and take back the space that is owed to us […] Because this country, our country, has everything to again be

27

The annual volume for the Society of Francophone Postcolonial Studies in 2018 will take up precisely the idea of post-migration cultural production. The volume is titled Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France (Kleppinger and Reeck 2018); it works to bring the cultural production and cultural politics of the postcolonial second- and ­third-generations in France into dialogue.

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exemplary, but only if it accepts how it is now and not how it was’ (2007: 8, author’s translation). Hervé Tchumkam’s State Power, Stigmatization, and Youth Resistance Culture in the Banlieues (2015) points in this same direction. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to consider literature from the French banlieues following the 2005 riots. Tchumkam considers geo-aesthetics in relation to contemporary geopolitics in metropolitan France, looking specifically at characterisations of juvenile delinquency, criminalisation and the Islamist threat. His analysis begs the question of the polity and the citizen – who qualifies and on what basis, and who stands outside as a ‘barbarian’. Focusing on a wide range of writers who have depicted the banlieues in fiction, including Karim Amellal, Rachid Djaïdani, Kaoutar Harchi, Hamid Jemaï, Abd Al Malik, Habiba Mahany and Mamdou Mahmoud N’Dongo, he leverages political, social, and philosophical theory to show how the ‘periphery’ has become a site for the ‘centre’ to exert its power and control, and to limit the margin of manoeuvre of those people not conforming to its vision. In the last chapter, ‘The Feminist Metaphor’, Tchumkam uses novels by Faïza Guène and Habiba Mahany to discuss how dominant discourse on the banlieues enforces gender division. It points in the direction of the intersectional scholarship that is beginning to take hold at present in the field of scholarship.

Impact

At the end of her comprehensive study, L’immigration dans le roman francophone contemporain (2005, Immigration in the Contemporary Francophone Novel), Christiane Albert suggests that more questions have been raised than answered (2005: 207). Such is the case here as well. A question arising from Albert’s title is: Where does Francophone literature end and immigrant literature start? To evaluate the impact of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in France, there would have to be a consensus on what they are and where they fit – and there is not one. They are the unnamed companions to ‘French’ and ‘Francophone’ literatures, falling sometimes within them, sometimes outside of them. In this, they defy the logic of ‘French or foreign’ and bring to light the ways in which the Francophone designation has obscured important literary and cultural shifts in France. With a French university system largely hostile to the postcolonial immigrant and ethnic-minority writing discussed here, many French scholars have moved to another country, and especially to the United States. This brain drain has, in turn, had the effect of reinforcing the divide in critical reception and readings that makes French universities appear singularly out-of-step in the

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twenty-first century. One significant gap in their curricula is i­ nterdisciplinarity, which rests at the base of all those areas of study – cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, media studies – that have shaped the more dynamic ­Anglo-Saxon academies and influenced the field of research under review here. When those postcolonial immigrant writers who have typically been discussed as ‘Francophone’ writers now get studied, it is in comparative literature departments in France. As for postcolonial second-generation writing in France, it remains place-less, understudied and untaught. With beur and banlieue literatures, as well as writing by the descendants of harkis, it would appear as though difference poses a particular challenge to assumptions and paradigms at home. Meanwhile, these same writers enjoy a readership in the rest of the world as they make their way to translation, and scholars abroad continue to take interest. Perhaps it is the destiny of postcolonial second-generation writing to make its way back home through the world. References Abdel-Jaouad, H. (2002) ‘L’Humour au beur noir dans Quand on est mort, c’est pour toute la vie’, Expressions maghrébines, 1(2): 109–127. Abderrezak, H. (2009) ‘Burning the sea: clandestine migration across the Strait of ­Gibralter in francophone Moroccan “illiterature”’, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, 13(4): 461–469. Ahmed (1973) Une vie d’Algérien, est-ce que ça fait un livre que les gens vont lire? Paris: Seuil. Albert, C. (2005) L'Immigration dans le roman francophone contemporain. Paris: Karthala. Amellal, K. (2005) Discriminez-moi: enquête sur nos inégalités. Paris: Flammarion. Bacholle, M. (2000) Un passé contraignant: Double Bind and Transculturation. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Bacholle, M. (2001) ‘Cahiers d’un retour au pays natal: Kim Lefèvre et Marie Cardinal’, Mots pluriels et grands thèmes de notre temps, 17. Bacholle-Bošković, M. (2006) Linda Lê, l’écriture du manque. Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellon Press. Begag, A. (1986) Le Gone du Chaâba. Paris: Seuil. Begag, A. (2004) La République à ciel ouvert. Paris: La Documentation Française, http:// www.ladocumentationfrancaise.fr/. Begag, A. (2006) L’Intégration. Paris: Le cavalier bleu. Begag, A. (2007) Shantytown Kid. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (trans. A.G. Hargreaves and N. Wolf). Begag, A. and A. Chaouite (1990) Ecarts d’identité. Paris: Seuil.

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Chapter 7

From the Exclusion of Individual Authors to the Transnationalisation of the Literary Field: Immigrant and Ethnic-Minority Writing in Germany Wiebke Sievers and Sandra Vlasta Abstract In Germany, interest in immigrant and ethnic-minority writing first arose in the 1980s, when the writers themselves called attention to their works. Academic institutions have been active in supporting their first writing endeavours, amongst others by establishing, in 1985, the Adelbert-von-Chamisso Prize which was awarded annually up to 2017. Early research on immigrant literature was characterised by inventory-taking. The texts tended to be read as socio-historical documents rather than as literary texts. In the 1990s, the research focus shifted to analyses of single authors and the interest in German-Turkish literature grew. Moreover, works by immigrant writers were eventually perceived as literary texts and analysed accordingly. Impulses for theoretical approaches came from scholars abroad, who were the first to read these texts with postcolonial, post-structural or feminist theories. From the late 1990s, immigrant writing has been located in a German tradition which has come to be discussed in more transnational terms.



Introduction

The history of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing1 in Germany is generally thought to be rooted in the 1960s, when the Federal Republic of Germany 1 This chapter uses the term ‘immigrant and ethnic-minority writers’ to refer to all writers who came to Germany as immigrants or are descendants of immigrants. Many terms have been used to refer to this writing since the 1980s, as will be explained in more detail below. Most of these have been discarded as exclusionary since they describe these writers as a separate category rather than as a part of German literature. While this is a valid argument for no longer using such terms today, we still need such terminology to tell the history of this writing, which has been strongly marked by exclusion. © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���8 | doi 10.1163/9789004363243_009

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(frg)2 began to recruit labour in Southern and South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and North Africa. While this recruitment was initially designed to limit work contracts to two years in order to avoid settlement, this rule was waived when it turned out to be impractical from the point of view of employers having to constantly import and train new workers. As a consequence, this immigration movement – now known by the euphemistic term ‘guestworker immigration’ – is today considered as having started the process whereby Germany is factually becoming a country of immigration. Immigration to Germany has increased and become more diverse almost continuously since then. However, it took the German government until 2000 to officially recognise this factual reality in a new citizenship law that, under certain conditions, grants German citizenship to children born in Germany of non-German parents. Moreover, immigration is still a matter dividing the German nation, as becomes evident from the reactions to the refugee influx in 2015 that has polarised not only the government but the whole population into those showing solidarity with the refugees and those demanding a closure of the borders, with an extremist part of the latter also using violence to reach this aim. Such divisions have framed the process of Germany becoming an immigration country from the very beginning and have been central to the emergence and influenced the content of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. It was not the topic of immigration that caused the initial division of the German public in the 1960s, however, though immigration was one of the many issues where this division has since become visible. In the frg, the 1960s were times of fierce debate over the German identity, culture and nation. Students rose up to oppose bourgeois morals, the war in Vietnam and the German suppression of the Nazi past. This movement was initiated by foreign students from African and Asian countries – a group that had grown from 200 in 1951 to 12,000 in 1962. They mobilised against state repression in their home countries and were joined by German students sharing their political goals and shielding them from deportation. It was only after the violent repression of the demonstration against the Shah of Iran in June 1967, when a policeman killed the German student Benno Ohnesorg, that the movement became a joint transnational opposition against oppressive state forces worldwide, including Germany (Slobodian 2008). The transnational dimension of this movement, which becomes evident in literary works such as Aras Ören’s Was will Niyazi in der Naunynstraße (1973, What does Niyazi do in Naunynstreet?) or Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn (1998, The Bridge of the Golden Horn, 2 The term Federal Republic of Germany (frg) refers to both the former Western Germany between 1949 and 1990 and the united Germany after 1990.

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2007), facilitated the publication of first literary works by Turkish writers such as Aras Ören and Güney Dal residing in Germany, in German translation in the early 1970s. At this time, immigration was beginning to be widely debated within German society. This was linked to two developments: the protests of labour immigrants against working conditions during the early 1970s – which even the left-wing magazine Spiegel interpreted as demonstrating the ungratefulness of the workers – and the ban on the recruitment of workers pronounced by the German government in 1973 (Chin 2002: 55–56). Writers such as Ören and Dal entered these debates about immigration in Germany with their literary works that aimed to give a voice to those who were previously only the objects of these debates. This active political participation has remained an important characteristic of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing ever since. In addition to criticising the official German stance towards immigration in their literary works, writers such as Zafer Şenocak and Navid Kermani are wellknown for their essays discussing German culture and politics. Other writers, such as Franco Biondi, Gino Chiellino, İmran Ayata and Feridun Zaimoglu, have become engaged in activist movements, such as PoLiKunst and Kanak Attak, both movements fighting for the recognition of foreigners in Germany. Zaimoglu also participated in the first German Islam conference, a platform that was initiated by the German Minister of the Interior in 2006 to facilitate dialogue between the German state and the German Muslim community. These activities have resulted in writers being invited by politicians to contribute to the institutional political process: Zaimoglu was twice a delegate of the Bundesversammlung (Federal Convention) electing the German president; Kermani was invited to speak in German parliament on the anniversary of the German constitution. The emergence of a new left wing in the frg in the 1960s also transformed the literary field that was previously organised in a hierarchical structure strictly dividing recognised bourgeois high-brow from popular low-brow literature, shunned by critics and researchers alike (Tommek 2015). This structure was first challenged by a group of authors, journalists and critics, the so-called Gruppe 61 (Group 61) who, in the wake of a crisis in mining in the Ruhr area in the early 1960s, reawakened the tradition of a German workers’ literature, later further pushed by the Werkkreis Literatur der Arbeitswelt (Workshop Circle for Literature on the World of Work) established in 1970. This new literary tradition and structure facilitated the emergence of many literary works that dealt with the dire situation of foreign workers in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s and were written by immigrants, who were not necessarily workers themselves but who became involved in this struggle for equality (Sievers 2008).

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The ­pluralisation of the literary field continued into the 1990s, when the earlier hierarchies were finally abolished, allowing for plural positions within the field not only in terms of the former divide between aesthetic high-brow and popular low-brow literature, but also in terms of the content of the literary works and the ethnic and gender identities of the writers. The same pluralisation of voices also characterised the further development of immigrant and ethnicminority writing: the origins of the writers diversified, the focus of the writing went beyond labour immigration and the writing finally found recognition in well-known publishing houses and through established literary prizes in the 1990s. None of this has occurred in the German Democratic Republic (gdr), where levels of immigration were far lower, strictly temporary and never became a matter of public debate (Bade and Oltmer 2007: 161–163) and where literary pluralisation was mainly focused on challenging state-dictated socialist literary ideals (Tommek 2015). While the odd immigrant writer, such as Adel Karasholi, was involved in this process (Saleh 2011: 199–201), which also left its mark on Chilean exile writing in the gdr (Polster 2001), the works of these authors were never perceived as immigrant writing, let alone as an integral part of gdr literature. That immigrant and ethnic-minority writing received wider recognition in the frg was also linked to the early discovery of this writing in literary research. This did not occur in the conservative field of German studies in Germany, known as Germanistik, where literary research was mainly focused on established literary texts using traditional methods of textual analysis at the time. The first research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing was published in the margins of German studies – i.e. in the new field of German as a Foreign Language emerging in the 1970s in the frg and in German studies departments abroad, in particular in the United States. Institutes for German as a Foreign Language were first established when German universities endeavoured to attract more foreign, in particular American, students to study German in Germany in the 1970s. While the initial plan was to widen the traditional Germanistik to include language learning and cultural studies, the classic Germanistik opposed such a change. As a consequence, separate institutes for German as a Foreign Language were established that developed an alternative curriculum for German studies (Wierlacher 2003). A similar opening of classical German literary studies towards German cultural studies occurred in German departments in the us in the 1980s (Peck 1989). These conceptual changes in German studies in Germany and the us have redirected research interests in literary studies towards considering questions of identity and otherness and thus towards focusing on immigrant and ethnicminority writing.

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Historical Background and Development of the Field

In the German context, the notion of immigrant writing first emerged in the Federal Republic of Germany in the wake of what has come to be known as ‘guestworker immigration’. Between 1955 and 1969, the West German government signed recruitment agreements with Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia and Yugoslavia in order to overcome labour shortages due to the country’s high economic growth. The share of foreign citizens residing in West Germany increased from 1.2 per cent in 1961 to 6.4 per cent in 1973, when the government decided to stop the recruitment of workers from Southern and South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and North Africa in response to the economic crisis. The writers arriving through or emerging from guestworker immigration were the first to be discussed as immigrant writers in the German context and have long dominated the discussion of this writing. However, immigration to Germany has a far longer history and has become increasingly diverse since the 1970s. The changing territory known as Germany has received immigration from a wide variety of origins throughout the twentieth century. Around 1900, it was mainly Poles and Italians who went to Germany to work in the growing industries. Immigrant labour, including forced labour, continued flowing into the German industrial sector during the two World Wars, both of which were followed by the immigration of Germans from former German territories (Aussiedler) mainly in Eastern Europe, a flow that has continued to the frg to the present day. In addition, the frg has received asylum-seekers mainly coming from Eastern Europe, but increasingly also arriving from Latin America, Asia and Africa since the 1970s. The gdr hosted fewer immigrants than its Western neighbour. Still, it also recruited workers, mainly in Vietnam and Mozambique, and received refugees from Greece, Spain and Chile (Bade and Oltmer 2007). Carmine Chiellino’s handbook of Intercultural Literature in Germany shows that writers have emerged from most of the post-war movements described above (Chiellino 2000).3 Further research is necessary to ascertain whether earlier immigration to Germany also led to the emergence of writers and whether their careers and literary interests differed from those beginning to write since the 1960s. The first German immigrant writing discussed as such can be traced back to the 1960s, when the local Italian missions began to publish religious poems and short autobiographical narratives written in Italian by Italian guestworkers in 3 Chiellino is both an immigrant writer and a researcher on immigrant writing. While he publishes his research under the name Carmine Chiellino, he uses Gino Chiellino as a penname for his literary works.

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their weekly circular La Squilla, later to be renamed Corriere d’Italia. Italian immigrant writing grew considerably in the 1970s when several associations emerged that promoted this literature, most prominently the Associazione Letteraria Facoltà Artistiche (alfa; Literary Association of the Art Faculties), founded by Antonio Pesciaioli, who also edited the journal Il Mulino, a publishing organ for literature written by Italian labourers worldwide (Biondi 1984; Reeg 1988). Similar publishing mechanisms also developed in other immigrant communities, albeit only in the 1970s and 1980s, which was to some extent due to the fact that they arrived later than the Italians. The first Portuguese immigrant writing was published in the emigrant newspapers Diálogo do Emigrante and Correio de Portugal. In 1983, the worker and autodidact José David Rosa established Peregrinação – a transnational journal for Portuguese writers abroad – which was located in Switzerland, but which mainly published Portuguese writers residing in Germany (Silva-Brummel 2000: 126–127). In 1977, Nono Carrillo and Remedios Quintana founded Viento Sur, the most important literary journal for Spanish immigrant writers in Germany (Ruiz 2000: 87). In 1981, Vjekoslav Uremović, Momčilo Mićović, M ­ ilandinka and Vladimir Staničić, Vladimir Kažić and Jadranka Zovko founded the umbrella organisation Radnik-pjesnik u tuđini (Worker Poets Abroad) for authors living outside Yugoslavia. Located in Frankfurt, this association organised readings, forged links with Yugoslav newspapers – where the first poems written by workers abroad were printed – and published anthologies (Anušić and Džajić 2000: 108–109). The first Turkish immigrant writing was published in Turkey by writers such as Bekir Yıldız, Yüksel Pazarkaya and Fehti Savaşçi in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, Turkish newspapers and immigrant organisations in Germany published the odd poem and short story (Pazarkaya 1984; Riemann 1990). That this first immigrant writing scattered in many foreign newspapers and journals became visible to the German public was partly due to an Italian initiative. In the course of a wider debate about Italian emigrant culture starting in the mid-1970s, Italian emigrant writers began to discuss the function of Italian emigrant literature in the two above-mentioned journals. In this literary debate, Vito D’Adamo coined the term ‘Letteratura Gast’ (an Italian-German creation meaning guest literature) for a literature that, according to him, should aim to protest against the unbearable working and living conditions in the countries receiving Italian workers. Following on from this, Franco Biondi argued that such a literature would have to be written in the language of the respective host country in order to both increase solidarity among different groups of workers and bring about change. With these aims in mind, Franco Biondi, Gino Chiellino and Rafik Schami, amongst others, founded the association PoLiKunst, a polynational association for literature and art that organised

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workshops and published a yearbook which included literary works written in German by immigrants of various origins. PoLiKunst also forged links with a related German association founded in 1970, the Werkkreis Literatur der Arbeitswelt, which aimed to empower workers by encouraging them to write. This cooperation was meant to bridge the gap with their German colleagues, but it also paved their way into the German publishing world. The Werkkreis helped to establish the series Südwind gastarbeiterdeutsch (South-Wind Guest-Worker German) within the publishing house con in 1980 and, together with a third association – the interest group of German women married to foreigners – the Werkkreis and PoLiKunst published the anthology Sehnsucht im Koffer (Biondi et al. 1981, Longing in the Suitcase) with S. Fischer, one of the major German publishers. This publication in particular massively increased the visibility of this new literature in Germany. The anthologies published in this framework provided the first German publishing opportunities for immigrant and ­ethnic-minority writers of many different origins, including Habib Bektaş, Şinasi Dikmen, Antonio Hernando, Yusuf Naoum, José F.A. Oliver, Tryphon ­Papastamatelos, Fehti Savaşçi, Dragutin Trumbetaš and Alev Tekinay (Reeg 1988; Sievers 2008). Another important actor making immigrant and ethnic-minority writing visible to the German public entered the field in the late 1970s: the Institute of German as a Foreign Language was founded at the University of Munich in 1978. The head of this new institute, Harald Weinrich, tried to establish this fairly new university subject as an interdisciplinary matter which included linguistics, area studies and literature, all to be discussed from a perspective of alterity that was to distinguish this new field from the traditional Germanistik in Germany. Weinrich admits that he found it particularly difficult to live up to this standard in the field of literature until he and his colleague Irmgard Ackermann began to wonder ‘whether there might not be, among the millions of people who acquired German as a foreign language in German-speaking countries or anywhere else in the world, a sizable number of persons who could or would like to express themselves in German as a writing and literary language rather than in their first or mother tongue’ (Weinrich 2009: 20).4 Apart from searching for examples of this literature which, at the time, was still largely invisible to the general public and needed to be unearthed from ‘hidden niches of literary life’, as Weinrich (2009: 20) put it, Ackermann, Weinrich and their colleague Karl Esselborn organised writing competitions between 1980 and 1984 which were open to all German texts written by persons whose mother 4 Unless otherwise indicated, all translations from the original German are by the authors of this chapter.

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tongue was not German. The competitions resulted in several a­ nthologies ­published by another major German publisher, the Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.5 These publications were widely reviewed and distributed: the first two anthologies even went into a second print run when their first editions of 10,000 copies each were sold out (Wright 2014: 27, 36). Among the authors included in these anthologies were several who also wrote for the PoLiKunst publications, such as Gino Chiellino, Franco Biondi or Alev Tekinay, as well as Zehra Çırak, El Loko and said, who had begun publishing their works in ­Germany through other channels in the course of the 1980s. Apart from these authors, who have since become known as writers, the anthologies also included many texts by writers who have not pursued a writing career. Ackermann and Weinrich were harshly criticised for these interventions into the production of a literary phenomenon they later also studied, and more particularly for their exoticist and paternalistic attitude to this process: ‘The implicit attitude of the German academics toward the foreigners seems, in fact, to approach the colonialist stereotype of the lazy, indolent natives whose labor potential can be realized only under the external coercion of the advanced, culturally and technologically superior Europeans’ (Teraoka 1987: 93–94). This reproach was at least partly confirmed by an in-depth analysis of the competitions by Chantal Wright, who concludes that they have substantially damaged ‘the autonomous efforts of exophonic authors to promote their own literature’ (Wright 2014: 36).6 In addition, critics of Ackermann’s and Weinrich’s competitions have argued that they contributed to a change of focus from political to literary interests in German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing over the course of the 1980s, as their competitions focused on the aesthetic value of the texts rather than on their political aims (Seibert 1984: 57). Again, this criticism was confirmed by Wright, whose article illustrates the strong focus of the judges on the linguistic correctness and literariness of the texts sent in for the competition. In fact, Ackermann and Weinrich were shocked by the criticism uttered against Germany in the texts they received and tried to make this criticism acceptable to German readers in an introduction and conclusion added to their first anthology. It should, however, also be noted that they realised in the course of their work that correct German was not the main 5 The anthologies were: Als Fremder in Deutschland (Ackermann 1982, Foreigners in Germany), In zwei Sprachen leben (Ackermann 1983b, Living in Two Languages), Türken deutscher Sprache (Ackermann 1984b, Turks Writing in German) and Über Grenzen (Ackermann 1987, Across Borders). 6 The term ‘exophonic writers’ refers to authors writing in a language that is not their mother tongue.

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­criterion for l­ iterary expressiveness. Moreover, they involved some of the writers in the decision on the topic for the last competition (Wright 2014). Last but not least, comparative work has shown that no immigrant or ethnic-minority writing became visible in contexts where no such mediators existed, such as the ­Netherlands and ­Austria (Minnaard 2011; Sievers 2008). Individual German publications by immigrant and ethnic-minority writers were rare in the 1960s and 1970s, regardless of whether these were written in or translated into German. Many of these early texts were not linked to guestworker immigration and were therefore also not perceived as immigrant or ethnic-minority writing at the time. This holds true for authors such as the Japanese Hisako Matsubara, who moved to Germany in 1949, or Ota Filip, who escaped from the Czech Republic in 1974. It also holds true for writers such as Guillermo Aparicio and Zvonko Plepelić, who came to Germany from Spain and Yugoslavia respectively – both countries that also sent guestworkers – but were not linked to these movements and did not write about them at the time (Anušić and Džajić 2000: 112–113; Ruiz 2000: 92–93).7 Individual publications perceived as immigrant or ethnic-minority writing from the start were mainly written by Turkish authors in the 1970s, the only exception being Arrividerci Deutschland (Farewell Germany) written by the Italian Gianni Bertagnoli and published in 1964. The success of writers such as Aras Ören and Güney Dal, whose first publications dealt with the working and living conditions of guestworkers in Germany, may partly be explained by the fact that they were writers before they arrived in Germany. However, it was also due to changes in the German literary field at the time. The anti-capitalist spirit that brought about the emergence, described above, of a workers’ literature in the 1960s and 1970s had also led to the foundation of many new publishing houses, such as Rotbuch, which, alongside German left-wing authors and books on Marxism, also published Aras Ören’s narrative poem Was will Niyazi in der Naunynstraße in 1973, the year of its foundation, or edition der 2, which published Dal’s Wenn Ali die Glocken läuten hört (1979, When Ali Hears the Bells Ring) alongside other Turkish left-wing writers, such as Aziz Nesin, not residing in Germany (Sievers 2008). In particular, Ören’s 1973 publication was received as a ‘cultural milestone’ by critics and, due to this positive reception, was adapted for television the same year (Chin 2002). For other writers of this period it was more difficult to find a publisher and a reading public. It was by chance that Vera Kamenko’s German editor, Marianne Herzog, became aware of Kamenko’s manuscript and published it under the title Unter uns war Krieg (There Was War Between Us) with Rotbuch in 1978 (Clausen 1985: 121). Franco Biondi, on the other hand, 7 Zvonko Plepelić did write about guestworker immigration later.

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eventually decided to self-publish his first German volume of poetry Nicht nur Gastarbeiterdeutsch (Not Only Guestworker German) in 1979. In the course of the 1980s, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing became more established in the German literary field, where publishing houses, such as the Turkish Ararat and Dağyeli or the Greek Romiosini, became new immigrant and ethnic-minority publishing channels. Several of the a­ bove-mentioned authors published their first full-length books and many new authors emerged from the two immigrant groups the most active in writing, i.e. the Italian and the Turkish minorities; these authors included Lisa Mazzi-Spiegelberg, Eleni Torossi, Fakir Baykurt, Dursum Akçam, Aysel Özakın and Saliha Scheinhardt. The establishment brought with it both a change in focus from class to ethnicity/language and a move from political to literary aims. This shift was also expressed in the 1984 foundation of the first German prize for literature written by authors whose mother tongue is not German, named after Adelbert von Chamisso, a nineteenth-century German writer of French origin.8 In addition, immigrant and ethnic-minority writing became more diverse, with ­Romanian Germans, such as Herta Müller and Richard Wagner, finding refuge in G ­ ermany, and the first African writers, such as El Loko and Chima Oji, beginning to write. The 1990s saw the completion of this process of establishment. Established German publishing houses, such as Hanser and Kiepenheuer & Witsch, finally began to publish selected writers such as Rafik Schami and Emine Sevgi ­Özdamar. In 1991, this latter author was the first immigrant writer to be awarded the Ingeborg-Bachmann Prize, one of the most important literary prizes in the German-speaking countries. In particular, Turkish-German writing has grown and become more diverse in recent years, with Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Feridun Zaimoglu receiving the most attention. At the same time, the trend towards further diversification and individualisation has also continued, the most important example of this trend being the J­ apanese-German writer Yoko Tawada (Chiellino 2000: 56). Several writers have gone to Germany from Eastern Europe since the fall of the Iron Curtain – including Wladimir Kaminer, Carmen-Francesca Banciu, Terézia Mora and Saša Stanišić – and from further afield, such as Abbas Khider from Iraq or Sudabeh Mohafez from Iran. In addition, there is a growing number of authors born in Germany of parents born abroad, such as Sherko Fatah, whose father is Kurdish and was born in Iraq, or İmran Ayata, whose family moved from Turkey to Germany in the framework of the labour recruitment agreements in the 1960s. Early research supported the establishment of German immigrant and ­ethnic-minority writing in the 1980s. It emerged in several fields now subsumed 8 The Chamisso Prize was awarded for the last time in 2017.

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under the heading Intercultural German Studies. The above-mentioned Institute for German as a Foreign Language in Munich has been very influential in the formative stages of research on German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. Irmgard Ackermann (1983a) and Harald Weinrich (1983) published the first overview articles on this new phenomenon, followed by a special issue of LiLi. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik (Journal for Literature and Linguistics) in 1984, again containing articles by Ackermann (1984a) and Weinrich (1984). The second group involved in research on immigrant writing in Germany in these early years were immigrant writers themselves. Franco Biondi (1984) and Yüksel Pazarkaya (1984) wrote articles on the evolution of Italian and Turkish immigrant writing respectively in the above-mentioned special issue. One year later, Carmine Chiellino (1985), who has written on this topic ever since, published the first full-length study on Italian writing in the Federal Republic of Germany. Sigrid Weigel (1992: 216), who wrote a first overview on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing for a German literary history book, the substantial Hansers Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur (Briegleb and Weigel 1992, Hanser’s Social History of German Literature), regards this involvement of the authors in the writing of literary history as equally as problematic as the above-mentioned involvement of the researchers Ackermann and Weinrich in the process of literary production. In the second half of the 1980s, the first dissertations were published on immigrant and ethnicminority writing in Germany (Frederking 1985; Hamm 1988; Reeg 1988; Zielke 1985). However, research on German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing also emerged in German Studies departments in the us, where the first overviews were published in the 1980s (Suhr 1989; Teraoka 1987). A major input into research on German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in the United States came from feminist researchers. Another institution that has been very important for the establishment of this research field is the International Congress of Germanists, where German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing was first discussed in 1990 – an event that Irmgard Ackermann regarded as a ‘wissenschaftlicher Ritterschlag’ (scientific accolade) for the new research field (Ackermann 1991: 13). From the start, these congresses have highlighted the enormous interest in German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in German Studies institutes worldwide. Research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has focused on literature emerging from post-war labour immigration to the Federal Republic of Germany. While the first studies were particularly interested in Italian writers, most studies have been devoted to Turkish-German writing and, in particular, to that of Emine Sevgi Özdamar. Over the last decade, researchers have increasingly turned to writers originating from Eastern Europe, which has led to

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a renewed interest in established authors such as Libuše Moníková and Herta Müller and a growing interest in younger writers originating from Eastern ­Europe, such as Terézia Mora and Zsuzsa Bánk (Haines 2007). This has also involved the opening up of the field to Russian-German literature, including authors such as Anatoli Steiger and Nelli Kossko (Rodzevich 2010). More recently, research has also begun to discuss immigrant writers preceding guestworker immigration who were previously read as German authors – such as Günter Grass – as immigrants themselves (Frank 2008), but such attempts to delve back into the past of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writers are still rare. Some research exists on Joseph Roth’s years in Berlin (Brinkmann 2010; Hughes 2006). The work of Emily Ruete, who was born as Sayidda Salme in Zanzibar in 1844 and moved to Hamburg in 1967, was rediscovered (Roy 2009); and Karl Esselborn published a longer-term study on immigrant writing in ­Munich (Esselborn 2011).

Archives, Bibliographies, Anthologies

As explained above, anthologies were a major tool for facilitating the first publications of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s and they have kept this function up to the present day (Abel 2006). Anthologies have never served to canonise selected texts regarded as most important in this long tradition in Germany. Researchers have also rarely gathered these texts together in archives or issued bibliographies or handbooks of these literary works. The first bibliography, published in 1990 by Wolfgang Riemann, focuses on one group – Turkish and Turkish-German authors – and a specific topic: Turkish–German relations. The author provides a short introduction to the field, cites basic bibliographical information on 1,100 literary works, including reports, poems, short stories, plays and novels, and adds short content summaries for selected titles. Most of the works included in the bibliography concern the period of Turkish labour migration to Germany from the mid-1960s to the late 1980s, but the volume also contains travel narratives and individual memoirs dating back as far as the beginning of the twentieth century. The great majority of the works cited have never been discussed by literary researchers, let alone become known to the general public. As such, the bibliography provides an understanding of the sheer amount of work published and may serve as a starting point for in-depth research on hitherto unknown authors. Only in 2000 did Carmine Chiellino publish a more comprehensive handbook on what he calls interkulturelle Literatur (intercultural literature) in

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Germany, a term he uses to describe immigrant and ethnic-minority writing as a new literature moving beyond linguistic, ethnic and national boundaries (for further discussions of Chiellino’s concepts, see the following part of this chapter). The handbook provides an overview of the literature written by immigrants and their descendants, both in Germany and in their countries of origin after their return, regardless of whether these are written in German or in the migrants’ mother tongues. At the centre of the volume are portraits of individual authors, structured by their countries or regions of origin, ranging from various Western European countries, via Russia and Eastern Europe to the Arab world, Africa and Asia. In addition, the volume contains introductions to the history of immigration to Germany and to the social-cultural situation of immigrants in Germany, contributions on theatre, music, cinema and fine arts and information on migrant media, institutions, research centres and prizes. While Chiellino’s handbook has been widely praised for the breadth of information included and has become a standard work in the field in Germany and abroad, it has not received only favourable responses. Chiellino has always been very critical of the monoculturalism governing German literary studies within Germany and was therefore attacked for not appropriately considering the results of researchers who are not immigrants or descendants of immigrants (Hübner 2002). More-recent overviews of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing only partly follow Chiellino’s transnational approach, mainly regarding this literature as one of migration in the German-speaking context. This holds true for Heidi Rösch’s regularly updated online bibliography of German-language migration literature, a project in which she was supported by her colleague Yvonne Anzt (Rösch and Anzt 2013). Rösch does not explain here exactly what she means by ‘migration literature’, but she includes the odd short portrait of an author not writing in German, such as Antonio Skármeta, as well as selected authors residing in Austria and Switzerland. Walter Schmitz is currently preparing a three-volume Handbuch Literatur der Migration in den deutschsprachigen Ländern seit 1945 (Handbook Literature of Migration in German-Speaking Countries Since 1945).9 The first volume discusses the histories of immigration and the ensuing political discussions in the Federal Republic of Germany, the gdr, Austria and Switzerland in the wider European context (Schmitz 2018a). The second volume charts the emergence, development and interpretation of this literature (Schmitz 2018b). The final volume contains more than 180 9 The following description of the handbook is based on previews of selected parts of the typescript. We would like to thank Walter Schmitz and Daniela Kölling for sending us these documents.

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portraits of individual authors and their works (Schmitz 2018c). Schmitz’s definition of the term Literatur der Migration (literature of migration) is intentionally phrased in an open manner to refer to a wide range of authors writing in German in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and beyond and whose family biographies include migration, albeit not necessarily in their own life-time (İmran Ayata) and not necessarily to a German-speaking country (Elazar Benyoëtz). Schmitz’s handbook clearly differs from Chiellino’s in that it only includes German language writing and limits the number of authors by criteria, such as representativity and literary merit. Like Chiellino, Schmitz regards this literature as having developed an aesthetics of its own or, in his terminology drawing on Bourdieu, it has become ‘a field within the field’ of German literature, which he defines as all literature written in German in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Approaches and Readings

Research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Germany has grown considerably both in Germany and abroad since the 1990s. As a consequence, it is impossible, in the few pages that we have for this endeavour, to provide an overview of all approaches and readings that have been published since the early 1980s. We have therefore decided to concentrate on what we consider to be the most influential studies in the field. Of course, the selection of works to be included in such an overview can never be fully objective. However, we have based our choice on our extensive reading of a far larger number of articles and monographs than mentioned below in order to assess which works have been particularly influential in conceptual and theoretical terms since research first began in the early 1980s. These selection criteria have led to a focus on monographs. We also refer to a number of important articles but only with regard to the first studies in the field. This approach is not meant to lessen the important contribution made by edited volumes and special issues of journals, many of which have been received widely in the field (Durzak and Kuruyazici 2004; Fischer and McGowan 1997; Kreuzer and Seibert 1984; Schenk et al. 2004; Schmitz 2009; Seyhan 1989). However, they will not be considered in what follows as they did not have a major theoretical impact. Initial research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in the early 1980s focused on two issues: overcoming the exclusion of immigrant writers in the German literary field and analysing the portrayal of discrimination against immigrants in the literary works of these writers (see the section ‘Overcoming exclusion and discrimination: the sociology of immigrant literature’).

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­ evertheless, a number of early studies did deal with the change in German N society towards a multicultural one, as we show in the section ‘Moving towards a multicultural society’. This idea of change becomes central in the 1990s when, on the one hand, scholars argue that the new aesthetic of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing challenges hegemonic monolingual literary traditions (see the sections ‘Challenging hegemonic monolingual literary traditions’ and ‘Moving beyond monolingualism’). On the other hand, the research moves beyond the understanding of individual identities being determined by origin, a view predominating in earlier studies, to emphasise the multifarious and changing nature of individual identities, as we show in the section ‘Changing individual identities’. From the turn of the century, researchers move beyond the individual dimension of change to illustrate how immigrant and ethnicminority writing rewrites the histories and cultures of both the countries of origin and of Germany, as explained in the section ‘Transnationalising collective memories, histories and cultures’. As one of the latest developments, this transnational reading of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has led to the transnationalisation of German literary studies, which by now includes, for instance, the study of Turkish contemporary literature (see the section ‘Towards transnational literary studies of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing’).

Overcoming Exclusion and Discrimination: The Sociology of Immigrant Literature The first scholars working on German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Germany in the 1980s primarily aimed to make these new voices heard not only by academics but also in literary circles and by the general public, by whom they had hitherto largely been ignored. They explain the emergence of this writing and provide the first overviews and basic readings of the existing literary works. Some of these early approaches written by immigrants describe the emergence of this new literature in a transnational context by also including developments in the respective countries of origin of these new writers (Biondi 1984; Pazarkaya 1984). The more-recognised German researchers, however, focus on overcoming the exclusion of these authors in the German literary field. Irmgard Ackermann (1983a), for instance, argues that this new literature is a prime example of integration since the authors managed to publish their work with a German publisher in a largely unaccommodating atmosphere. Harald Weinrich (1983) takes this approach further by stating that the emerging authors and works themselves are essentially German: they are just as critical of Germany as their German colleagues; they describe their literature in terms only existing in Germany, such as Betroffenheitsliteratur (literature of affliction); and their texts draw on the German literary canon as

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illustrated by the poem ‘deutsche sprache’ (1981, German language). Written by Yüksel Pazarkaya, who was born in Izmir in 1940 and went to Germany to study there in 1958, the poem is a hymn on the German language – described as a second home – and on German authors from Lessing to Marx. At the same time, Weinrich already points out at this early stage that this new German literature coming from outside (eine deutsche Literatur von außen), as he calls it, should lead to Germans distancing themselves from the concept of a German national literature. Many of the first detailed analyses read this emerging literature as a Gastarbeiterliteratur (guestworker literature), a term first coined by the authors Franco Biondi and Rafik Schami (1981) in the 1980s in the framework of the PoLiKunst movement described above. Biondi and Schami use the term ‘guestworker’, which had become a term of abuse at the time, as a sign of resistance. They define guestworker literature as a means of overcoming the exclusion of guestworkers from German society. The first detailed studies of this literature, however, read the poems and short stories as sociological documents, which present the dire reality of the guestworkers in Germany unknown to the German public, and ignore the aesthetic dimensions that imply an overcoming of such exclusion, as later studies show. In a similar vein, these early studies regard migration exclusively as a loss of home, identity and language rather than as a process of change. One example is Andrea Zielke’s (1985) study that focuses on questions of identity and language. Zielke regards the search for identity as a constitutive feature of all guestworker literature, citing as one of several examples to illustrate this point the poem ‘die frage’ (Taufiq 1984, The Question). Written by Suleman Taufiq, who was born in Beirut in 1953 and moved to Germany in 1971, the poem describes the unending search for an identity after migration from a traditional village to the industrialised world. Zielke argues that the narrator of the poem cannot integrate his conflicting past and present experiences, which she reads as a sign of him suffering from identity diffusion (Zielke 1985: 47–53), a term borrowed from E.H. Erikson for a mental disorder resulting from disturbed identity formation (Zielke 1985: 37 citing Erikson 1966: 214). Moving towards a Multicultural Society A second approach in the 1980s also inspired by literary sociology reads immigrant and ethnic-minority writing as reflecting and bringing about the development of Germany into a multicultural society. In this framework, ‘migration as topic discussed’ becomes the decisive factor for the inclusion of literary works in these studies. The works are accordingly subsumed under the heading ‘Migrationsliteratur’ (migration literature), a term still widely used

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for this literature in the German-speaking contexts. Hans-Dieter Grünefeld (1985), who defines this term as encompassing all literary works dealing with migration, regardless of whether or not their authors are immigrants, develops a hermeneutical approach towards migration literature that aims to analyse how far the ideal of a multicultural society has been realised in literary works not only in terms of their content and form, but also with regard to their intended audience. Ulrike Reeg (1988) partly applies this approach in her analysis of migration literature, which she defines as including only texts written by immigrants and their descendants. She discusses the function, the aesthetics and the potential of this literature to bring about change towards a multicultural society (1988: 14). One of her many examples is the volume of poetry Mein fremder Alltag (1984, My Foreign Daily Life), written by the Italian-born Gino Chiellino, who came to Germany to conduct sociological research on Italian workers in the late 1960s. She interprets this work as showing a development from general impressions of the new surroundings to precise statements on the new country of residence that take issue with the society’s tendency to exclude foreigners. As an example of the latter she cites the volume’s final poem, ‘Integration, ein Gedanke in sieben Thesen’ (Integration, A Thought in Seven Theses), which discusses the highly debated term ‘integration’ from the point of view of a foreigner feeling excluded and estranged in his new country of residence. Reeg highlights that Chiellino intentionally uses simple language avoiding any ambiguity in order to raise his audience’s awareness of the exclusion of foreigners in Germany (1988: 140–155). The idea of turning Germany into a multicultural society has also been a point of departure for didactical approaches to German immigrant and ­ethnic-minority writing first developed by Heidi Rösch. Similar to Grünefeld and Reeg, Rösch departs from the assumption that this literature can make an important contribution to the multiculturalisation of German society. It is this contribution that Rösch aims to make available for debates about intercultural learning in educational, social and cultural institutions (1992: 9). This implies that she regards this literature not only as a medium of understanding and reflection on the foreign, but also as a medium for cultural self-reflection and change (1992: 69–72). In this vein, Rösch analyses Aras Ören’s novella Bitte nix Polizei (1981, Please, No Police, 1992) as a stimulus for considering the failed communication between German and Turkish people in Berlin. Ören was born in 1939 in Istanbul, where he worked as a writer before settling in Berlin in 1972. His seventh publication in German translation, Bitte nix Polizei, deals with the parallel lives of Brigitte and Ali, who both try to build themselves an existence in Berlin. When Brigitte tries her luck as a prostitute, Ali turns up; she panics and he rapes her. A week later, Ali is found dead in a Berlin canal. Rösch takes

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the failed meeting between the two protagonists as a point of departure for an intercultural learning process. She argues that the reason for this failure lies in the lack of interest in the respective other, who may come from a different country but who leads a similar life, as Ören illustrates in the parallel construction of the two life stories in his intercultural narration (Rösch 1992: 87–108). Rösch’s study is the first of many didactical studies in this field. Challenging Hegemonic Monolingual Literary Traditions In the late 1980s and early 1990s several new approaches to German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing emerged in Germany and the United States. These were all guided by the idea that this writing constitutes a new literary phenomenon that, like any other literature, demands aesthetic rather than sociological readings. However, they differ in how they approach and conceptualise this new literature. The first us studies by Arlene Teraoka (1987) and Heidrun Suhr (1989) read this new phenomenon from poststructuralist perspectives that take into account the hegemonic power differential existing between majority and minority. To make this differential visible, they describe this new literature as a ‘minor’ or ‘small’ literature – as defined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (1976). This means that they regard it as a literature ‘that is written within and against a dominating literary and cultural tradition’ (Teraoka 1987: 79–80) and that has a specific consciousness of its own and specific characteristics (Suhr 1989: 73). As a consequence, they criticise Weinrich’s approach of incorporating this writing into the German tradition for neutralising this oppositional stance and the specific characteristics of this new writing. At about the same time, the new linguistic and cultural characteristics of immigrant literature also become an issue in German literary research, with a focus being on what Ackermann, already in 1983, described as the ‘inbetween position’ of these authors that may become a creative impulse bringing about something new, a mixed culture, resulting from the fusion of elements of different cultures (Ackermann 1983a: 61–62). This results in an intercultural approach to this writing first promulgated by Carmine Chiellino. As early as 1985, Chiellino issued a study dealing with Italian authors in Germany in which he describes this literature as an aesthetic novelty marked by an essential bilinguality that blurs the borders between the individual languages (C. Chiellino 1985: 46). He takes this approach further in his substantial study on literature and migrant labour, where he calls for discussion of the literature of foreign writers in Germany in the framework of a transnational geography of linguistic and literary interrelations that transcends the boundaries of national literatures (C. Chiellino 1995: 301–307). Among the literary texts he interprets in this framework is the novel Die Unversöhnlichen (1991, The Irreconcilable) written

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by Franco Biondi. Biondi left Italy in 1965 for Germany, where he earned his living as a factory worker before re-entering education and starting to write poems and short stories in the 1970s. In his first novel, the protagonist Dario ­Binachi returns home in search of his roots, feeling constantly observed by his alter ego, the Italian-German author Franco Biondi, his neighbour in Frankfurt, whom he eventually kills. Chiellino reads this novel written in German as a bicultural reminiscence that serves to ascertain the identity of the foreign narrator and author by moving historical memory from the mother tongue into German, a process resulting in a new language characterised, amongst other things, by an excessive use of metaphors (C. Chiellino 1995: 369–395). Immacolata Amodeo (1996) combines these new approaches evolving in the us and Germany in a book-length study significantly entitled Die Heimat heißt Babylon (Home is called Babylon) – a quote from a poem by Gino Chiellino (1987). She argues that discussing immigrant writing in moral rather than in aesthetic terms, as many of the above-mentioned earlier studies in the 1980s did, will perpetuate the exclusion of this writing from literary establishment (Amodeo 1996: 32). However, discussing the aesthetic dimension of this writing demands new approaches, since this minor and deterritorialised literature cannot be described in the terms available in national literary studies (Amodeo 1996: 87–94). Amodeo goes on to develop such a new approach based on Deleuze and Guattari’s post-structuralist theory of the rhizome that they conceive as ‘a non-centric, non-hierarchical […] system’ (Amodeo 1996: 108, citing Deleuze and Guattari 1977). She argues that, like the rhizome, minor literature overcomes the hierarchical structures leading to the exclusion of this literature in what she calls an intercultural aesthetic marked by diverse languages and voices (in Bachtin’s sense), by a form of alienation oscillating between self and other and by syncretism. While this aesthetic is rooted in several cultural traditions, the specificities of mixing these in manifold and erratic ways question these cultures as fixed entities since it becomes impossible to identify and categorise the components according to these traditions (Amodeo 1996: 108–109). One of the many works which Amodeo rereads in this light is Franco Biondi’s short story ‘Brandstiftung’ (Arson) published in his volume of short stories Passavantis Rückkehr (1982, Passavanti’s Return). The text tells the story of a young man who has grown up between Sicily and Mainz from two seemingly irreconcilable perspectives. The narrator describes his situation as hopeless. He is unemployed, on drugs and suicidal, and both his father and his best friend have died in accidents. Yet the young man himself provides a very different perspective on the same story. He believes that his father and his friend were murdered and lives in a fantastic world in which both of them are still alive, whereas all the characters who make his life difficult, such as his

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teacher, fade into oblivion. Amodeo reads these two irreconcilable versions as co-existing in the protagonist’s mind. The text thus creates a new independent culture, an alternative not resolving but enduring conflictual perspectives. This is reflected in a language mixing the dialects spoken around Mainz and in Sicily, two geographical locations and languages that are not strictly divided, but have become one world in the protagonist’s mind (Amodeo 1996: 156–160). Moving beyond Monolingualism Since the above-mentioned studies challenged hegemonic monolingual literary traditions in German literature, researchers have looked more closely at multilingualism in the works of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writers. Various approaches have evolved in this field over the last decade. For instance, Linda Koiran uses a psychoanalytic approach to analyse the particular relationship of the German-Japanese writer Yoko Tawada and the ­German-Mongolian author Galsan Tschinag to their first languages and ­German (­Koiran 2009). She applies Julia Kristeva’s concept of the migrant who becomes a stranger (étranger) by leaving his familiar surroundings (Kristeva 2000). This estrangement also becomes apparent in language: confronted with a foreign language, the stranger experiences the borders of languages and is confronted with silence. However, this also implies new possibilities. To Galsan Tschinag, ­German is a world language that has enabled him to speak and to be heard and thus to become more visible than before as member of a nomad community without any written tradition. Tschinag was born in Mongolia in 1944, went to the gdr to study German literature in the 1960s and started writing in German in the 1980s. He divides his time between Germany and Mongolia, where he is an activist for the Tuvan minority and practises shamanistic healing. Although he is a stranger, he could become rooted in the German language which he uses to memorise his story and with it the history of the Tuvan minority, for instance in his book Eine tuwinische Geschichte (1981, A Tuvan Story), a collection of stories. Other studies take a linguistic approach to the impact of multilingualism on what they call exophonic writing, i.e. literary texts written in a language that is not the author’s mother tongue (Arndt et al. 2007). In the German context, this approach has been applied to Emine Sevgi Özdamar (Wright 2008) and Yoko Tawada (Ivanovic 2014), with a major focus being on whether and how these writers use translation in their work. Christine Ivanovic shows how the ­German-Japanese writer Yoko Tawada uses linguistic misunderstandings or (mis-)translations to describe experiences of difference in her texts (Ivanovic 2014). Tawada, who was born in Japan and went to Germany in 1982 to study German in Berlin, has been writing German and Japanese literature since the

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late 1980s. In her works, her predominantly Asian protagonists highlight the ambiguity and confusion resulting from cultural and linguistic differences. This confusion is shared at times by her readers, for instance when confronted with the poem entitled ‘MusikMaschineLärm’ (Tawada 2010, MusicMachineNoise) which, apart from its title and subtitle (‘Nach Ernst Jandl’, After Ernst Jandl), consists of Japanese ideograms. Ivanovic shows that even readers who do not know any Japanese will eventually be able to identify the poem’s structure: it only uses five different ideograms, so-called kanjis that respond to the three words in the title, i.e. music, machine and noise. Nevertheless, ­German-speaking readers will most probably not be able to fully translate the text. Rather, gaps of understanding will remain that cannot be filled. Such gaps are typical for many of Tawada’s texts and form an integral part of Tawada’s exophonic poetics. Yasemin Yildiz (2012) uses a similar methodological approach to analyse individual multilingual texts written by authors from Franz Kafka to Feridun Zaimoglu. However, she positions these studies in a wider historical and theoretical analysis of the long tradition of monolingualism in Germany that these authors intend to overcome in their works. Yildiz explains that German nationbuilding in the nineteenth century has led to the introduction of what she calls the ‘monolingual paradigm’. This paradigm poses that individuals can properly think, feel and write only in one language – their mother tongue – which links them to a clearly demarcated ethnicity, culture and nation. When this paradigm replaced earlier multilingualism in the nineteenth century, monolingual knowledge of a language became a prerequisite for creativity in that language. This idea cannot simply be overcome in a new multilingualism, since the monolingual paradigm implies more than monolingualism. It tells the story of what Yildiz, referring to Freud, describes as a ‘linguistic family romance’. This affectionate story of origin and identity needs to be rewritten in the process of overcoming the mother-tongue paradigm that, according to Yildiz, is still very much in effect today (Yildiz 2012: 6–14). As one example of such a rewriting, Yildiz reads Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s short story Mutterzunge (1990, Mother Tongue, 1994). Özdamar, who was born in Malatya in Eastern Turkey in 1946 but grew up in Istanbul and Bursa, first moved to Germany as a labour migrant in 1965, returned to Turkey to go to drama school and finally left Turkey for Germany in 1975. In her short story Mutterzunge, the thoughts of the narrator revolve around the question of where she lost her mother tongue. In this text, Özdamar uses a literal translation of Turkish words and idioms to create an estranged new German that has mainly been read as expressing the narrator’s migration experience. By contrast, Yildiz shows that the narrator did not lose her language in the process of migration, i.e. by confrontation with another

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language, but in the traumatic experience of acts of state violence against left-wing activists in the early 1970s putsch in Turkey, a violent break with the ‘linguistic family romance’ imposed in Turkey in the early twentieth century. Özdamar’s postmonolingual writing becomes a means of working through this trauma (Yildiz 2012: 143–168). Changing Individual Identities As in earlier sociological approaches, individual identity remains a major issue in studies of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. However, rather than regarding identity as an essence that is lost in the process of migration (see Zielke 1985), more-recent feminist, intercultural and transcultural approaches have come to regard identities as being changeable, dependent on how others see us and differentiated not only by nationality/ethnicity but also by gender and class. That the construction of individual identities in migration processes is more complex than discussed in the early sociological studies published in Germany was already implied in one of the earliest feminist studies in the field of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing: Jeanette Clausen’s interpretation of Vera Kamenko’s Unter uns war Krieg (1978, There Was War Among Us). Kamenko tells the story of her life from her birth in Yugoslavia, her early pregnancy and her move to Germany to support her child up to the moment when she beats her child to death together with her partner Hassan, who has been sexually abusing her throughout their relationship. Unlike Vera, he is not convicted for the murder of the child, or for his sexual violence against Vera. Clausen’s reading highlights the ‘intersection of multiple oppressions – based on gender, race or ethnicity, and class’ in this book (Clausen 1985: 116). Annette Wierschke (1996) also uses a feminist approach to analyse not only textual but also authorial identity constructions in her study of the female Turkish-German authors Aysel Özakın, Alev Tekinay and Emine Sevgi ­Özdamar. She focuses on how these authors construct themselves as writers in individual statements and through their work in a German context which projects onto them the role of the oppressed oriental woman. Wierschke highlights how all three oppose these projections by stressing their role as intellectuals and artists in personal statements and by intervening, in their literary works, in German discourses on the Orient, Turkey and the life of foreigners – in both a political and a poetical sense. In these literary interventions, they rewrite existing images of foreigners, question hegemonic power structures and destabilise polarities. Among the texts Wierschke discusses is the autobiographical novel Die Leidenschaft der Anderen (1983, The Passion of the Others), written by Aysel Özakın, who escaped to Germany after the military coup in Turkey in 1980. The

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novel describes the experiences of a Turkish writer in German exile while on a tour giving public readings of her work in her new country of residence. Wierschke shows how the narrator of the text distances herself from merely being an informant on Turkey and Turkish women, a position imposed on her by her listeners, by constructing herself as part of an intellectual culture transcending national borders, a culture that provides her with a home also in Germany. Feminist approaches have remained important for the study of German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing up to the present day and have also been among the first to overcome the separation of these authors by reading them together with their German colleagues (see, amongst others, Haines and Littler 2004). Unlike Wierschke, Bettina Baumgärtel (1997) continues a tradition started in earlier German studies (see Zielke 1985) by using research in social psychology to analyse how identity is constructed in literary texts. However, unlike these earlier studies, she draws on more-recent psychological research by ­Lothar Krappmann, who does not regard identities as fixed, but as constantly being negotiated in interactions with others, a process that demands a continuous balancing act between self-expectations and the expectations of others (Krappmann 1988). Baumgärtel analyses such a balancing act in the short story ‘Der Arbeiter und die Zahnärztin’ (1985, The Worker and the Dentist) written by Fakir Baykurt. Baykurt was born in 1929 in Turkey, where he had been known as a writer before he left Turkey for political reasons in 1979 for West Germany, where he died in 1999. The short story focuses on the Turkish guestworker Hüseyin who has lost all hope for social and personal recognition after many years of disappointed expectations in Germany. In this state of mind, he asks his dentist to extract all his teeth, which he regards as being beyond hope – just like himself. However, the dentist refuses to fulfil his wish, explaining that his teeth are in good condition. Baumgärtel argues that this act of the dentist taking him seriously as a human being changes Hüseyin’s identity balance. He uncovers the humour lost over the years of disappointment and even develops empathy towards others. Jochen Neubauer (2011) combines Wierschke’s and Baumgärtel’s approaches by asking how stereotypical images of the Turkish in Germany influence identity constructions in Turkish-German literature and film. One of the literary works which Neubauer analyses in more detail is Kanak Sprak: 24 Mißtöne vom Rande der Gesellschaft (1995, Kanak Sprak: 24 Broken Sounds from the Margin of Society) by Feridun Zaimoglu, who was born in Turkey but mainly grew up in Germany. Kanak Sprak presents 24 protocols of young men mainly of Turkish but also of Arabic origin calling themselves Kanaken, originally a term of abuse used against foreigners in Germany that has been turned into a term

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of resistant self-identification. The protocols describe their lives in Germany in a language aestheticised by the author, with elements from underground language, hip hop and rap, amongst others. Neubauer reads the protocols as a form of ‘resistance identity’, a term coined by Manuel Castells. They show individuals in a society excluding them from participation and overloading them with stereotypes to such an extent that they have no space for individual development. Hence, they use the existing stereotypes as a basis for their identities. Cornelia Anna Maul (2017) uses the concept of transdifference developed by Klaus Lösch and others (2005) to discuss identity constructions in her comparative study on four female immigrant and ethnic-minority authors writing in Germany (Terézia Mora), France (Marie NDiaye), Spain (Najat El Hachmi) and Italy (Ornela Vorpsi). Transdifference is based on Wolfgang Welsch’s (2010) concept of transculturality. Like transculturality, transdifference stresses the hybrid and heterogeneous character of cultures, but it does not try to dissolve differences that occur in and between them. Maul argues that this double ­perspective between difference and its dissolution can be productive when applied to identity constructions in the context of migration and its literary representations. One of the novels she reads through this lens is Terézia Mora’s Alle Tage (2004, Day In Day Out, 2007). Mora was born in Hungary as a member of the German-speaking minority and left the country for Germany in 1990. Alle Tage tells the story of Abel Nema, who leaves Yugoslavia in search of his father and ends up in the city of B. which has similarities to Berlin. In an accident, Abel loses his sense of direction and taste, but gains an incredible talent for languages. However, the more languages he speaks, the more he loses his individuality. His aura of a stranger makes him attractive to both men and women but, in the end, is the reason for him becoming the victim of a brutal attack in which his linguistic competence is nearly completely destroyed. In her analysis, Maul illustrates that Abel is characterised by a number of attributes that are signs of a transdifferent existence: his sexual as well as his cultural identity are ambiguous; he suffers from palpitations and, during these attacks, seems to fluctuate between human being and animal; he is both described as a prophet and, because of his name, associated with the original sin. Furthermore, the loss of his senses and the ensuing disorientation make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to gain a sense of his self. In the end, Abel fails to override the differences that are caused by his transdifferent situation. However, transdifference is not limited to the level of the characters but characterises the whole novel. Mora transfers the difficulties that arise with the ­decomposition of familiar units of thought to the aesthetic level of the text. The novel is structured like a maze, full of misleading signs, signals and references that never merge into a comprehensive whole. It is told from several perspectives, is set

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in ambivalent, heterotopic locations in the unnamed city of B. and abounds with uncertain temporal references. Maul thus shows that the novel as a whole provides an insight into the complexity of identity configurations. Transnationalising Collective Memories, Histories and Cultures That immigrant and ethnic-minority writing contributes to a transnationalisation of memories was already implied in Chiellino’s studies, which highlight how immigrant writers import memories from their mother tongue into the German language and thereby change both the content and the linguistic form of German collective memories. This transnationalisation of collective memories, histories and cultures becomes a major issue in more-recent studies on German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing from two perspectives: diasporic communities rewriting the histories of their countries of origin and immigrant communities changing the national understanding of history in their countries of residence. Azade Seyhan is the main representative of the first approach. In her oft-cited study Writing Outside the Nation (2001) she regards immigrant and ethnic-minority writing as a writing of diasporic communities, forced to leave their countries of origin, but still joined by a collective memory and the will to survive as a minority. In her study, she compares transnational literature in German with works by Chicano/a, Caribbean and American-Chinese authors and discusses texts by, inter alia, the Turkish-German writers Emine Sevgi ­Özdamar and Aysel Özakın and the Czech-German writer Libuše Moníková. According to Seyhan, diasporic literatures contribute to writing collective memories which she – with reference to Nietzsche, Freud and Benjamin – regards as an antidote to scientific history. These processes of reconstruction can be organised to highlight moments of danger ignored in official versions of history. ‘When exile becomes a condition of critical reflection, its writers find the narrative and cultural coordinates to offer another version of their land’s history, a version free of official doctrine and rhetoric, a history of the actual human cost of transformation and migration’ (Seyhan 2001: 20). Like Chiellino, Seyhan stresses the multilingual character of these alternative histories. She illustrates her argument with a reading of Libuše Moníková’s novel Pavane für eine verstorbene Infantin (1983, Pavane for a Deceased Infanta), whose protagonist overcomes her mourning of ‘the lost Czech land’ (Seyhan 2001: 85), which she was forced to leave after the violent suppression of the Prague Spring, in a process of literary self-refashioning that implies a new understanding of her past, present and future. Moníková was born in Prague in 1945 and moved to Germany in 1971 to join her German husband and evade political oppression. The novel tells the story of Francine Pallas, the author’s alter ego (Seyhan 2001:

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83) who, like the author, left Prague after the Soviet invasion in 1969 for Germany, where she earns her living as a part-time lecturer in German literature in Göttingen. Her loss becomes inscribed into her body: she develops a limp that expresses the ills not only of the home- but also of the hostland, a ‘place of bleak loneliness’ that reinforces her melancholy (Seyhan 2001: 85–86). However, Francine manages to overcome this state of loss in a new creative distance which allows her to ‘remember without pain and celebrate, not mourn, her history’ (Seyhan 2001: 87). She reinvents herself ‘both as the legendary Bohemian infanta Libuše and Franz Kafka’s literary heiress’ (Seyhan 2001: 86) and rewrites the final chapter of Franz Kafka’s Das Schloss (1926, The Castle) to tell the story of the Barnabas family, the outsiders without name and identity in Kafka’s version. Leslie Adelson, on the other hand, reads Turkish-German writing as an integral part of German literature, with a major focus of her work being on how this writing contributes to and changes the German debates on the holocaust and German unification. These critical endeavours are summarised in a book programmatically entitled The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature (Adelson 2005). Adelson argues that literary research focusing on cultural dichotomies has tended to ignore the fact that Turkish-German novels rewrite German, Jewish and Turkish histories in a novel form that she calls ‘touching tales’ (Adelson 2005: 86). A prime example of her approach is her reading of Zafer Şenocak’s novel Gefährliche Verwandtschaft (1998, Perilous Kinship, 2001). Şenocak was born in Ankara in 1961 and moved to Munich with his parents at the age of nine. He published poems and became well-known for his essays criticising integration debates in Germany before he began writing novels. Gefährliche Verwandtschaft is the third novel in a tetralogy whose protagonist is Sascha Muhteschem, a German writer whose Turkish father and ­Jewish-German mother met in Turkey, where the Jewish family fled from the German Nazi regime. The novel deals with the protagonist’s quest for identity, an endeavour that primarily involves uncovering his Turkish roots. He ­discovers the secret story of his grandfather, who was involved in the Armenian genocide. Hence, genocidal histories touch in the protagonist’s biography in various ways: he is the grandchild of a perpetrator of the Turkish genocide of the Armenians and the child of a victim of the German genocide of the Jews. This touching tale rethinks German history and memory from the point of view of recent migration from Turkey. Adelson’s approach has been taken further by studies that do not focus only on the Turkish-German contribution to German history, but read this literature as cosmopolitanising German society and culture more generally (Cheesman 2007: 12).

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Towards Transnational Literary Studies of Immigrant and ­ Ethnic-Minority Writing The transnational approaches described above have focused on how immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has transnationalised memories, histories and cultures. However, their analyses have remained within the borders of ­German literary studies. More-recent research has tried to move beyond these disciplinary boundaries by taking into account the literary traditions of the countries of origin of immigrant and ethnic-minority writers, an approach already initiated by Carmine Chiellino, but more fully developed by Karin Yeşilada in her substantial study on Turkish-German poetry by s­econd-generation immigrants such as Zafer Şenocak, Zehra Çirak, Nevfel Cumart, Levent Aktoprak, Hasan Özdemir, Hasan Dewran, Gülbahar Kültür, Seher Çakır and Berkan K ­ arpat (Yeşilada 2012). Yeşilada locates these works in Turkish literary history: She provides an overview of the history of Turkish poetry, presents several important currents in this genre – such as Ottoman divan poetry or modern ­Turkish poetry – explains popular motifs and introduces two of the most important poets, Maulana Dschelaladdin Rumi and Yunus Emre. In her analysis of Zafer Şenocak’s poetry, she shows how he introduces motifs from Turkish literature into his writing. In a comparative reading of a poem by Yunus Emre (1986), a Turkish mystic poet from the thirteenth century, and the poem ‘Gedicht X’ (Poem X) by Şenocak (1987), Yeşilada demonstrates how Şenocak adapts both the structure (e.g. the end rhyme) and motifs (such as the disorientation about one’s existence) of Emre’s poetry. These references to and reception of Turkish literature to Yeşilada is an indication that Şenocak’s poetry is not to be read in the context of ‘Migrantenliteratur’ (Yeşilada 2012: 202, migrant literature) but is rather to be seen as a productive reception of Islamic mysticism (Şenocak has also translated works by mystic writers into German) which she also calls a ‘Back-to-the-roots’ movement (Yeşilada 2012: 204) – i.e. a turn to Turkish literature. The works of Navid Kermani, who was born in Siegen in 1967 to Iranian parents, have been read in a similarly transnational manner. Researchers have, on the one hand, described his writing as a form of European cosmopolitanism building on German enlightenment and in particular on Lessing as well as on the many German authors, from Goethe to Kafka, critical of nationalism (Coury 2016). On the other hand, they have analysed how Kermani has used the Islamic mystical tradition to reinstate a critical stance towards God in the contemporary Islamic debate in Germany. In Gott ist schön (1999, God is Beautiful, 2015), Kermani explores the focus on the beauty of God in Islam mediated through the beauty of the Quran, which is regarded as God’s word. This has prevented accusations against God, as Kermani argues in Der Schrecken

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Gottes (2005, The Terror of God, 2011). The Quranic Job is not a rebel, but a silent sufferer. However, Job’s protest against the terror of God and the evil that he allows happening, as it can be found in the biblical Book of Job, is present in the Islamic mystical tradition. This tradition combines the beauty with the terror of God. Moreover, it describes the relation between God and man as a relationship of lovers that includes an erotic component. In fact, worldy love is regarded as a way of experiencing divine love (Stosch 2016). Karolin Machtans (2016) shows that these mystical ideas also strongly influence Kermani’s literary writings. In his novel Große Liebe (2014, Great Love), a middle-aged man tells the story of his first love as a fifteen-year-old schoolboy in a provincial town in Germany in the early 1980s. He looks back at his younger self from a narrative distance by using the third person. This expresses his feeling of not being able to identify with his former self and at the same time allows him to analyse his experiences through the lens of Arabian and Persian mystical writings that were the boy’s favourite reading at the time and are interwoven with the account of his love. The fifteen-year-old boy goes through similar experiences as the protagonists of the mystical tales, from passion and ecstasy via insecurity and doubt to fear and anger. The novel illustrates how the beauty and terror of worldly and divine love have been experienced and described in similar ways over centuries and across Occident and Orient. Michael Hofmann’s German-Turkish Literary Studies moves beyond the above approaches by including not only historical issues, such as Friedrich Rückert’s (1788–1866) productive reception of texts by Mevlana Rumi, and contemporary literature by German-Turkish authors, such as Feridun Zaimoglu, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Selim Özdoğan or Zafer Şenocak, but also Turkish contemporary literature by Orhan Pamuk, Mario Levi and Nedim Gürsel. ­Hofmann argues that there are links between German-Turkish literature and contemporary Turkish literature as they both negotiate tradition and modernism and deal with Islam, among other things. He further states that ­Turkish could be perceived as a ‘new perspective of German’ (Hofmann 2013: 11) and that the German-Turkish and Turkish authors’ negotiations of tradition and modernism, of religion and of concepts of gender in a postmodern world could become a model for German culture. Therefore, it is worthwhile studying Turkish contemporary literature (in translation) from a German studies point of view. In one of his case studies, Hofmann compares texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the German-Turkish authors Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Zafer Şenocak and Feridun Zaimoglu with regard to their relation to Islam. He shows how Islam and the Koran have been sources and inspiration for literary texts, both around 1800 and in contemporary German-Turkish literature. At the same time, Goethe and his contemporary colleagues clearly distinguish between

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religion and literature, i.e. they underline that literature uses religious ideas imaginatively. In this manner, for instance, Goethe – in the ironic poem ‘Ob der Koran von Ewigkeit sei?’ (1819, ‘If from Eternity the Koran be’, 1914) in the West-Östlicher Divan (1819, West-Eastern Divan, 1914) – plays with the ban on alcohol in Islam and at the same time discusses serious theological questions such as the Koran’s eternal value (Hofmann 2013: 82). In a similar vein, though to different effect, Feridun Zaimoglu uses religious motifs and ideas in order to criticise Western culture and the consumer society in his 1995 book Kanak Sprak. By doing this in a linguistically rather provocative manner, Zaimoglu demonstrates that there are apparently archaic constructions of Islam in Germany that can be read as ‘desperate reactions to exclusion, commercialisation and sexualisation of society’ (Hofmann 2013: 92). In a different manner, transnational approaches have led to the formation of a corpus of (a new) world literature. Elke Sturm-Trigonakis’ concept of the same name comprises texts which are plurilingual and which incorporate the discourse on globalisation (2007; for an English translation, see ­Sturm-Trigonakis 2013). Accordingly, her corpus is not restricted to ‘German’ immigrant writers, but includes authors from different linguistic and cultural contexts, such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Hanif Kureishi and Salman Rushdie. Jusuf Naoum, Aysel Özakın (who has written works in German, Turkish and English), Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Rafik Schami, Yoko Tawada and Feridun Zaimoglu are the German immigrant authors whom she includes. Rather than reading them in the German literary context, however, Sturm-Trigonakis proposes comparing them to other works of the new world literature. In this manner, she shows, for instance, how Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s story ‘Der Hof im Spiegel’ (2001, The Courtyard in the Mirror), set in Berlin, evokes places such as Istanbul, Paris, Amsterdam and New York. In the text, the narrator sits in her apartment at night and watches the other people in her block of flats through a mirror. At the same time, she speaks on the phone to her family and friends in Turkey and thus creates proximity both on a local and on a distant level. In the evocation of various places, the text is similar, for instance, to Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane (2004) in which London is closely connected to rural Bangladesh through the protagonist Nazneen, who spent her childhood in the city of Dhaka where her sister still lives. This linking of different places which, at times, are very distant from each other – the connection between the global and the local – is, according to Sturm-Trigonakis, one of the characteristics of the new world literature that is composed by immigrant and ethnic-minority writers worldwide. Approaches such as these widen both the theoretical perspective of German studies and the corpus of the authors and texts to be studied. At the same time, they question the institutional organisation of German studies/Germanistik as

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they call for comparative and multidisciplinary research. They are thus transnational on more than one level.

Impact

Immigrant and ethnic-minority authors and their texts have arrived at the centre of the German literary field. This is expressed by their presence as intellectuals in the public domain (for instance, Feridun Zaimoglu writes for the zeit) as well as by the fact that a number of them were awarded major literary prizes. Herta Müller received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009; Oskar Pastior and Sibylle Lewitscharoff were granted the Georg Büchner Prize in 2006 and 2013 respectively; Navid Kermani was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Publishers’ Association in 2015; Saša Stanišić and Natascha Wodin won the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in 2014 and 2017 respectively; Terézia Mora was awarded the German Book Prize at the Book Fair in Frankfurt in 2013; and books by Sherko Fatah, Olga Grjasnova, Olga Martynova, Ilija Trojanow, Nellja Veremej and Feridun Zaimoglu have (at times repeatedly) been on the long- and shortlists of the same prize. The study of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has also become a very broad field which makes any overview a difficult endeavour. Countless articles and books have been published on various authors and their work, both in Germany and abroad. In fact, the work on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has been essential for the establishment of the field of Intercultural German Studies (Hofmann 2006). However, as Herbert Uerlings (2011) has stated, the hegemonic structure of German Studies has long inhibited the flow of ideas from Intercultural Studies into the traditional Germanistik in Germany. This is mainly due to the structural conservatism of this field, which is still occupied with obsolete discussions on whether to position itself as Philology or Cultural Studies, whether to stress disciplinarity or multidisciplinarity, whether to study literature or texts and whether to focus on aesthetics or politics. As a consequence, the success of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing does not go hand-in-hand with its institutional establishment: although Intercultural German Studies have continually widened their spectrum, there are hitherto very few professorships in German Studies in Germany focusing on Intercultural German Studies. Nevertheless, there has been an impact of the study of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing on German studies more generally. Literary histories have slowly begun to take account of immigrant writing. An early example is Sigrid Weigel’s (1992) chapter in the substantial Hansers Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur (Briegleb and Weigel 1992, Hanser’s Social History of

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­ erman Literature) in which Weigel discusses immigrant and ethnic-minority G writing (by authors such as Franco Biondi, Jeannette Lander, Yüksel Pazarkaya, Aras Ören, Aysel Özakın, Saliha Scheinhardt, Yoko Tawada and Torkan) together with German travel literature and thus chooses an inclusionary ­approach. More recently, revised editions of literary histories have started to include information on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing, albeit predominantly in separate categories. For instance, Ralf Schnell, in the second edition of his Geschichte der deutschsprachigen Literatur seit 1945 (History of Literature in German since 1945) in a section on poetry, stresses the multilingual potential of poets such as the Turkish-German Zehra Çırak and the Spanish-German José F.A. Oliver (Schnell 2003: 544–546). He then dedicates a section to ‘prose writing between cultures’ (Schnell 2003: 564–571), where he stresses the transcultural aesthetics of immigrant and ethnic-minority prose writing. Schnell presents authors who come from the German-speaking minority in Romania – such as Rolf Bossert, Herta Müller or Richard Wagner – as early examples of transcultural writers who were later followed by immigrant writers such as Yoko Tawada, Zé do Rock, Rafik Schami and Wladimir Kaminer and the Turkish-German writers Aras Ören, Saliha Scheinhardt, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Zafer Şenocak and Feridun Zaimoglu. Manfred Durzak (2006), on the other hand, focuses on immigrant writers in a section entitled ‘The other German novel’ in the Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart (History of German Literature from 1945 to the Present) and does not include the group of Romanian-born German writers. At the same time, German immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has arrived in the classroom, as evidenced by anthologies compiled particularly for use in schools from the early 1980s up to the present day (Mayr 2013; Müller and Cicek 2007; Wright 2014) and by entries in major reference books for non-specialist audiences such as the Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (entries on works by Libuše Moníková, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, said, Rafik Schami, Zafer Şenocak, Yoko Tawada, Feridun Zaimoglu and others) and the Kritisches Lexikon zur deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (klg, Critical Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literature in German; entries on Franco Biondi, Libuše Moníková, Aras Ören, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, said, Zafer Şenocak, Yoko Tawada, Feridun Zaimoglu and others). Moreover, research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing has initiated and furthered the introduction of new theoretical concepts and approaches to German Studies in Germany even though the traditional Germanistik still exists. For instance, intercultural and postcolonial approaches, as well as theories of transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, have entered German Studies – at times in parallel to and at times hand-in-hand with the study of immigrant and ethnic-minority writing. Postcolonial approaches led to an increased interest in Germany’s colonial history and its presence in contemporary G ­ erman

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literature. Dirk Göttsche, for example, has analysed contemporary novels in German that reflect and represent the German colonial period in Africa; he defines colonialism as an established theme of literary memorialisation alongside Germany’s dominant memory themes, such as National Socialism and the Holocaust or the former gdr and the Wende (Göttsche 2013). Intercultural Studies have increasingly been expanded to historic phenomena, such as the Romantics’ interest in India, as, for instance, illustrated by Karoline von Günderrode’s (1920–22) narrative Geschichte eines Braminen (1805, A Brahmin’s Story) (Hofmann 2006). The transnational paradigm has begun to be applied to ‘non-migrant’ authors such as Helene Hegemann, Wolfgang Herrendorf, Juli Zeh or (the Swiss author) Christian Kracht (Herrmann et al. 2015). The effect of ‘economic globalization, instantaneous electronic media, and the movement of millions around the globe’ (2015: 1), the argument goes, has left its traces on contemporary German-language literature and not only on those texts written by immigrant and ethnic-minority authors. That is, contemporary literature in general refers to global patterns and global debates on ‘identity, mobility (…) and cosmopolitanism’ (2015: 1–2). Despite the fact that research on immigrant and ethnic-minority writing in Germany has become a very broad field, there are a number of gaps that have hitherto barely been addressed by scholars. For instance, there is a lack of studies on poetry by immigrant and ethnic-minority writers (for an exception, see Yeşilada 2012), even though the earliest research in the field concentrated on poetry, since poetry was the predominant mode of writing at the time. Furthermore, up to now texts by immigrant writers from African countries have been very little analysed by scholars: Dirk Göttsche’s works are a rare exception to this (Diallo and Göttsche 2003; Göttsche 2010). The same holds true for those writers whose works were published in a foreign language or in translation. Aras Ören and Güney Dal may have received some attention in early overviews, but have subsequently long been ignored (for an exception see Cheesman 2007). The Russian Lev Kopelev and the Chilean Antonio Skármeta, who lived and wrote in Germany, have also rarely been discussed as immigrant writers. Finally, historical studies on literature and migration are also rare in Germany. References Abel, J. (2006) ‘Positionslichter: Die neue Generation von Anthologien der “Migrations­ literatur”’, Text + Kritik (Sonderband Literatur und Migration), 9: 233–245. Ackermann, I. (1982) Als Fremder in Deutschland. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.

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Reeg, U. (1988) Schreiben in der Fremde: Literatur nationaler Minderheiten in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Essen: Klartext. Riemann, W. (1990) Über das Leben in Bitterland: Bibliographie zur türkischen Deutschland-Literatur und zur türkischen Literatur in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Rodzevich, A. (2010) ‘The theme of labor in contemporary Volga German literature’, in M. Gebauer and P.S. Lausten (eds) Migration and Literature in Contemporary Europe. Munich: Martin Meidenbauer, 219–230. Rösch, H. (1992) Migrationsliteratur im interkulturellen Kontext: eine didaktische Studie zur Literatur von Aras Ören, Aysel Özakin, Franco Biondi und Rafik Schami. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag für Interkulturelle Kommunikation. Rösch, H. and Y. Anzt (2013) Bibliografie deutschsprachige Migrationsliteratur mit Kurzporträts. Available at: http://www.ph-karlsruhe.de/fileadmin/user_upload/­hoch ­schule/masterstudimm/ML-Biblio.pdf (last accessed 20 April 2016). Roy, K. (2009) ‘German-Islamic literary interceptions in works by Emily Ruete and Emine Sevgi Özdamar’, in J. Hodkinson and J. Morrison (eds) Encounters with Islam in German Literature and Culture. Rochester, New York: Camden House, 166–180. Ruiz, A. (2000) ‘Literatur der spanischen Minderheit’, in C. Chiellino (ed.) Interkulturelle Literatur in Deutschland: Ein Handbuch. Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler, 84–95. Saleh, A. (2011) Rezeption arabischer Migrationsliteratur in Deutschland: Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel der in Deutschland lebenden syrischen Autoren. Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin. Schenk, K., A. Todorow and M. Tvrdík (eds) (2004) Migrationsliteratur: Schreibweisen einer interkulturellen Moderne. Tübingen: Francke. Schmitz, H. (2009) Von der nationalen zur internationalen Literatur. Transkulturelle deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur im Zeitalter globaler Migration. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Schmitz, W. (2018a) Handbuch Literatur der Migration in den deutschsprachigen Ländern seit 1945. Volume 1: ‘Einwanderungsländer wider Willen’: Prozess und Diskurs. Dresden: Thelem, in press. Schmitz, W. (2018b) Handbuch Literatur der Migration in den deutschsprachigen Ländern seit 1945. Volume 2: Konzepte, Phasen, Kontexte. Dresden: Thelem, in press. Schmitz, W. (2018c) Handbuch Literatur der Migration in den deutschsprachigen Ländern seit 1945. Volume 3: Autorinnen und Autoren und ihre Werke. Ein Lexikon. Dresden: Thelem, in press. Schnell, R. (2003) Geschichte der deutschsprachigen Literatur seit 1945. Stuttgart: Metzler. Seibert, P. (1984) ‘Zur “Rettung der Zungen”: Ausländerliteratur in ihren konzeptionellen Ansätzen’, LiLi. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 56: 40–61.

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Şenocak, Z. (1987) ‘Gedicht X’, in Z. Şenocak, Ritual der Jugend. Frankfurt am Main: Dağyeli-Verlag, 63. Şenocak, Z. (1998) Gefährliche Verwandtschaft. Munich: Babel. Şenocak, Z. (2001) Perilous Kinship. Swansea: Hafan Books. Seyhan, A. (ed.) (1989) ‘Minorities in German culture’, special issue, New German Critique, 46. Seyhan, A. (2001) Writing Outside the Nation. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Sievers, W. (2008) ‘Writing politics: the emergence of immigrant writing in West Germany and Austria’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(8): 1217–1235. Silva-Brummel, F. (2000) ‘Literatur der portugiesischen Minderheit’, in C. Chiellino (ed.) Interkulturelle Literatur in Deutschland: Ein Handbuch. Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler, 125–134. Slobodian, Q. (2008) ‘Dissident guests: Afro-Asian students and transnational activism in the West German protest movement’, in W. Pojmann (ed.) Migration and Activism in Europe Since 1945. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 33–55. Stosch, K.v. (2016) ‘Kermani’s writing on Islamic religion’, in H. Druxes, K. Machtans and A. Mihailovic (eds) Navid Kermani. Oxford: Lang, 69–85. Sturm-Trigonakis, E. (2007) Global Playing in der Literatur: Ein Versuch über die Neue Weltliteratur. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. Sturm-Trigonakis, E. (2013) Comparative Cultural Studies and the New Weltliteratur. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press. Suhr, H. (1989) ‘Ausländerliteratur: minority literature in the Federal Republic of Germany’, New German Critique, 46: 71–103. Taufiq, S. (1984) ‘Die frage’, in S. Taufiq, Layali. Essen: Klartext, 6. Tawada, Y. (2010) ‘MusikMaschineLärm’, in Y. Tawada, Abenteuer der deutschen Grammatik. Tübingen: Konkursbuch, 52. Teraoka, A.A. (1987) ‘Gastarbeiterliteratur: the other speaks back’, Cultural Critique, 7: 77–101. Tommek, H. (2015) ‘Die Formation der Gegenwartsliteratur: Deutsche Literaturgeschichte im Lichte von Pierre Bourdieus Theorie des literarischen Feldes’, Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur, 40(1): 110–143. Tschinag, G. (1981) Eine tuwinische Geschichte. Berlin: Volk und Welt. Uerlings, H. (2011) ‘Interkulturelle Germanistik/Postkoloniale Studien in der Neueren deutschen Literaturwissenschaft: Eine Zwischenbilanz zum Grad ihrer Etablierung’, Zeitschrift für interkulturelle Germanistik, 2(1): 27–38. Weigel, S. (1992) ‘Literatur der Fremde – Literatur in der Fremde’, in K. Briegleb and S. Weigel (eds) Hansers Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart: Gegenwartsliteratur seit 1968. Munich: Carl Hanser, 182–229. Weinrich, H. (1983) ‘Um eine deutsche Literatur von außen bittend’, Merkur, 37: 911–920.

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Weinrich, H. (1984) ‘Gastarbeiterliteratur in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland’, LiLi. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 56: 12–22. Weinrich, H. (2009) ‘Anfangen und sehen, was wird’, in J. Roche (ed.) Deutsch als Fremdsprache. Gedanken zu Geschichte, Gegenwart und Zukunft eines xenologischen Faches. Zum 30jährigen Bestehen des Instituts für Deutsch als Fremdsprache München. Berlin: LIT, 17–24. Welsch, W. (2010) ‘Was ist eigentlich Transkulturalität?’, in L. Darowska, T. Lüttenberg and C. Machold (eds) Hochschule als transkultureller Raum? Kultur, Bildung und Differenz in der Universität. Bielefeld: transcript, 39–63. Wierlacher, A. (2003) ‘Interkulturelle Germanistik: Zu ihrer Geschichte und Theorie. Mit einer Forschungsbibliographie’, in A. Wierlacher and A. Bogner (eds) Handbuch interkulturelle Germanistik. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1–45. Wierschke, A. (1996) Schreiben als Selbstbehauptung: Kulturkonflikt und Identität in den Werken von Aysel Özakin, Alev Tekinay und Emine Sevgi Özdamar. Mit Interviews. Frankfurt am Main: IKO – Verlag für Internkulturelle Kommunikation. Wright, C. (2008) ‘Writing in the “grey zone”: exophonic literature in contemporary Germany’, German as a Foreign Language (GFL), 3: 26–42. Wright, C. (2014) ‘Before Chamisso: the role of the Munich DAF writing competitions and anthologies in the promotion of a “Deutsche Literatur von Außen”, 1979–1987’, Oxford German Studies, 43(1): 20–36. Yeşilada, K. (2012) Poesie der dritten Sprache. Türkisch-deutsche Lyrik der zweiten Generation. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. Yildiz, Y. (2012) Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Post-Monolingual Condition. New York: Fordham University Press. Zaimoglu, F. (1995) Kanak Sprak: 24 Mißtöne vom Rande der Gesellschaft. Berlin: Rotbuch. Zielke, A. (1985) Standortbestimmung der ‚Gastarbeiter-Literatur‘ in deutscher Sprache in der bundesdeutschen Literaturszene. Kassel: Gesamthochschul-Bibliothek Kassel.

Chapter 8

Learning New Languages: A Literature of Migration in Greece Maria Oikonomou Abstract The momentous events of 1989 caused radical transformations and brought thousands of immigrant ‘others’ to Greece. Consequently, in the late 1990s and particularly since the year 2000, a literature of first-generation migrants as well as the first anthologies of ‘national’ or ‘micro-national’ communities emerged. In the beginning, this new literature received only sporadic attention. Meanwhile, Greek academia – especially the Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures – has begun to explore the relations between migration and its literary impact. However, considering the diversity of immigrant authors whose texts are part of and influence the cultural sphere of Greece, the subject of migration literature still appears underrepresented in academic research (in contrast, there are several approaches to ‘Greek diaspora literature’ which deploy postcolonial models, feminism and translation studies). In general, the manifold character of immigrant writing has not yet found an established place in Greek literary studies.



Introduction

Speaking of ‘migration literature’ is the first step towards its recognition as aesthetic form or even as genre; further, it implies canonisation, with its intrinsic links to hierarchies.1 For knowledge, with its centres of distribution and valuation, generates institutional power. The location of literature, especially of immigrant literature, ‘depends not only on the places where books are written but also on the places where they are classified’, as Rebecca L. Walkowitz argues in her essay on transnational writing and migrant authors (Walkowitz 2006: 527). Accordingly, an entry in a volume on migration literature addresses both literary questions and aspects of a politics of culture.

1 There is very little debate in Greek literary studies about a differentiation between terms like ‘migrant writing’, ‘immigrant writing’ or ‘literature of migration’.

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Yet we are entrapped in a conceptual as well as a linguistic sphere which is tied to, and results from, the imaginary of the territorial state. The case of Greece – just as the entire structure of the collection at hand – demonstrates our dependence on notions of the nation and, more importantly, reveals not only a terminological dilemma but a deeply rooted difficulty of thinking about migration in terms other than national. Thus, the question arises as to whether it is really adequate to talk and think in terms of nation-state when this concept itself, according to numerous examples and current discourses, is challenged by the very phenomenon of migration. Since many scholars across the disciplines seek to separate migration from homeland, border and fixed identity, acknowledging it as a general dynamisation of contemporary culture and a fundamental, rhizomatic force which defies the controlling mechanisms of the old, increasingly obsolete nation-states, it is obvious that a new language (and a new politics) must be invented to ‘capture’ or, rather, describe the complex, non-territorial, postnational formations of migration as Arjun Appadurai has put it (Appadurai 1997: 166). Without doubt, this also applies to literary studies: scholars are not only writing about migration in general, they do not just depict an actual geopolitical situation but, through their terminology, take part in shaping its actuality. This chapter does not – and cannot – give an exhaustive overview of ‘immigrant and ethnic-minority writing’ in Greece (Are we dealing with a homogeneous ‘ethnos’? Is it the majority that produces this difference?) but, rather, tries to detect tendencies or structural ‘dominants’. However, even the attempt to trace these dominants is supported by the fact that, since its emergence in the 1990s, immigrant writing has motivated only a few academic studies and little critical response. Therefore, the first part of the chapter outlines the initial steps in the publishing history of so-called ‘Greek-Albanian’ or ‘Northern Epirotic’ authors and ‘ethnic Greeks from the Former Soviet Union (fsu)’. It also takes into account the authors’ reception in Greece and abroad, be it through anthologies, articles in the press, promotion events, book presentations or literary criticism. With regard to the second part, one must note that only recently has academic attention in Greece focused on ‘migrant writing’/‘literature of migration’ (‘λογοτεχνία των μεταναστών’ / ‘λογοτεχνία της μετανάστευσης’) and the resulting theoretical discourse is still in the early stages. It seems that, on the one hand, the majority of these limited approaches centres on one particular group of authors, namely on ‘Albanian-Greek writers’ (especially Gazmend Kapllani). On the other hand, some of these studies adopt conceptual models from sociology: they consider the respective texts as fully transparent to their social contexts, i.e., to the historical and political reality which ‘generates’ them. Various examinations tend to interpret fictional

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narratives about the experience of migration, settlement, foreignness etc. as biographical or social documentary (e.g. Kokkinou 2012; Kyriazis 2011 – studies which will not be taken into consideration). Without discrediting such studies – which, in fact, contain much useful information – one might argue that they reduce the text to its alleged social-mimetic function and pay scant attention to its form or literary structure. In so doing, they barely possess the same degree of differentiation as sociological studies of migration literature conducted in other academic environments.2 Meanwhile, other approaches concentrate on issues of identity and subjectivity. However, these concepts are increasingly being called into question and modified according to current, more flexible and constructivist notions of personal or communal ‘identification’. In general, and considering the diversity of immigrant authors whose texts are part of and influence the cultural sphere of Greece, the subject of migration literature appears underrepresented in academic research. To date, the migrant has not yet found an established place or produced an adequate vocabulary in Greek literary studies.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

In a highly illuminating book on the notion of ‘state essentialism’ and difference, the anthropologist Efthymios Papataxiarchis points out that alterity or otherness are phenomena that official Greek ideology has persistently ignored (Papataxiarchis 2006). In his introductory essay entitled ‘The burdens of alterity: dimensions of cultural differentiation in Greece in the early 21st century’, Papataxiarchis not only speaks of Greece as an emblematic case of rigid identitarian politics and harsh monoculturalism;3 he also declares that (the tolerance of) difference exists often under the precondition of discretion: ‘cultural intimacy’, the quotidian and practical negotiation of alterity, was and still is the general means of coping with the dynamics of difference. Although 2 I am thinking here, for instance, of Søren Frank’s approach (Frank 2008): drawing on F. Moretti’s concept of a ‘sociological formalism’ of literary genres which, as temporary constellations, respond to societal reality with rhetorical innovation, Frank’s method consists in connecting literary formal criteria to their real-historic background – ‘the same as combining the “how” of the formalist with the “why” of the sociologist’. Nonetheless, the text does not dissolve completely into a social-mimetic function, but forms a literary structure and ‘mode of writing’ in its own right, far beyond biographical, psychological, societal or political determinants. 3 All English translations of secondary texts not originally written in English are mine unless stated otherwise in the text.

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­intimacy, as Papataxiarchis argues, is generally assumed to spring from equality, here it emerges from difference, while also concealing difference. Following J.K. Campbell’s theory (1974) on the negotiability of agonistic relations and Michael Herzfeld’s (2005) concept of the ‘scaffoldings of tact’, Papataxiarchis richly illustrates how widespread methods of normalisation can prove much more flexible than official discourse. In particular, everyday practices permit a manageable coexistence even within the confines of a state ideology that does not allow for such flexibility. In this context, ethnic minorities such as the Kutsovlachs or the Arvanites are perceived as different, since their language is not Greek. At the same time, they are subordinated as ‘local cultural peculiarities to an encompassing logic of national authenticity’ through elaborate forms of ‘tact’ (Herzfeld 2009: 318). Obviously, the conditional basis of ‘cultural intimacy’ is that ‘citizens’ loyalty to the state depends on its effective tolerance of the very practices that its ideology denies’ (Herzfeld 2005: 61). Due to such double strategies, Greece has hitherto both negotiated and silenced difference and, in so doing, has reproduced ‘internally the crypto-colonial dynamics of its own international encapsulation’ (Herzfeld 2009: 317). However, the momentous events of 1989 caused radical transformations on a national and local level and brought thousands of immigrant ‘others’ from Eastern Europe and the fsu to Greece.4 The national community was confronted with ‘as much its own rejected and historically oppressed alterity as the alterity of those “others” (…) who began to settle in its interior’ (Papataxiarchis 2006: ix). Meanwhile, several studies have demonstrated how the state handled the influx of migrants: by passing two laws on migration (1975/1991 and 2910/2001) and ‘authorizing the creation of a border regime’ by deporting a million Albanian citizens just during the period 1991–1995 (Karafolas and Alexandrakis 2015: 76); and by tolerating workforce mobility ‘according to the long-term needs of a flexible labour market’ (2015: 76). Eventually, by introducing the terms ‘co-ethnics’ and ‘repatriates’ and speaking of their ‘return’, the authorities constructed a legitimate frame for the various groups of foreign citizens settling in Greece and incorporated them – at least in official parlance – into the nation (Venturas 2009). Aside from this ‘rehellenisation’ of ethnic communities or even the ‘invention’ of new ones, a novel concept of ‘ecumenical’ or ‘worldwide Hellenism’ was propagated. The country tried to consolidate its position on the international stage by integrating the diaspora 4 Starting in the early 1980s a large number of undocumented migrants was employed in several sectors – seasonal workers in agriculture, Filipino women in domestic services, Polish workers in the construction sector, Asian and African workers in the naval industry (and even earlier workforce ‘importation’ has been a constant in Greek labour history).

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into its ­imaginary ‘national body’, invoking a common descent and common heritage, developing channels of international communication and strengthening Greek networks abroad. This strategy can be understood as the state’s implementation of processes designed to stabilise its ethnic, cultural and ­linguistic unity through a combination of ‘older versions of the nationalist discourse with the contemporary language of cultural communities which transcend state borders’ (Venturas 2009: 136). While ‘Greece has rapidly developed into a more multicultural, open and diverse society’ (Tziovas 2009: 1), it has at the same time applied the tropes of a discourse of national identity – and thereby abetted the current rise of essentialist, ultra-conservative and rightwing political movements. In the interest of a better understanding of the larger cultural context, it is worth pointing out that Greece has incessantly been shaped by a distinct and dialectic tension between the concepts of ‘native country’ and economically or politically motivated movement. It is defined by massive emigrations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, mainly to the United States, followed by the relocation of population from (and to) Asia Minor in the early twentieth century, a new wave of migration during the 1960s and 1970s, and the currently growing influx of people from the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Greek culture can certainly be understood as a migrant culture. On the other hand, the undeniable significance of migration for the Greek self-perception and cultural imagination seems surprisingly underrepresented in literary discourse. Until the late 1980s, the experience of migration rarely figured as the main topic of poetry or prose and mostly remained a narrative backdrop. In this regard, the renowned writer Alexandros Kotzias speaks of an ‘absence’ in literary practice and wonders why such a ‘mobile’ nation’s literature has proved to be so suspicious of migration (Kotzias 1988: 388).5 While explaining this state of affairs is the task of future studies, it seems that implicit and partial answers have already been given. Lina Venturas, for instance, points out that the massive migration of Greeks at the turn of the last century brought changes in the dominant notions of migrant societies: the prosperity and cultural lustre 5 Kotzias’ claim challenges the widely held assumption that stories of migration are ‘permeating the very texture of Greece’s cultural fabric, from the demotic song tradition to the literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ (Papanikolaou 2009: 258). Kotzias’ conviction is shared by the writer and vice president of the Athens Academy, Thanasis Valtinos. He expressed complete agreement with Kotzias’ views in the context of a lecture at the University of Vienna on 24 May 2013. His search – during the writing of his novel Συναξάρι Ανδρέα Κορδοπάτη (1972, The Book of Andreas Kordopatis) – for literary texts in which modern migration figured in any significant way ‘pretty much drew a blank’ (Valtinos 2013).

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of the diaspora was replaced by phenomena of proletarisation and pauperisation. Instead of merchants, commercial networks and flourishing Greek communities, the risk of a nation bleeding out and images of ‘poor, uneducated and assimilated emigrants’ became prevalent (Venturas 2009: 134). Therefore, it might well be that the painful experiences of displacement and migration were pushed to the side by Greek identity and ethnic imagination and did not enter literary representation until the late 1980s, when a reversal of migratory movements posed new challenges for Greece. On the one hand, Greek literature began to reflect immigration and to discuss traditional as well as alternative concepts of transnational movement or national belonging. Meanwhile, it delineates increasingly unstable geopolitical topographies – e.g. by letting locations freely alternate between countries, by importing the neighbour’s history into a clearly deterritorialised Greek culture or by exchanging ‘nationality’ for the supposedly more humane concept of ‘regionality’ (cf. the work of Sotiris Dimitriou, Michalis Ganas or Vassilis Gourogiannis).6 On the other hand, past emigration to the us, Australia or Germany is retrospectively being examined; more and more records and artefacts are being archived, and their histories are programmatically transformed into a grand récit by scientific

6 Sotiris Dimitriou’s novel Ν’ ακούω καλά τ’ όνομά σου (1993, May Your Name Be Blessed, 2000) provides a good example of this tendency: set in North-Western Greece, the isolated ‘blocks’ of the plot switch from one side of the Albanian border to the other, reflecting the rigidity of political divisions. Nonetheless, this strategy displays traces of disorganisation as the text stages the strict separation of territories, subjectivities and nationalities as an ever-accelerating oscillation of narrative elements and perspectives. The leaps across spatial, historic and textual boundaries make ideological aspects appear increasingly abstract and unpredictable; the countries north and south of the border can no longer function as ‘homeland’, but only as absurd political as well as literary machinations. Dimitriou’s novel illustrates yet another strategy of challenging models of the ‘national’: since a definition of, and identification with, the nation no longer seems possible, the text introduces regional units – responding to the contingent structures of the state with a supposedly ‘meaningful’ connectedness to nature and the local community (however, just as with the alternation of spaces and text sections, this process of localisation does not abolish the border but evades the system of the national without confronting it). The procedure has its counterpart in the text’s language: the disposition toward the autochthonous seems to demand the use of folk poetry and ‘authentic’ Epirotic dialect. On the one hand, such instances of re-territorialisation through oral or vernacular elements and culture-specific modes of writing are of central importance to migrant literature. They provide a – nostalgic or critical – connection to all that is left behind. On the other hand, literary ‘localisation’ can generate mere folklore, which may well replace nationalism, but maintains a sceptical attitude toward the dynamisations and uncertainties of migration.

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studies and exhibitions in the Greek Parliament (2007) or the Goethe Institute in Thessaloniki (2011). In the late 1990s, and particularly since the year 2000, a literature of firstgeneration migrants emerged: Tilemachos Kotsias (1991, 1995a, b, 2000, 2009), Gazmend Kapllani (2006, 2010, 2012), Aleks Janaqi (2005) and Ziko Kapurani (2004) from Albania, Ino Balta (1995, 1997) from the Netherlands, Liza Hallof (1993) from Sweden and Ludmill Grinceco (1997) from Russia, as well as Olga Papandopoulou (2001), Christos Vournas (2002) and Valida Budakidu (2008), ethnic Greeks from the fsu, to name but a few. In the beginning, this new literature received only sporadic attention. Very few literary critics initially documented a new presence – ‘We are increasingly seeing a new phenomenon in the Greek literature of the decade, without doubt a result of contemporary migratory movements in the era of globalisation, namely the presence of foreign writers’, noted, for instance, Dimosthenis Kurtovic (2001). And while he seemed to lock the ‘foreign writer’ into the role of the representative of an ethnic and national community, at the same time he emphasised the potential of these narratives: ‘Thanks to such “newcomers”, with the explosiveness of their experience and creative, unorthodox language use, a new wind may some day blow in our literature’ (Kurtovic 2001). One of the first literary scholars who sought to trace the development of so-called ‘Greek-Albanian’ literature was Constantina Evangelou, professor at the Department of Italian Language and Literature in Thessaloniki, who suggested a typology of texts written by ‘Albanian’ authors. Her approach, though, has to be understood as ‘meta-critical’ since her classification ‘has no other purpose than to demonstrate – by deconstructing itself – the complexity of the phenomenon of migration literature’ (Evangelou 2006: 104). The first category of her taxonomy concerns the earliest stage of Greek-Albanian literary production, namely narratives ‘written by Albanians in the Albanian language’ (Evangelou 2006: 106) and either self-published or edited by minor, low-budget publishing houses in Athens, Thessaloniki or Tirana (c.f. Iliaz Bobaj 2005). At this stage, the authors themselves promoted their work; only later did they found the non-profit organisation Drita (Light) which, as part of its mission to support migration literature, began to promote book presentations, readings and literary events. The best known of these events was the ‘Poetry Day’ on 21 March 2006; it was co-organised by the Athens School of Fine Arts and introduced 23 ‘Albanian writers who (lived) in Greece’ to a broader public – ­subsequently, the presented texts were published as a bilingual anthology ­under the title Φτερά και Ρίζες (Wings and Roots) (Maronitis 2006). The ‘Poetry Day’ not only marked the beginning of an awareness of immigrant writing; its press reports also appear as awkward attempts to describe

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such a literature. This becomes most evident in Dimitris Maronitis’ (2006) account, which actually says very little about migration literature. Instead, the author focuses on a few selected writers and presents them not as ‘migrant poets’ but as foreign mediators of Greek culture. Maronitis celebrates the first, Primo Shllaku, solely for being the descendant of one of the most prominent Albanian classical philologists, who translated Homer’s Iliad and Sophoclean tragedies after he had been taught Greek by an Orthodox priest during his imprisonment as a political opponent of Enver Hoxha. Similarly, the poet Romeo Çollaku is first and foremost praised as a versed translator of twentieth-century Greek poetry into the Albanian language. In this regard, Maronitis’ (2006) approach indicates a disturbing tendency towards cultural appropriation and hegemony. It reduces the multi-vocal diversity of the poets to a narcissistic ‘One’. Apart from the 2006 ‘Poetry Day’, Drita organised and promoted the first Poetry Festival in 2007 – bringing together Albanian and Greek writers – and also published the weekly newspaper Gazeta e Athinës and the biannual journal Pelegrin (2004) to discuss migration issues, encourage first-time authors and promote translations of Greek literature into Albanian. In this context, Pelegrin awarded a translation prize, the first of which was given to Stavros Ntagios for his translation of Kostis Palamas’s 2006 novel Të Jesh i Bukur dhe të Vdesësh (Ο θάνατος του Παλληκαριού / The Death of a Palikari) (2006).7 This leads to Evangelou’s second category of immigrant writing, texts by ‘Albanians written in Albanian’ and translated either by the authors or by other bilingual writers into Greek’ (Evangelou 2006: 106). An eminent example is constituted by the Diva/Drita (2005) anthology Shtërgjet e Ballkanit / Πελαργοί των Βαλκανίων (Poetic Balkan Storks). The volume includes poems by ten Greek and ten Albanian authors who live in Thessaloniki. It regards itself as an almost ‘missionary’ project based on the ideal of literature bridging seemingly insurmountable political divides and enabling intercultural understanding. The book project was warmly supported by Drita; member Evis Qaja, journalist, poet and president of the ‘Immigrant Women Network of Northern Greece’, stressed its importance and crucial role in the production of a multicultural community. 7 At the same time, one can trace an editing interest in translations of Albanian texts into Greek, either by the authors themselves or by bilingual authors. Mention may be made in particular of Evis Qaja, Magdalena Lani and Virion Graçi – the latter being a journalist and professor of literature at the University of Gjirokastra, whose novel Të Çmendur në Parajsë (1995, Crazy in Paradise) was translated into Greek (Τρελοί στον Παράδεισο 2000a), almost simultaneously to the French translation of the book by the publishing house Gallimard (Au Paradis des Fous 2000b). These texts have not been the subject of literary examination and there exist no key contributions to this post-communist Albanian literature.

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Meanwhile, few stories of authors of the so-called ‘ethnic Greek minority of Albania’ were published in Greek. As members of a minority which had been forced by the government of the People’s Republic of Albania ‘to live in designated minority areas and accept the cultural uniformity of Socialism’ (Frantzi 2006: 208), most of them had learned Greek in their families and at Greekminority schools. They were familiar with the literary texts published by the Greek-speaking community which either adhered to the principles of ‘Socialist Realism’ or to a densely allegorical style to express ‘whatever was otherwise inexpressible’ (Frantzi 2006: 211). Tilemachos Kotsias is perhaps the most prominent representative of this group. Born in Albania in 1951, Kotsias moved to Greece in 1991, where he has been working as a translator for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although Kotsias’ short stories had been published in the newspaper of the Greek Minority Λαϊκό Βήμα (The People’s Tribune), it was not until his collection of short texts Περιστατικό τα μεσάνυχτα (1991, Midnight Incident) that he became an acclaimed writer in Greece. On the one hand, the book contains stories about everyday people who find themselves in unusual or absurd situations; on the other, it alludes to the history of the Albanian gulag as one of the cruellest machines of repression in the Communist world – a paranoid heterotopy of informants, fear, torture and imprisonment. Regarded mainly as the product of a newly arrived member of the Greek minority who, before his ‘return’, had experienced Albania’s hermetic and suffocating society, Περιστατικό τα μεσάνυχτα attracted the immediate attention of the press. Critics praised the book for depicting the long, numbing years of the Hoxha dictatorship and for using a ‘Grecophone’ dialect which alludes to central features and tendencies of contemporary Albanian prose such as the so-called ‘Balkan primitivism’ of authors like Ismail Kadare and Fatos Kongoli (Bakounakis 1998). However, other critics attacked this strategy, arguing that Kotsias’ style did in fact ‘testify to linguistic indigence’, even to the ‘inept mode of expression of workers and peasants’ – meanwhile, it remains unclear whether this ‘roughness’ is intended by the author or is a ‘consequence of his longstanding detachment from the trunk of Greek language’ (Ntokas 1992: 31). Once again, the critical reaction exhibits a certain awkwardness with regard to uncommon or ‘deviating’ linguistic modes in texts written by ‘foreigners’. Some of Kotsias’ subsequent work was published as part of the Ανθολογία Βορειοηπειρώτικου διηγήματος (2007a, Anthology of Northern-Epirotic Tales), edited by Andreas Zarbalas for the publishing house Roes. According to Zarbalas, the aim of the volume was ‘to illustrate the particularities and diachronic continuities of a specific part of Greek prose – a prose which was shaped outside Greece, under different conditions and based on different questions and, thus, had developed a certain set of characteristics’ (Zarbalas 2007a: 356). The anthology’s texts cover an entire century and initiated a series of publications of so-called ‘Northern-Epirotic literature’

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(cf. Stergiopoulos 2010; Zarbalas 2007a, 2007b, 2008 etc.). Meanwhile, Kotsias’ later novels remained pretty much unnoticed until 2009, when his novel Στην απέναντι όχθη (On the Opposite Shore) was shortlisted for the state prize for literature for its unique way of exposing the arbitrary division of territories and nationalities and describing the Greek-Albanian border as both impenetrable and unpredictably mobile. Eventually, he was awarded the Athens Prize for Literature by the journal (de)kata8 for his novel Ο χορός της Νύφης (The Dance of the Bride) in 2011. In the mid-2000s very few Albanians wrote and published in Greek.9 One of the most eminent examples is Gazmend Kapllani (born 1967) who, in 1991, walked from Albania to Greece, where he took up odd jobs ranging from builder to cook to kiosk attendant whilst studying at Athens University. He received his PhD on the discursive construction of ethnic stereotypes, in particular on the image of Albanians in the Greek press and of Greeks in the Albanian press. Following a stint at Ta nea (The News, Greece’s largest daily newspaper) where he enjoyed prominence as one of the paper’s most renowned columnists, Kapllani took up a visiting research fellowship at the Radcliffe ias at Harvard University (2012–13). Currently, he teaches History and Creative Writing at Emerson College, us. Kapllani’s work can be considered as an exploration of what the experience of migration brings to today’s world. Having criss-crossed several countries, languages and histories, he has developed a deep affection for passing across borders, as he explains.10 He therefore reflects on lives defined by migratory movement – lives that inhabit many places and times at once, and are open to different experiences, always in an intermediary state between becoming and being. His first novel Μικρό Ημερολόγιο Συνόρων (2006, A Short Border Handbook) tells the story of his border crossing to the West and it takes us on a journey about the hardships of leading a migratory life. It is a description of exile in the double meaning of the word: ‘exile, as the etymology suggests (from ex-salire), is both about suffering in banishment and leaping outside’ (Boym 2001: 256). Indeed, Kapllani’s text unites both meanings. On the one hand, one can find indescribably comic and, at the same time, unbearably tragic aspects of life in his home country, Albania, ‘a hermetically sealed

8

The title of the journal cannot be easily translated – (de)kata combines the word ‘dekata’ (‘elevated temperature’) and the word ‘kata’ (‘against’, ‘in opposition to someone or something’). 9 It is worth noting that, in September 2004, an aggressive attitude toward Albanians emerged: a wave of violence was set off, causing at least one death (cf. Moré 2011: 33). 10 Cf. http://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/news/in-news/borders-books-and-balkans#sthash .T7INAC6Y.dpuf.

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nation’ that turns out to be anything but ‘familiar’ or ‘homely’ (hence home coincides here with its opposite, the unheimlich, uncanny). On the other hand, the text presents vignettes of life as a migrant – for example, learning to live with alienation and xenophobia, leading double or triple lives, dealing with unpredictable turns and struggling with external or internalised borders. This best-selling novel has been presented to the public (i.e., Municipal Library of Thessaloniki, 22 January 2007) and translated into Danish, English, French and Polish; it has also received excellent reviews in major European newspapers such as the British dailies the Independent and the Guardian. It was also shortlisted for the London-based John D. Criticos Prize.11 Similarly, Kapllani’s second novel, Με λένε Ευρώπη (2010, My Name is Europe), further explores the main issues of his first book and, in addition, talks about the ever-changing concept of ‘Europe’ depicting the Albanian protagonist’s relationship with the continent as a love affair. However, the romance – the romance of ‘East’ and ‘West’ – fails, and results in late-twentieth-century forms of nationalism, new Iron Curtains and exclusions. The book (just like the previous one) has been highly acclaimed by the Greek press and the author has been officially promoted (i.e., he was an honorary guest, together with the award-winning writer Vassilis Alexakis, at the Third International Storytelling Festival in Kozani/Northern Greece from 29 April to 08 May 2011); he gave a lecture on the Modern Greek Program at Michigan University on 03 February 2011) and he was an honorary guest at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens on 12 March 2012 inter alia).12 Between 1995 and 2001, Aglaia Blioumi, lecturer in German Studies at the University of Athens, compiled a first inventory of literature by German authors living in Greece. The introduction of her study states that her starting point at that time was marked less ‘by the very few texts which had already been published by Greek and German publishing houses, but rather by the basic information that about 50,000 Germans, Austrians and Swiss, according to non-official data, had chosen Greece as their permanent residence’ (Blioumi 2006: 11). Although some previous work on the topic – such as Renate Baum’s 11

12

Parts of the book were staged at the Theater of the Deaf of Greece under the title ‘Foreigners’ (May 2013) – a project characterised by its critical attitude to the stigmatisation of migrants. ‘Because of the strong racist climate that has spread throughout the country in recent times and has affected all of us, we decided to put on a play about immigration. And about memory’, declared the artistic group in the theatre booklet. Cf. http://­theartfoundation .metamatic.gr/EN/Event/1223/Theater_of_the_Deaf_of_Greece_-_Foreigners/. In addition, Gazmend Kapllani himself calls attention to his work through his blog. There he not only presents his novels and non-fiction works both as products and as philosophies of migration. He also uses the blog as a discussion forum for human rights, fairness, and diversity (cf. http://gazikapllani.blogspot.co.at/).

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Helenas Schwestern. Frauen reisen und leben in Griechenland (1987, Helena’s Sisters: Women Travel and Life in Greece) or the volume edited by Böck and Dimitriadis (2004), Vierzig Jahre Urlaub. Lebensgeschichten deutschsprachiger MigrantInnen in Griechenland (Forty Years of Holidays: Life Stories of ­German-Speaking Migrants in Greece) – had sporadically been brought out in Germany, these editions were mainly limited to biographical accounts, did not consider literary texts and showed no signs whatsoever of a systematic critical approach. Consequently, Blioumi sent an inquiry together with her project plan to the Goethe Institutes of Athens and Thessaloniki, to numerous ­German-speaking Protestant and Catholic communities and to clubs and associations all over Greece to collect unpublished literary material (her concept met with particularly great response at the German Contact and Information Center in Athens and the German-language Athenian newspaper Athener Zeitung (1993–2005). In 2006, she published the accumulated material under the title ­Transkulturelle Metamorphosen (Transcultural Metamorphoses). The book consists of a theoretical part and a text compilation containing selected poems and short stories by 24 authors (they have all experienced a particular type of cultural displacement which Blioumi refers to as marriage migration’, ‘Heiratsmigration’). Their texts describe various difficulties which are directly connected to migration, e.g., incidents of alienation and nostalgia or problems with the foreign language, employment and professional integration. In any case, Blioumi’s analyses take into account many literary aspects; her close readings involve formal features such as the poems’ measure, tropes or stylistic strategies of estrangement and the prose texts’ perspectivation, character constellation, topoi etc. In general, the content-related and structural examinations are related to ‘a search for the appropriate place in Germanophone literature’ (Blioumi 2006: 15) of authors who live and work in a foreign country such as Greece. Moreover, as Blioumi classifies the texts in question as belonging to the field of contemporary migration literature, she examines whether this cross-frontier literature correlates to intercultural modes of writing. In the late 1990s, ‘returning ethnic Greeks’ from the fsu – especially from Russia, Georgia and Ukraine (the total number of whom is officially estimated at 300,000) – began producing literary texts, most of them written in Russian and published either in the Athens-based Russian-language weekly newspapers Afinskiï Kurier (Athens Courier) and Afiny Ellas (Athens Hellas) or by publishing houses in St. Petersburg (cf. Budakidu 2008; Papandopoulou 2001; Talantseva 2004; Talantseva and Arabadzhi 2008; Vournas 2002). Owing to linguistic boundaries, the majority of these texts – for example, Olga Papandopoulou’s Afinskiï Labyrint (2001, The Athenian Labyrinth), Christos Vournas’ Ploshad’ Omonia (2002, Omonia Square) or Valida Budakidu’s Grecanka

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r­ usskaya dushoï (2008, A Greek Woman with a Russian Soul) – have remained unknown to the broader public. Their reception has been limited mainly to the post-Soviet diaspora in Greece. Kira Kaurinkoski, an anthropologist at the University of Provence (Aix-Marseille i), was the first to draw attention to these texts, to the specific conditions under which they emerged as well as to the role of the Russian newspapers in Athens (Kaurinkoski 2010). She was also the first to reference the anthology of short stories Maska. Istorii emigrantov v G ­ retsii (2006, Masque. Stories of Migrants in Greece), edited by Ilona Talantseva and Katerina Arabadzhi, both journalists at Afiny Ellas. The anthology includes autobiographical stories and monologues of repatriates, clandestine migrants and immigrant sex workers, collected by the editors during their numerous journeys between Moscow and Athens. In addition, Alexandra Ioannidou, Professor at the Department of Slavic Studies in Athens, presented several Russophone narratives at an event organised by the Onassis Cultural Centre on 12 March 2012. Here, Ioannidou gave detailed descriptions of the texts, reconstructed their social backgrounds and emphasised their common features as general characteristics of a literary ‘group’. According to Ioannidou, the narratives are not only written in the author’s mother tongue, as most first-generation immigrant writing is; they also thematise the experience of migration, deal with issues of trafficking, prostitution or dehumanisation, contain melodramatic love stories with spectacular scenarios and celebrate post-Communist nostalgia. Furthermore, they tend toward stereotypical ethnic and gender representations and appear ‘apolitical’ since they neither criticise political systems (capitalism’s exploitations, the totalitarian ussr) nor promote alternative social visions. Although Ioannidou asserts that many of the texts possess certain aesthetic qualities and merge cynical realism with parody to ridicule the absurdities of everyday life (i.e., Valida Budakidu), they have not become the subject of further public attention or academic analysis. Moreover, very few have been translated into Greek (two rare exceptions being Graff 2007, 2009) – a circumstance which prevents a more comprehensive and accurate evaluation (cf. Ioannidou 2005). Finally, mention should be made of Hiva Panahi, a Kurdish-Greek poet, novelist and activist, already well known in Iran, Iraq and Syria. Panahi was born in 1980 in Sine (Sanandaj), located in present-day Iran, and became politically active at a very young age when she founded a feminist association fighting for women’s equal political, economic and social rights as a reaction to the stoning and imprisonment of a girl in her country. Persecuted by the regime, she managed to escape to Syria and from there to Greece after she had received a fellowship from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kurdish Academy based in Paris. She then got a degree in Social and Political Science at Panteion University in Athens.

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Exile is a central issue in Panahi’s poetics: My story as a refugee is very brief in itself, but for the Kurdish people it is the story of our lives, it is like an additional chromosome, like a shadow running behind us as though it has no end, like the poems and colours that my friends never managed to put down on paper and were scattered along the way. And it’s as though I had to collect all of these stories and colours because I feel that I am being chased by something like Othello’s ghost in Shakespeare. That’s how I experience being a refugee. panahi 2014

Consequently, her first book (Panahi 2008) Τα μυστικά του χιονιού (Secrets of the Snow) is both a reflection of displacement and an active contribution to the forming of a new political space for living and communication. The book was presented at the Greek Authors’ Association on 5 December 2008 by the p ­ oets Christos Antoniou and Michael Mitras and was also introduced by ­Neoklis ­Sarris (2008), a professor of Social Science History, who praised ­Panahi’s ‘­different poetic style’ and also compared it to the ‘muffled sound when stepping on newly fallen snow’, for each verse seems to be overflowing with sounds that move and rustle, as the poems proceed. According to Sarris, Panahi’s poetry in itself differs from Greek poetry because it is mainly linked to the ­Iranian tradition. At the end of his introduction he raised complaints about her bureaucratic adventure and her still not having her residence authorisation after so many years. However, the aim of the book presentation was not only a defensive reaction against bureaucratic structures or neo-nationalist attitudes, but also an affirmative gesture that sought to create a dialogue that might lead to ‘cosmopolitanism’ and ‘new politics of hospitality’. Thus, in the last decade, the increasing number of books produced by immigrant writers and the first anthologies of ‘national’ or ‘micro-national’ communities have become a focus of scholarly attention. Greek academia (especially the Departments of Foreign Languages and Literatures, i.e., the Department of German Philology of Athens, of English and Italian Studies of Thessaloniki) has just begun to explore the relations between migration and its literary impact. In fact, compared to the various studies undertaken within the field of social or statistical studies, literary studies on immigrant writing are few and far between. In contrast, there are several approaches to ‘Greek diaspora literature’13 13

The comparatively extensive occupation with diaspora or emigrant literature must be seen in the context of recent academic work on the general formation and history of Greek diaspora communities all over the world (e.g., Chasiotis and Katsiardi-Hering 2006;

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which deploy postcolonial models, feminism and translation s­tudies  –  e.g. Yiorgos Kalogeras’ numerous publications on Greek American literature, its transnational significance, ethnic character and political orientation (inter alia Kalogeras 1991, 1995, 2005). In the us, Karen Van Dyck has been researching and writing about the aesthetic and formal features of such texts over the past decade. Whereas for much of the twentieth century, Van Dyck argues, studies were organised around national literatures written predominantly in one language, in recent years our view of literature has begun to accommodate the many multilingual texts that do not neatly fall into one or another national literature. Testing the presumed monolingualism of any nation, Van Dyck suggests ‘(…) that we look at literature for how it moves between languages and cultures, how it includes one language in another in very specific ways’ (2010: 3). In this regard, diaspora literature delivers a good example inasmuch as it is ‘a multilingual literature that draws on more than one grammar, syntax and vocabulary to make meaning’ (2010: 5).

Approaches and Interpretations

This next section focuses on the theoretical studies related to what has come to be termed ‘migrant writing’ or ‘migration literature. As noted above, these studies are limited in number and have but a short history. Nevertheless, they do permit an appraisal of sorts on two matters. First, they stand out from most of the critical approaches in Greek literary studies with regard to the employed theoretical paradigms. While the latter mainly take hermeneutical and ­historical approaches to Modern Greek literature, explorations of migrant writing often arise from the fields of foreign or comparative literature(s) and

Clogg 1999; Kitroeff 1989 inter alia). However, the sociological, historical or cultural examinations of these communities only indirectly reflect current socio-political changes. They do not so much partake of a discussion about ongoing migratory processes, as support the idea of a scattered, but essentially consistent, Greek ‘people’s body’. One of the very few studies that take into account contemporary discourses of globalised migration is Dimitris Tziovas’s book Greek Diaspora and Migration since 1700. While it ‘continues to some extent the historical approach of these earlier studies’ (Tziovas 2009: 2), it adopts a broader perspective by reflecting on new migratory movements and trends. Moreover, Tziovas conceptualises migration as a fundamental human condition and state of the world, and calls into question concepts of ‘identity’, ‘nationality’ and ‘origin’. The dichotomy of self–other is increasingly dissolved in paradigms of mixing, turbulence, hybridity or ‘thirdness’.

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tend to adopt non-essentialist notions and models in the vicinity of deconstruction, of the Transit Migration14 collective or Deleuze and Guattari’s (1988) philosophical concepts of ‘becoming’. Second, the emergence of these studies is concurrent with a crisis of the traditional nation-state, its formerly uncontested political claims and the capitalist system in general. It is therefore no coincidence when they all declare, directly or indirectly, that an engagement with the issues and literatures of migration inevitably leads to a transcendence of the national model and its rhetoric. Notwithstanding the relatively small range and short history of the academic studies under discussion, their topicality of method and critical impact can surely be traced back to their specific geo-political contexts. Since these studies develop at the southern border areas of Europe and thus in a social environment which is confronted with migratory processes in their rawest and most unmediated forms, it is, again, no coincidence that several leading migration theorists, like Vassilis Tsianos and Sandro Mezzadra, to name but two, come from southern Europe. This latter has become a veritable ‘migration laboratory’, practically and theoretically speaking, as well as a hothouse for political thought (cf. the recent studies of Butler and Athanasiou 2013; Trimikliniotis et al. 2014). Issues of Identity Although in Greece there has always been a resistance to anything which might be perceived as overly theoretical15 there are various studies which challenge essential or ‘metaphysical’ notions of subjectivity by blurring borders and subverting essences through merging, syncretism and ‘thirdness’. This also applies to the field of migration literature which is still a somewhat uncommon subject of academic works. However, while the few existing studies can hardly be considered as representing a broader trend, the discussion of issues of migratory ‘identity’ constitutes a clear dominant of the occupation with 14

15

TRANSIT MIGRATION was founded (in 2004) in the framework of ‘Projekt M ­ igration’, a project initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) in cooperation with the DOMiT e.V. (Documentation Centre and Museum on ­Migration from Turkey) (since 2007: DOMiD – Documentation Centre and Museum on­ Migration in Germany) and the ‘Kölnischer Kunstverein’ http://www.transitmigration .org/homekonzept_e.html. See, for example, Vassilis Lambropoulos (2011): ‘Looking at my own field, literary and cultural studies, you cannot find a single scholar who claims an affiliation with a major figure or trend: there are no Butlerians or Rancièrians, no phenomenologists or genealogists. No brand of philosophical scepticism has been allowed to interrogate the premises of national culture’. I thank Prof. Lambropoulos (Modern Greek Program, University of Michigan) for sending me the manuscript of his Oxford keynote lecture.

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non-Greek authors. While, in view of transnational mobility, globalisation and the increasingly multicultural nature of modern societies, identity has become a key term in many conceptualisations of migration, it is no longer understood as fixed and invariable. Instead, contemporary literary criticism tends to define the term as strictly constructivist; it doesn’t describe a ‘natural’ state but is subject to unceasing negotiations. Accordingly, Constantina Evangelou, in her articles on Albanian immigrant writing (2006, 2009a, b, c, 2010, 2011), focuses on the notion of identity and subjectivity as fluctuating or changeable – one of the major achievements, she claims, of post-structuralist theory and its potential to liberate the subject from cultural, national and genealogical fixity: identity is an ongoing process, a construct resulting from the encounter of self and other, past and present, here and elsewhere and, thus, never determined in advance. Likewise, the collective ‘identity’ of the nation-state no longer seems an appropriate concept with which to capture the complex interplays between mobility and belonging, and has to transcend the traditional idea of its unity or homogeneity. According to Evangelou, such a perspective of anti-essentialist identity may serve to describe contemporary modes of co-existence and processes of multidirectional migration. It also highlights identity issues in immigrant writing such as the double or, sometimes, triple linguistic identity of Albanian migrant writers or their dual social role of both worker and author. Evangelou provides (Evangelou 2006, 2009b) an example of this double or ‘schizoid migratory identity’ with her analysis of Kapllani’s (2009) A Short Border Handbook. She interprets the novel’s two ‘narration programs’ – a ‘doubleness’ which informs not only the formal but also the content-related features of the text – as an illustration of the migrant’s oscillating identity, as the ‘confusion’ of the migrant’s different selves and subject positions. The use of different grammatical persons reflects this specific oscillation: as long as the protagonist remains within his known ‘territory’, the text employs the first person (‘I/We’), which therefore marks the boundary and outer limit of his linguistic home. Once he enters another space, he becomes a third-person pronoun (‘He/They’), open to new identifications and articulations. Konstantina Georganta’s (2012) article ‘The unbearable similarity of the other: the multiple identities of Gazmend Kapllani’s migrant narratives’ examines Kapllani’s two novels, A Short Border Handbook (2009) and Με λένε Ευρώπη (2010, My Name is Europe). Based on a theoretical discussion about the formation of identity through ‘a constant mirroring with significant others’ (Georganta 2012: 189) in general and the complex identity of the Balkan countries in particular, Georganta views Kapllani’s novels as handbooks on immigration, crossing borders and otherness. With his semi-autobiographical texts, Kapllani

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develops theories about the dynamic and fluid character of identity, demonstrating its state of endless search, constant interaction and transformation. Identity is never a synthesis of various components, but a negotiation of difference, an energy field of different forces. It may be a presence of fissures, gaps and contradictions, an oscillation or movement in many directions – for instance, being born in Uzbekistan to Greek parents, having gone through the Greek educational system as a refugee from Afghanistan, Iran or Pakistan, even ‘participating’ in different communities in Europe as an invisible or uncounted migrant from North Africa… In this regard, Kapllani’s concept of identity questions the established notions of belonging and goes beyond essentialisms and state-centric perspectives. Moreover, by focusing on a set of characteristics that the Balkan countries share (their common past within the Ottoman Empire, their attempts ever since the nineteenth century to catch up on the process of modernisation and the acquisition of all the attributes of European nation-states, their tendency to privatise historic heritage and fight over it with neighbours), Kapllani demonstrates that the Balkan identity is not reduced to cultural difference, but also to similitude, to what he calls ‘the unbearable similarity of “the other”’. Hence he asks why the people who have been ‘living in the Mediterranean under multinational Empires for centuries (…) are so troubled by the idea of a mixed identity?’ (Kapllani 2010, cited in Georganta 2012: 192). Still, the Balkan identity, just like every other identity, is seen as being in a constant process of constitution. As the world is increasingly becoming a multi-ethnic space, as people live in the same city even though they grew up in different countries, under different ‘regimes’, speaking different languages, Kapllani proposes a re-examination of concepts such as nation, belonging and dominant forms of citizenship. He also invites us to redefine ‘Europeanness’ within the framework of contemporary migration. In a radical way ‘he proposes the figure of the immigrant as a symbol of identification in a changing Europe’ (Georganta 2012: 190). Likewise, Kira Kaurinkoski discusses identity issues following Stuart Hall’s notion of ‘cultural identity’. She deals with fiction written by so-called ‘ethnic Greeks’ who have returned to Greece from the fsu since perestroika – ­particularly with texts by Olga Papandopoulou (2001), Christos Vournas (2002) and Valida Budakidu (2008), and the collection of short stories, Μάσκες. Ιστορίες μεταναστών (2008, Masque. Stories of Migrants in Greece) edited by Ilona ­Talantseva and Katerina Arabadzhi. On the one hand, Kaurinkoski reads these narratives as examples of how identity is a matter of ‘becoming’, something that exists in a state of potentiality as it ‘belongs to the future as much as to the past’ and does not already exist, something that cannot be fixed in ‘place, time, history and culture’ (Kaurinkoski 2010: 8). On the other hand, she notes how

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the novels of Papandopoulou and Vournas reproduce elements of the dominant discourse as well as of Greek nationalist ideology – the Russians in the novels, for example, are time and again depicted as the ‘villains’. Especially in the earlier stories, Russians are portrayed as drug dealers, junkies or prostitutes, while ‘ethnic Greeks’ are likeable characters trying to make a living in a new homeland, producing clear dividing lines between native Greeks, ethnic Greeks from the fsu and Russian characters. Autonomy of Migration While the dynamisation of both personal and collective identities appears as a general feature of Greek academic writing on migration literature, another distinct tendency is the decoupling of migration from determining social and political factors. Phenomena of migration are increasingly seen as independent of exterior forces such as economical strains and rather as constituents of a cultural current in its own right. By re-conceptualising migratory movements in this way – i.e., by acknowledging their inevitability and inherent creative potential – the subject is disengaged from the powerful influence of a politics of avoidance and made available for aesthetic analyses. A prominent example of an academic with this tendency is Aglaia Blioumi, whose approach to migration literature can be summarised in four main points: 1

The first part of her (2006) book on ‘transcultural metamorphoses’ (Transkulturelle Metamorphosen) seeks to break with the convention of a fixed repertoire of stereotypes associated with the image of the migrant as victim. She claims that dominant narratives in social sciences have repeatedly explained the phenomenon of migration in terms of cause and consequence of other forces – underdevelopment, the promise of prosperity elsewhere, a deficit of democracy or other historical necessities. However, these ‘push–pull models’ give primacy to the power of economic, social or political factors, to images of exploitation and victimhood, thereby ignoring the individual and singular choice or decision of the migrant. Such models also neglect the fact that the migrant is an agent involved in the process of cultural transformation – that he or she is closely linked to notions of creativity and confronts normative and supposedly ‘natural’ sedentarism with a much more inventive and dynamic model of existence. Consequently, Blioumi suggests a break with such paradigms, which render the migrant’s agency secondary to external forces. Instead, greater emphasis should be put on the migrants’ subjectivity and specific individual actions. Hence, she proposes a concept of ‘nomadic migration’

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that can embrace ‘voluntary movements and journeys’ (Blioumi 2006: 14). Not external coercion but choice, the mere will to leave, may motivate migration, as many cases of German migrant authors in Greece attest. Similar to the approaches of Evangelou, Georganta or Kaurinkoski, Blioumi suggests a ‘postmodern deconstructive frame’ in order to define ­concepts such as nation and space as not given, but negotiable and changeable, terms. In her plea for ‘a nomadic concept of migration’, she defines it as a ‘circulation between spaces’ where binary relationships (homeland vs host country) are disposed of (Blioumi 2006: 18). Rather, one should speak of dynamic, ‘smooth’ and transgressive spaces, beyond and above the co-ordinates of the nation-state, where ‘thresholds’ and ‘in-betweens’ are becoming increasingly important. In linguistic terms these spaces correspond to issues of ‘bilingualism’ or ‘trilingualism’ and, in anthropological terms, they adhere to the concept of ‘hybrid subjectivity’. Blioumi’s close readings focus on such instances in the texts of the migrant authors; cf. Part 4. (As a student of Blioumi’s, Ilira Aliai affirms such multilayered cultural complexities: her Master’s dissertation (2011) on the translation of cultural or political frontiers into written discourse in Kapllani’s Με λένε Ευρώπη (2010, My Name is Europe) and its transgression of spatial, subjective and linguistic limitations also takes into account the novel’s syntactical features and linguistic aberrations. Aliai identifies phenomena of ‘latent multilingualism’ (for instance, when Albanian is ‘present’ in the author’s Greek). In order to understand and describe this new fragmentary and transnational space, Blioumi postulates the term ‘interculturalism’. The concept goes beyond the passive acceptance of multicultural societies and promotes dialogue and interaction between cultures. Interculturalism is therefore a crucial starting point for creating new modes of relating to others and understanding the world. It enables a continual questioning of the condition of belonging and the politics of difference. In her detailed examination of more than two dozen authors, Blioumi highlights dominants of plot, themes, motifs or topoi which recur at the content level, and also formal and medial characteristics, the linguistic, structural or graphic constitution of the texts in question. Although the texts range from ‘more traditional’ to ‘modern’ and even to concrete poetry, as the case of Christel Solopoulou-Höhmann demonstrates (Blioumi 2006: 27, 102), they share common properties – i.e., they translate cultural images of the new home in a similar way, they focus on the experience of loss and disruption, talk of gender relations as mainly structural construct and sometimes parody the feminine self and the (Greek) masculine gaze.

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What has been one of several elements in Blioumi’s work – the idea of the ­independence of migration from external economic and political forces – then becomes central to the approach of Antonia Rahofer’s chapter ‘­Grenzübertritte. Migration als Störungsprinzip in der zeitgenössischen griechischen Literatur‘ (‘Crossing borders: migration as principle of disturbance in contemporary literature’ (Rahofer 2013). Once again focusing on Kapllani’s (2009) A Short B ­ order Handbook, the interpretation applies central concepts developed by the sociological and cultural-studies-oriented research group Transit Migration and its leading Greek members Vassilis Tsianos, Dimitrios Papapadopoulos and Efthimia Panagiotidis. The group posits the notion of the ‘autonomy of migration’. In contrast to the dualism of state and migrant, the concept of space as a ‘container’, or the imperative of integration, Tsianos and the others speak of migration ‘as a social movement in the literal sense of the words, not as a mere response to economic and social malaise’ (Papadopoulos et al. 2008: 202). The concept particularly emphasises the subjective practices and options for action of the various ‘agents’ (migrants, institutions, supra- and parastatal organisations etc.). It thus attempts to make visible ‘the politics of mobility’ as well as ‘the struggles and clashes that materially constitute the field of such a politics’ (Mezzadra 2010). Furthermore, it traces the efforts to regulate and control this ‘politics of mobility’ and is also intended as a tool for analysing the production of irregularity, which acts against unilateral ‘exclusion and domination managed by state and law’ (Mezzadra 2010). Finally, Transit Migration re-considers contemporary transnational migration, for instance as nomadism (‘You never arrive’) or as Deleuzian ‘becoming’, which relieves the migrants’ bodily experience of ‘the pervasive politics of representation, rights and visibility’ (Papadopoulos and Tsianos 2007: 224). Thus, migration can be perceived as a new way of producing subjectivities under capitalism and a novel understanding of democracy and citizenship. From this perspective, Rahofer, a scholar of comparative literature and cultural studies, analyses the ways in which Kapllani’s idea of migration challenges national sovereignty and late capitalist structures of work. Her chapter (Rahofer 2013) demonstrates how contemporary migratory movements are not limited to the evacuation of one place and the occupation of another but bring about an active transformation of social space. In so doing, migration becomes an exemplary driving force of post-liberal sovereignty. Moreover, ­Rahofer focuses on the issue of ‘disorder’ caused by migration as depicted in Kapllani’s novel A Short Border Handbook, which portrays the border between Albania and Greece as a paradigmatic site of disturbance and bottleneck of global flows. The locations and protagonists affiliated with the border are constitutive factors of this continuous motion which, depending on the controlling regime of the frontier, adopt various strategies for crossing it. In addition,

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Kapllani transfers this tension to a formal or textual level by combining two separate narrative modes and interlinking individual reports with a panoramic view of the migratory experience. On the one hand, a first-person narrator tells about his adolescence in Albania during the totalitarian Hoxha regime, about the dangerous crossing of the then-strictly guarded state border and the difficult first steps in the economically prosperous Greece of the 1990s. On the other hand, an authorial narrator interrupts this account to present an overview or – as the novel’s title suggests – a typological compendium of traumatic border experiences of ‘illegal’ immigrants in Greece. In that sense, ‘the text displays the latest tendencies of critical migration research’ (Rahofer 2013: 358). As a further development of the abovementioned current discourses16 on the literature of migration, my forthcoming monograph Transcribing Borders: Towards a Poetics of Migration seeks to delineate a ‘poetics’ of migration as a genre-related exposition of structural elements in literature. It expands the primarily sociological, ethnological or linguistic approaches by addressing the decidedly aesthetic aspects of migration literature and focusing on the transformation of an ‘experience’ into a textual/literary strategy. Therefore, the study’s systematisation does not build on the texts’ varying circumstances of origin. Rather, ‘literature of migration’ is positioned in the middle ground between a specific experience and a general contemporary mode of writing: on the one hand, the term is not restricted to texts composed by emigrants or writers ‘abroad’, but refers to all literary output dealing with processes of migration. On the other hand, and in the interest of contouring the corpus, Transcribing Borders excludes texts which speak metonymically of the ‘homelessness’ or ‘spiritual uprootedness’ of modernism. However, this limitation does not contradict the status of migration as a fundamental condition of the present world; on the contrary, it marks the concrete phenomenon of migration as a representative and constitutive force within modernity, and migration ­literature – which addresses actual changes of geographical location and/or linguistic environment – as exemplary for contemporary writing. The study concentrates on a corpus of ‘Greek literature’ (i.e., texts written by ‘Greeks’, by immigrants writing in Greece, or literature ‘emanating’ from the Greek cultural sphere even if written in another language) from the nineteenth

16

The study also attaches particular importance to current research emphasising the ‘autonomy of migration’, and takes into account ‘postfordist’ and transgressive revaluations of migration.

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century to the present.17 Due to its broad definition and its numerous historical and intertextual ties, it possesses a variety of features which reach into other literary discourses. In this regard, each of the book’s case studies constitutes a vantage point of synchronous as well as diachronous connecting lines, possible narrative or formal equivalencies, historical developments or discursive affiliations which begin to ‘transcribe’ the linguistic and cultural boundaries of a so-called (Greek) ‘national literature’ and mark the literature of migration as a decentralised, interlingual and transnational constellation. The examination of the texts and their international literary contexts is based on the key terms of body and space.18 On the one hand, migration seems to act upon the body of the literary subject and produces somatic ‘deviations’ (nostalgic, hybrid, undead, animalised, mechanised, imperceptible bodies) which, in turn, ‘infect’ the language and structure of the respective texts. On the other hand, Transcribing Borders explores the particular topographies of migration literature between the poles of closed, ‘striated’ territories and dynamic, ‘smooth’ and heterarchical plains. In this context, Kapllani’s work is examined: his texts deploy various spatial concepts and narrative structures that challenge territorial stability. These include all models, topologies and figures of the ‘third’ which challenge dichotomies and mark all aspects, agents and spaces of migration as mediatory: the no-man’s-land, the border, the threshold. 17

18

With regard to the manifold directions and complex dynamics of migratory processes, the notion of ‘Greek literature’ has to be modified (one of the most challenging aspects of the project): it is defined as a transcultural constellation which is grouped around texts by Greek authors dealing with migration or exile. Furthermore, the corpus includes texts written by immigrants (the Albanian-born Gazmend Kapllani, the Russian Ludmill Grinesco …) as well as literature by Greek emigrants or ‘diaspora’ authors writing in the language of their host cultures (Swedish texts by Aris Fioretos or Thodoris Kallifatidis, texts by the Franco-Greek author Vassilis Alexakis or the English texts of Jeffrey Eugenides or Kay Cicellis who, like Kallifatidis, also translates her own work into Greek ...). Crossing the boundaries of ‘national literature’ in multiple ways allows the exploration of a broad spectrum of aesthetic phenomena such as a text’s use of non-autochthonous conventions and modes of writing, or the hybridisation and ‘irritation’ of language through (intentionally) ‘incorrect’ components, foreign linguistic elements or narrative traditions. Limiting the scope to literature in a single language would severely constrain, if not inhibit, an adequate analysis of the not only bodily and topographical but also mental, discursive, and linguistic distortions accompanying processes of migration. These concepts relate to the central points of – subjective or spatial – ‘alienation’ associated with migration. They also comply with highly topical core areas in cultural and literary studies – namely the construction of body-images/corporalities and concepts of spatiality – and thus exhibit a distinctly innovative potential.

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In this manner, the migrant is less defined by his/her status of otherness, territory or country of origin than by his/her transformation between the beginning and the end of the journey. Furthermore, such topographies of migration find their counterpart in the texts’ structure: they adopt the plot’s ruptures and adhesions, its combinations and its fragmentations, and transpose them to the constellation of narrative elements.

Impact

It is only within roughly the last decade that migrant literature has emerged in Greece. Just like other literatures of its kind, no matter where they arise, it inhabits a liminal space; although traces of local and national discourse can almost invariably be found in it, the texts never refer back to a single nation or monocultural consciousness. In this manner, they confirm and, at the same time, destabilise many of the concepts which are constitutive not only for socio-politics, but also for traditional literary studies. Clearly, it is too soon to draw any conclusions as to the impact on ‘the Greek literary scene’ of migrant literature – or even the effects of the aforementioned academic approaches on Greek literary studies. What is certain, however, is that the mere appearance of migration itself has given rise to a new perspective in the literature produced within the country, as Pantelis Boukalas, poet and activist, rightly points out in his 2009 article: The change of viewpoint has become obvious in recent years: the writer’s source of inspiration has ceased to be Greeks who emigrate and are tormented by the pains of homesickness; instead it is found among the foreigners of every race, language and creed who emigrate here, whether because the scrambled rumours that reach them in their homelands have painted Greece as the land of milk and honey (…) or because they view our country as an inevitable stage in their uncertain and perilous journey deeper into the heart of the West. (…) In this context, it is no mere chance that the well-known publishing house ‘Κέδρος’ (Kedros), in 2009, established the new series ‘Εμείς και οι άλλοι’ (We and the Others), inaugurating it with the publication of the novella Ναυαγίων πλάσματα (2009, Shipwrecked Souls) by Dimitris Nollas, a book about the life of an ‘illegal immigrant’. boukalas 2009

It is also certain that more and more university teachers are encouraging their students to get involved in the topic of migrant writing in their postgraduate

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Chapter 9

The Politics of Changing National Identity: Migration Literature in Italy Marie Orton Abstract Migration literature in Italy, like the social and demographic reality from which it originates, is highly contested. What began as a trickle of texts by migrants in the early 1990s became a flood in the following decades. More than 600 authors have published thousands of texts from all genres, branching out into theatre and film. While new writers are continually emerging, some encouraged by associazioni, on-line publications or literary prizes, the writings of 25 to 30 of the published authors are consistently discussed by scholars of migration literature, with half of those authors having been recognised with prestigious literary awards. The critical response within Italy has been divided, with the majority of critics resisting the inclusion of migration literature as part of the literary canon, while greater support has come from critics outside the country.



Introduction

Literature by immigrant and ethnic-minority writers in Italy is referred to by many different, and continually evolving terms. The umbrella term ‘migration literature’ will be used here. The literature’s highly specific development could be characterised in terms of extremes: in comparison to other national contexts, this literature began appearing much more recently – after 1990 – but has developed far more rapidly as a field of literary study. It has prompted a wide critical response largely by scholars working outside Italy while being assiduously dismissed by the majority of literary scholars within Italy’s academia (Ganeri 2010: 438); and its existence and study have been associated with the polarities in opinion and politics that surround the concepts of Italian cultural and national identity. Indeed, the rapid rise in this literature has prompted scholars and Italian society in general to reflect on Italy’s conflicted cultural self-concept, particularly the shift from being a country that historically has been a place of ‘emigration’ to a country of ‘immigration’, and from a country of historically deep-seated regional diversity to an internationally multiethnic © koninklijke brill nv, leiden, ���8 | doi 10.1163/9789004363243_011

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society. In addition, the growth of this literature has prompted a recognition and re-evaluation of Italy’s fiercly repressed colonial past. The adamancy of the ‘official’ resistance to migration literature is attributable in part to the fact that migration issues in Italy are highly charged politically and socially, and are a comparatively new feature of the political terrain. Fears of demographic and cultural shifts inform much media portrayal and popular conception of the meaning of migration for Italians and the reception of migrants. Migrants are simply not accepted as Italians, and even their Italianborn children are frequently denied citizenship and differentiated as ‘the new Italians’ in the press (Orton 2011a: 393–394). This not only indicates that migrants and their children are differentiated from ‘standard’ or ‘normal’ Italians as being deficient in ‘italianità’, but also simultaneoulsy implies that Italianness itself is being redefined. Likewise, migration literature has invited a redefinition of what it means to say that literature – and individuals – are ‘Italian’. In the Italian context, the literary criticism and primary texts of migration literature arose at nearly the same moment and have developed in tandem: the first narratives by migrants were published in the early 1990s. These were written by a handful of individuals from different nations, working independently, who had recently immigrated to Italy and wrote about their experiences of migration. As of 2012, more than 600 immigrant writers from a wide variety of national origins have produced over 800 texts in all genres, with many authors branching out into film and theatre (Cosenza 2011). While new writers are continually emerging, the writings of 25 to 30 of the published authors are consistently discussed by scholars of migration literature, with half of those authors having been recognised with prestigious literary awards. Despite the positive public recognition of some immigrant authors and aside from a few notable exceptions, the academic literary establishment in Italy has been slow to recognise the literary merit of works by migrant authors in general, and highly resistant to considering their texts worthy of inclusion in the Italian literary canon. This resistance is due in large part to the intensely conservative nature of literary studies in the Italian academy that privileges predominantly traditional aesthetic interpretive practices and mistrusts the critical approaches widely applied to migration literature by scholars outside Italy, such as poststructuralism, postcolonialism, diaspora studies and cultural studies (Ganeri 2010). In addition, the Italian literary canon, strongly connected to Italy’s endeavours at nation-building post-Unification (1861), has traditionally excluded authors who did not conform to the ideal of Italian national identity: Italian writers who used regional dialects or languages other than Italian, were foreign-born (Orton 2012: 24–25) or were female (Marotti 1996) were typically not studied at school, anthologised or included in official histories of Italian literature.

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Literary criticism of migration writings – strongly supported outside Italy and contested within – to some extent represents the highly politicised divide in Italian society regarding Italy’s changing demographic and cultural landscape: while there are numerous individuals and organisations furthering migration literature and, by extension, deploring exclusionist political and social practices against migrants, the dominant Italian literary and academic establishments still consider this production to be second-class – doubtless a reflection of Italy’s social discomfort with migration and the attendant issues it raises.

Historical Background and Development of the Field

At the outset of the 1980s, the issue of migration into Italy had not yet become a social concern. Foreigners were present in Italy but, at that time, constituted less than 0.6 per cent of the total population (Dossier Statistico 1989). By the middle of that decade, immigrants mainly from Africa and Asia began arriving in Italy in significant numbers. Initially, they were met by the general population with a mixture of curiosity and openness. The number of immigrants arriving in Italy at that time was no higher than the number arriving in other European countries but, given Italy’s lack of a history of foreign immigration and complicated factors specific to the Italian political system, the country had little legislation for dealing with the new arrivals. The initial feeling of welcome turned quickly to alarm and rejection. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the 1990s saw the arrival of new immigrant populations from Eastern Europe, especially from Albania after the collapse of the Hoxhaist regime (King and Mai 2011). Immigration from African and Asian countries continued steadily and, as concerns over Italy’s declining birthrate became more pronounced, social alarm increased. The legislation passed to control immigration was inadequate and under-enforced, and social feeling turned against foreigners (Calavita 2005). Over the next two decades (1990–2010) immigration into Italy continued steadily but became increasingly more diversified in terms of nationality and social condition. As of 2017 about 6 million foreigners had migrated to Italy from more than 100 countries, and foreigners currently represent approximately 10 per cent of the total population (Eurostat European Commission 2017). Due largely to negative media portrayals and ineffective legislation, migration has now become firmly fixed in the social consciousness as an emergency and a threat. There has been the grudging realisation that migration will not disappear and that social policies must be developed that approach migration as a long-term issue. As this realisation progressively gains greater social

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acknowledgment, migration literature becomes an increasingly important element in the process of Italy’s redefinition of its culture and national identity. An additional wrinkle in the already complex tapestry of migration literature is the complicated classification of writers who migrated to Italy pre-1980 (i.e. before the major waves of new migration into Italy created the political and social tension over migration issues). For example, Edith Bruck, Fleur Jaeggy and Giorgio Pressburger all migrated to Italy between 1945 and 1970 for personal reasons and the texts for which they have received national and international notoriety were written in Italian.1 These authors are included in databases and catalogues of migrant authors; however, their works are typically not studied as part of the field of migration literature, in part because they migrated to Italy and were well-established writers decades before immigration became a topic of social concern and in part because, thematically, they do not deal with migration issues. At the same time, though their writings were in Italian and the authors hold Italian citizenship, the Italian canon still remains closed to them: all are classified as ‘foreign’ authors by Italian academia and booksellers, therefore their writings are not included in school curricula or in general histories or anthologies of Italian literature (Ganeri 2010). Their works have been translated into many different languages and, tellingly, they are universally considered as Italian authors outside Italy, and categorised and studied as such (Ganeri 2010). The increase in the production of migration literature in Italy has been rather linear and does not correspond easily with the peaks and troughs of migratory waves from various nations. Indeed, there is no correlation between the number of migrants from a given country and the number of texts or individuals who become authors. For instance, one of the most numerous groups of migrants in Italy is the Chinese, but there is currently only one writer from China classified as a migrant author – Bamboo Hirst. Migrant groups in Italy are frequently in flux, and migrant writers are similarly mobile.2 While nearly 1 Edith Bruck, a Polish Jew born in Hungary, migrated after World War ii and published 20 books in Italian, many of which relate her experiences in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen; Fleur Jaeggy, a Swiss author, settled in Rome in 1968 for personal reasons. Her most famous work is the autobiographical novel about a Swiss boarding school, I beati anni del castigo, (1989, Sweet Days of Discipline); Giorgio Pressburger, a Hungarian-born writer, also works widely in theatre and film. He came to Italy in 1956, and is celebrated for La legge degli spazi bianchi (1989, The Law of White Spaces), a collection of five stories that all deal with issues of illness and have as protagonists doctors and their patients. These works of these three writers have been widely translated and have received literary notariety within and outside Italy. 2 For example, Jadelin Gangbo and Shirin Fazel have both left Italy and are currently living in London, and Amara Lakhous has relocated to New York.

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all authors who are now considered as migrant writers became authors because of their migration to Italy, migration literature encompasses more than just a reaction to the relocation in Italy, as will be discussed below. Between 1990 and 1993, the first texts appeared by migrant authors of different nationalities, all of whom were working independently of one another. This handful of not more than ten texts was written predominantly by young, single men who had migrated from different African countries during the 1980s. These first texts were highly autobiographical, frequently narrated the practical difficulties in the authors’ daily struggle for survival, and were written in reaction to the negative, media-generated stereotype of the uneducated, illegal immigrant (often referred to as ‘clandestini’ or ‘extra-comunitari’, or with the more racist term ‘vu’ cumpra’).3 By writing their own stories of migration, immigrant writers sought to restore individual identity to the ever-increasing ocean of faceless immigrants in Italy. The majority of these early texts were written in collaboration with an Italian native speaker, often a journalist who initiated the collaboration and then acted as co-author or editor – ostensibly to give linguistic help to the migrant learning Italian. However, the nativespeaking collaborator also served as a social go-between, mediating between the migrant author and the Italian audience (Parati 1997). Scholars have examined the unequal power relationships in the collaboration between migrant writer and Italian editor/co-author (Burns 2003; di Maio 2008; Parati 1997), some of which were highly conflictual – such as Nassera Chohra, the author of the first migrant text by a female author, Volevo diventare bianca (1993, I Wanted to Become White), who disagreed so severely with the changes made to the text by the journalist who edited it, Alessandra Atti di Sarro, that she stopped writing (Burns 2003: 387). As migration literature has evolved, these early, highly autobiographical, co-authored texts have come to be referred to as writings of the ‘first wave’ (Wren-Owens 2011: 166) and are referred to by critics as the foundational texts of Italian migration literature. These pioneering texts successfully put a human face on the migrant experience and initiated the critical consideration of these writings as literary works. These early texts were seen as a novelty and the initial public and critical reaction to them was one of curiosity – one of the first texts, Io, venditore di 3 Originally, the term ‘vu’ cumpra’ began as mocking the inexact language of the street hawkers who asked passersby if they wanted to buy – ‘vuoi comprare’; however, the term has passed into common parlance as a racist pejorative, as have the terms ‘clandestini’ and ‘extracomunitari’ (meaning originating from outside the European Union). The terms ‘immigrato’ and ‘straniero’ (foreigner) have also assumed negative overtones, as public sentiment has become more adverse toward migrants.

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elefanti (1990, I Was an Elephant Salesman, 2010a), by Pap Khouma and edited by the well-known Italian journalist Oreste Pivetta, was published by a major publishing house, has gone through eight editions and has become a best-seller. However, as Graziella Parati points out, major publishing houses made no attempts to capitalise on the success of these texts by establishing a series or creating a reading audience for texts by migrant authors but, rather, supported the publication of ‘one-time token texts’ (2005: 99). Since the larger publishing houses with better distribution have not supported the continued writings of migrant authors, most writers publish with small houses that have limited distribution, thus creating one of the on-going difficulties in the field of migration literature, namely the limited availability of the texts. Pia Schwarz Lausten has correctly pointed out that exclusion from the literary canon translates directly into exclusion from access to the literary market: thus, the marginalised status of migration literature positions it to remain marginalised (2010: 100). The initial furor surrounding the publication of these texts reflected a general consensus that these narratives would not be followed by any others, and indicated the belief that these texts were the literary reaction to a specific – and transitory – cultural moment (Gnisci 1998: 43). This belief was of a piece with the general social opinion in the early 1990s that foreign migration into Italy was itself a passing phenomenon rather than a permanent condition of contemporary society. Nevertheless, there were at the same time serious literary scholars who began examining texts by migrant writers as soon as they emerged. Scholars of the field have helped to promote the literature and, above all, migrant authors themselves have promoted their own works by establishing online journals, speaking in public schools and collaborating with associazioni (non-profit organisations) that sponsor writing clinics and academic and literary conferences. Italian migration literature has, in fact, taken on something of the persona of a self-conscious movement. By a decade in, both scholars and authors realised that they were shaping a new field of literature and of study. Nevertheless, the scholars who have helped to grow the field have been criticised for their involvement more because migration literature is not accepted by Italian academia rather than for any supposed interference between scholarship and the primary texts. Several venues have been indispensible in circulating the ever-increasing corpus and promoting its literary analysis: the work of associazioni, online journals, literary awards, literary series and small publishing houses – which are the main publishers of texts by migrant authors – as well as the generation of databases and anthologies. The initial impetus of all these entities was to encourage the production of primary texts, and their success has been

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evident. However, it is important to underscore that the literary criticism of these ­primary texts has been virtually contemporaneous with the evolution of the literature. A natural symbiosis, neither calculated nor cynical, between the literary texts and their analysis distinguishes Italian migration literature from other national contexts. In many cases, the overlap between primary and secondary texts is direct – that is, volumes comprised of primary works are anthologised together with literary criticism, such as the volume edited by Armando Gnisci and Nora Moll (2002) or online journals that publish both original primary texts with literary reviews such as El Ghibli. As will be discussed below, the many grass-roots movements that have promoted the progess of migration literature have both aided and been aided by the legitimising force of scholarly studies of migration literature. Associazioni exist across the Italian peninsula and are typically non-profit community organisations staffed largely by volunteers. During the 1990s, several associazioni formed independently to do the very practical and necessary work both of getting migrant texts published, circulated, read and noticed by critics, and of bringing authors and audiences together at conferences and book presentations. Though the influence of associazioni is real and, while the social legitimacy of migrant authors and their works is greatly increased by the involvement of the associazioni, the very fact that this work is accomplished by volunteer groups – as opposed to more ‘official’ institutions – again underscores how this literature and those who produce it still remain in a marginal position vis-à-vis the host culture. The associazione ‘La Tenda’ (http:// lnx.­latenda.eu/joomla) in Milan was the driving force behind the founding of the influential online journal El Ghibli in 2003, while the associazione Eks&Tra (now in Bologna) sponsored the first, and longest-running, literary prize for migrant authors, as will be discussed subsequently. Associazioni such as these have been, perhaps, the most innovative forces in giving substance to the efforts and aims of authors of migration literature, particularly in their collaborative efforts and in their use of newer technologies such as the Internet. In addition, the writing workshop founded in 2007 by the associazione Eks&Tra provides a valuable example of how migration literature interrogates dominant power structures: co-sponsored by the Università di Bologna, the workshop invites published migrant writers to work and mentor aspiring authors, both migrants and native Italians. Locating this project within the walls of the prestigious Università di Bologna includes migrant authors into the very social spaces that have long been inaccessible to migrants and which have rejected their literary production. Furthermore, migrant authors here function in the role of mentor-teacher to native speakers as well as other migrant writers, thus resisting those exclusionary power relations that traditionally privilege natives

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over ­foreigners and forcefully rejecting the common prejudice that foreigners are unable to master literary Italian language (Pezzarossa 2008: 35–38). The exponential increase in migrants’ literary production in Italy since the 1990s has undoubtedly been aided by the technological advances in communication. The foundation of online journals, archives and databases has both increased the production of primary texts by new migrant writers and promoted the circulation of secondary texts analysing migration literature. Currently, there are approximately 15 online journals based in Italy that are dedicated to migration literature.4 Online journals reveal the close association between the generation of primary texts and their literary analysis, as some journals seek to promote both new writers and reviews of those writers. Indeed, the vast majority of online journals based in Italy focus on promoting the emergence of new migrant writers by publishing new primary texts. However, there are two online journals, Scritture migranti and Kuma, which focus particularly on the literary analysis of migrant writings. These journals have facilitated the creation and perpetuation of a venue for applying those critical approaches to migration literature which have scant credibility inside traditional Italian academia but which are used regularly by scholars in the field – postcolonial, deconstructive, transnational, multicultural and so forth. Because contributions written either in Italian or in English are published, these journals also promote contact between scholars beyond the confines of national borders and disciplines. Furthermore, these journals, particularly Scritture migranti, publish studies on migration literature in countries other than Italy, thus creating a dialogue and context for the discussion of migration literature transnationally. The space maintained by these journals not only enriches academic inquiry, but also elevates the credibility of migrant texts, validating both migrant literature and literary scholarship. The online journal, El Ghibli, promotes both creative and analytical texts. It serves as a reference point for scholars of migration literature, as it archives all

4 Of particular note are: Voci dal silenzio (Voices from the Silence, www.comune.fe.it/vocidalsilenzio); Il Gioco degli specchi (www.ilgiocodeglispecchi.org), which also organises an annual festival of ‘letteratura italianostraniera’ (Italian-foreign literature); and Sagarana (www.sagarana.net), which is directed by Julio Monteiro Martins, a published migrant author and professor at the Università degli Studi di Pisa. Other online sources that actively promote ­migration literature include: , , , , , , and .

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submissions and includes both creative and analytical texts.5 Founded in 2003 by migrant writers, El Ghibli exemplifies two characteristics that distinguish migration literature in Italy from that of other national contexts: first, the high rate of direct involvement of authors in political activism and, second, the direct connection between literature and other forms of artistic production and activism. Similarly, literary prizes serve the double function of granting social and literary legitimacy to migrant authors and of increasing interest in their work. Several authors attribute their becoming writers to their participation in literary contests for migrant writers, in which the winning entries were published.6 The increase in the number of awards for migration literature over the past two decades would indicate that there is a supportive segment of the population but the fact that many of the awards are maintained by the sponsorship of associazioni suggests, again, that the literature is sustained more by the efforts of interested individuals than by a general societal valuing of migration literature and its authors. Indeed, it would be incorrect to interpret the success of some authors in achieving recognition as a widespread acceptance of migration literature into the Italian literary mainstream generally. Such individual victories as have been won remain exceptions to the general rule.7 From 1995 to 2007, the associazione Eks&Tra sponsored a literary award specifically for migrant authors and published an anthology of the literary award winners. Several of the authors featured in the anthology went on to publish with other publishing houses, and to win other literary prizes, including prestigious literary awards in competition with native Italian writers. Significantly, the jury for the Eks&Tra award included both literary scholars 5 See the journal’s homepage at . El Ghibli was the first journal to be founded and directed by migrant writers: Pap Khouma, Kossi Komla-Ebri, Gabriella Ghermandi, Mihai Butcovan and Adriàn Bravi; the current editorial board also includes native Italians Raffaele Taddeo and Andrea Sarotti. 6 Authors who have credited their becoming writers to some degree to their participation in literary competitions include Fatima Ahmed, Christina de Caldas Brito, Gabriella Ghermandi, Tamara Jadrejcic, Kossi Komla-Ebri, Tahar Lamri, Geneviève Makaping, Igiaba Scego and Laila Wadia. 7 The most notable prize winners include Gëzim Hajdari, originally from Albania, who was awarded the highest literary prize in Italy, the Montale Prize for Poetry, in 1997; Carmine Abate, who has won multiple awards: the Premio Napoli, the Premio Selezione Campiello and the Premio Corrado; Tamara Jadrejcic (Premio xvii Italo Calvino); Amara Lakhous (Flaiano, 2007); Igiaba Scego (Mondello, 2011); Ornela Vorpsi (Premio Grinzano Cavour, 2005); and Visar Zhiti (Leopardi d’oro, 1991, Premio Ada Negri, 1997).

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(Armando Gnisci, Graziella Parati) and migrant authors (Tahar Lamri, Shirin Fazel, ­Saidou Moussa Ba). Having migrant authors serve as jurists resists the inequitable power relations that typically privilege critics over authors and natives over migrants. Indeed, the mark of the award’s greatest success would be for the award itself to become obsolete.8 Lamri articulated the concern, echoed by scholars, that the potential ghettoisation of the writers would ultimately prove detrimental to the development of migration literature (Parati 2005: 97). This sensitivity to the award’s own limitations typifies the self-aware nature of Italian migration-literature production and the significant role played by the collaboration between writers and literary critics in the field’s growth. While many literary awards for migrant authors still exist, so, too, has the discontinuation of the longest-standing award and the high correlation between the winners of that award and migrant authors who continued to publish been seen as a positive indicator in the acceptance of migration literature into mainstream Italian literary culture (Enciclopedia de estudios a­ froeuropeos 2012). Within the past decade, six literary series have been established, all of which are dedicated to launching new migrant authors and produced by small publishing houses: Kumacreola and Kùmà Lettere Migranti, directed by Armando Gnisci, Intercultura and Radici, aimed at cultural exchange, and L’Italia che guarda and Letteratura migrante which are both published by Edizioni dell’Arco. The latter is directed by migrant author Kossi Komla-Ebri. The distribution methods of Edizioni dell’Arco, in particular, underscore the direct and politicised connection between migration literature and social issues: while it does make texts available through online purchasing, this publishing house distributes mainly through migrant street vendors, who retain 50 per cent of a book’s cover charge, a far higher percentage than the authors’ royalties. This practice on the part of the publishing house selfconsciously obligates readers to a personal, if brief, encounter with a migrant in order to highlight the direct relationship between literature by and about migrants and the immediate condition of the migrants themselves (Orton 2011b: 197–198). 8 The associazione Eks&Tra discontinued the literary award in order to focus on the collaborative writing workshop it sponsors at the University of Bologna. ‘The organisation of intercultural writing courses, rather than the promotion of literary awards, is a concrete response to the urgency of considering Italophone migrant literature not as a literary sub-genre to be preserved and promoted, but as a productive possibility both for migrants and for native Italians with a fully collaborative process, avoiding the limits of a literary and cultural ghetto’ (Enciclopedia de estudios afroeuropeos 2012).

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Databases and Anthologies

The compilation of anthologies reflects the same two characteristics that mark the other efforts – such as that of online journals and literary prizes – to ­promote migration literature and its scholarly analysis: (1) the vast ­majority of anthologies have been compiled in an effort to grow the field through the publication of new authors and (2) the work of anthologising has existed in tandem with literary analysis of the texts. Unlike other national contexts, where texts by migrant authors already exist and databases and anthologies have criteria for selecting which texts will be included, in Italy the aim of collections has been to grow the field and encourage the production of new texts. The guiding mentality has been one of the broadest inclusion possible. Francesco Cosenza catalogues 74 anthologies and nine volumes that compile multiple authors, which were published with the intent of encouraging migrant authors and creating a space in the literary market for their works. Naturally, the motivations that inform the selection of the authors may vary to some extent: the volume edited by Alberto Ibba and Raffaele Taddeo, La lingua strappata (1999), was compiled with the intention of promoting greater understanding of migration and of migrants’ home countries among the Italian readership. Anthologies compiled specifically to promote the literary scholarship of migrant authors would include that compiled by Armando Gnisci in 2006, Nuovo Planetario Italiano, a volume of more than 500 pages that unites analytical works by 15 different scholars with writings of 55 migrant writers. In addition, the two volumes that have translated texts by migrant authors into English (Mediterranean Crossroads, ed. Graziella Parati 1999; Multicultural Literature in Contemporary Italy, eds. Marie Orton and Graziella Parati 2007) were compiled with the clear goal of introducing Italian migrant writers to an English-speaking public, hence texts were selected that reflected a wide array of narrative styles, themes and views of migration within the constraints of the texts’ availability. These volumes have been adopted as textbooks for university courses on migration literature in the United States. While the compilation of an anthology inherently implies the act of canon formation, the 17 authors included in Multicultural Literature in Contemporary Italy were chosen as a kind of cross-section of migration literature currently being published in Italy, a self-aware attempt to suggest an open canon and an attempt to contextualise migration literature in its current social context. For all the struggle that migration literature in Italy has had, and continues to have, in wresting for itself a social and literary legitimacy from an ingrained and recalcitrant tradition, it has also, and perhaps ironically, benefited enormously from the

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very t­raditional and specifically Italian tendency to archive extensively. The ­collection of migrant texts in anthologies and databases has become not only a way of collecting and preserving materials but also a way for migration literature to challenge the traditional ideas of literature and to write itself into Italian literary history. Parallel to the promotional and canonising influence of anthologies and literary series and, perhaps, specific to the Italian context, is the impulse to establish archives and databases dedicated to migration literature. The associazione Eks&Tra has archived and made available online all the submissions received over the 13 years that their literary award has existed, totaling over 1,800 works by migrant authors. In connection with the regional library, La Biblioteca Dergano-Bovisa, the associazione La Tenda has catalogued all texts published by migrant authors in Italy and has collected a vast number of these texts in print form, as well as archiving over 100 unpublished texts by migrant authors (Cosenza 2011: 1). The online journal El Ghibli has a vast archive of all former submissions, both creative and critical, as does the website Storie Migranti (www.storiemigranti.org/). The largest database, Basili was founded by Armando Gnisci and is now directed by Franca Sinopoli at the Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. The aim of this database is to include as many primary texts and critical studies as possible, with no preference given to a particular kind of analytical approach above any other. Basili currently contains thousands of entries of both literary and scholarly works, and maintains a current list of every thesis written at an Italian university about migration literature. Literary studies in Italian as well as those published in English are both referenced. In a private email of 13 December 2012, Sinopoli explained that Basili ‘has no evaluative or selective purpose, but was begun in 1997 as an instrument to give visibility to this genre of translingual authors’. As a tool for scholars, the database is invaluable, and the fact that it has catalogued together both literary texts and literary works since its foundation exemplifies the Italian awareness of the interconnected nature of these two elements in the field of migration literature. As mentioned earlier, the archivisation of Italian migration literature and its study can either be read merely as the application of an old habit to a new field, or as something more profound: an awareness of the importance of both history and scholarship in defining and validating the present, and an attempt to make the fields of migration literature and migration studies part of that history. The assertion that migration literature is part of Italian history becomes the insertion of ­migration literature into that history. Archiving is a time-honoured, established way to gain legitimacy.

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Approaches and Interpretations

In the Italian context, both the critical approaches and the migrant texts they analyse defy facile categorisations. As mentioned previously, literary criticism of migrant texts emerged in the early 1990s, right on the heels of the first texts themselves. As more diverse texts have been published and as more scholars both within Italy and without have become interested in the field, the diversity of literary critical approaches has burgeoned accordingly. The field of criticism is vast and approaches overlap considerably. It is important to note here that there is no one-to-one correlation between the use of a specialised critical jargon and a critic’s approach. The interdisciplinarity that marks the criticism of Italy’s migration literature is evident in the fluid way in which critical nomenclatures are shared among scholars employing different approaches. For example, while postcolonial interpretations will employ the theoretical vocabulary of interstitiality and liminality, readers will also see those same concepts and terms applied in analyses that pursue sociological and/or feminist approaches. For scholars of migration literature, literary terms are not necessarily the patented property of distinct critical approaches. It would be inaccurate to discuss the literary criticism in this field strictly in terms of separate schools of thought or competing ‘camps’. Nevertheless, dominant lines of interpretation have emerged that have shaped the development of the critical landscape. Furthermore, while the perception is accurate that scholars working from outside Italy have been much more supportive of migration literature as opposed to scholars working from within the country, Maria Cristina Mauceri (2011) gives a convincing overview of how the attitude of literary scholars in Italy towards migration literature has shifted from rejection to conflicted and sporadic acceptance. She lists a number of literary scholars in Italy who now specialise in migration literature: Franca Sinopoli, curator of the Basili database; Nora Moll, who collaborated with Gnisci; Fulvio Pezzarossa, a professor of sociology; as well as Clotilde Barbarulli and Silvia Camilotti. Mauceri a­ ttributes the divide between the analysis produced within Italy and the scholarship produced outside the country to the fact that the former favours ­analytical approaches emphasising literature’s themes and formal aspects while the latter favours approaches that emphasise the condition of the migrant over the literature itself. While Mauceri shares a valuable and instructive insight, one must be careful not to conclude therefrom that there are, in fact, only two schools of thought regarding literary scholarship: the Italian aesthetic approach and the extraItalian socio-political approach. There are, of course, many approaches and ­combinations of approaches, and many scholars do not limit themeselves to

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only one. While it is undeniable that, over the years, and certainly in the first decade and a half after the first appearance of texts by migrant authors, there was far more academic sympathy outside Italy for scholarly studies of migration literature, dividing the criticism geographically ignores the work that has been done for several years by scholars inside Italy (Lidia Curti, Roberto Derobertis, Fulvio Pezzarossa, Franca Sinopoli, Raffaele Taddeo) and perpetuates the ‘border’ mentality of interpreting the field exclusively in terms of geography. This claim is not meant to minimise the fact that migration literature has largely been treated as ‘second-class’ literature within Italy but only to point out that reductionism of any kind is contra-indicated and impedes understanding. Hybridising Italianness and Italian Literature Scholars working on the issue of hybridity in migrant literature in Italy focus on two main areas: the hybridisation of Italian literature by the inclusion of migrant texts, and the parallel hybridisation of Italy itself by the inclusion of the migrant presence. In both cases, these scholars tend to condemn the canonical and cultural resistance to changes in Italy’s literary and social identity. Indeed, much of the scholarly focus is on this resistance, just as much migrant literature is a response to that same social anxiety about hybridisation. Migrant literature is thus the inscription of the migrant’s embodiment of hybridising tensions. Additionally, scholars focus on the construction of multiple, hybrid identities within individual texts. Critics discuss how migrant authors rarely cast themselves as bridges between different cultures; rather, their heterogeneous, hybrid identities are a means of legitimising and laying claim to their own ‘italianità’. Hybridisation in migrant identities often functions as a bid for inclusion and is thus linked to issues of legitimacy and power in the economy of identity. One of the earliest and most influential scholars in the study of Italian migration literature is Armando Gnisci. Professor of Comparative Literature at Rome’s La Sapienza until his retirement in 2010, Gnisci is one of the few scholars of migration literature who worked from within the Italian academic establishment.9 His approach is consonant with the ethos, if not necessarily the methods, of much marxist and poststructural criticism but he aims the ethical lens particularly on the field of literary studies itself in a kind of metacritical move. While he has promoted the publication of migration writers, 9 In addition to his many studies advocating the inclusion of migration literature in the Italian literary canon, Gnisci published the overtly political ‘Manifesto trasculturale’ outlining the vital role of migration literature in the necessary and revitalising project of cultural redefinition (Gnisci 2011).

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his ­analysis concentrates more on migration literature as a phenomenon that works against the hegemonic institutions of Western literature and culture. Gnisci’s most stringent affirmation is that migration literature is Italian literature, deserving of full inclusion in the canon of national literature, hence he insists exclusively on the term ‘la letteratura italiana della migrazione’. Gnisci’s extensive writings connect the entire notion of world literature to cultural colonisation and perceive the study of literature as the extension of Eurocentric values (Gnisci 2001). He believes literary studies should not be separate from cultural practices, and approaches the study of migration literature as an act of political engagement. His studies do consider individual authors, concentrating particularly on those authors mentioned previously whose texts are considered to be the foundation of migration literature (Salah Methnani, Pap Khouma, Nassera Chohra, Moshen Melitti and Gëzim Hajdari). Gnisci’s first book-length study, Il rovescio del gioco (1992, The Flip Side) examines Immigrato (Immigrant) by Salah Methnani, co-authored with journalist Mario Fortunato (1990), as an interrogation of hegemonic Westernised discourses that exoticise the other. Methnani, who was born in Tunisia in 1963, migrated to Italy in 1988. Immigrato is the autobiographical retelling of his time as an illegal immigrant (‘clandestino’) as he travels from Southern to Northern Italy in search of work. Gnisci concentrates mainly on analysing how the narrator’s view of Italy changes from his original but inaccurate vision of Italy as the bastion of Western culture to a place driven by capitalism, where migrants are exploited. Gnisci focuses on the theme of space and travel as expressions of nomadism, comparing Methnani and Fortunato’s text with the writings of acclaimed Moroccan author, Tahar Ben Jelloun. Gnisci’s writings all sustain his main thesis: that migration writing redefines and hybridises Italian literature, which has wider cultural implications (Gnisci 1998). He considers it the scholar’s duty to ‘decolonizzare’ (decolonise) the study of literature, i.e. to redefine the values that inform literary studies. He rejects the application of established models (such as postcolonialsm) into this context, as he sees them as part of the same corrupt colonialist package. ‘Decolonizzazione’ (decolonisation) is a call for a radical paradigm shift on the part of Europeans and all former colonisers, a process of casting off all discourses, values and attitudes of the coloniser, to recognise our own prejudices and enter into a dialogue of equality with the formerly colonised. ‘Decolonizzare’ means disenfranchising ourselves as readers from the imperialism of Western thought. Gnisci (2004) theorises two approaches that are not merely literary but potentially transformative general cultural practices: ‘creolizzazione’ (creolisation) – the process, with its subsequent effects, of migration literatures interacting with traditional national literatures to invade and transform

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them – and ‘trasculturazione’ (transculturalisation), which signifies moving beyond the valuing of other cultures as ‘other’, transcending the patronising and politically muted forms of multicultural discourses as currently practiced, such as the condescending charity toward minorities, migrants or all expressions of ‘otherness’. Gnisci’s critiques concentrate on the economic and axiological systems that have traditionally undergirded and informed those aesthetic and literary values. According to Gnisci, the nationalistic tendencies that have presided over the reaction of the Italian literary establishment to migration literature were in place long before the current waves of immigration made such extra-canonical literature a problematic issue. Graziella Parati’s interdisciplinary approach to migration literature has been highly influential in the development of the field. Her scholarship considers both the literary and the cinematic production of migrant authors in the context of migration legislation in Italy, and examines the social discourses that undergird that evolving legislation. Her influential study, Migration Italy: The Art of Talking Back in a Destination Culture (2005) examines over 30 migrant authors from across the globe, arguing that migration literature is one way in which migrants can ‘talk back’ or resist stereotypes and exclusionary social discourses by writing themselves into the fabric of the nation. Her text examines a myriad of ways in which migrant writings ‘talk back’. For example, Parati examines the ‘layers of foreignness’ (2005: 40) in the characters of Carmine Abate’s best-known novel, La festa del ritorno (2004, The Homecoming Party, 2010) and his early exposé I Germanesi (1986, The German-ish Ones). Abate was born in 1954 in an Arbëresh community in Calabria, where most of his stories are set. As a young adult, Abate migrated to Germany, where he worked for many years and began to write and publish in German. In Italy, Abate is considered as a migrant author, due to his Arbëresh origin, though in Germany he is considered an Italian author. His autobiographical novel, La festa del ritorno, explores the tensions that arise in individuals and families due to migration, and the resulting ‘layers of foreignness’. The novel is narrated through the eyes of 12-year-old Marco, whose father works in a coal mine in France. The father returns every Christmas, and the narrative emerges around the Christmas bonfire at these annual reunions. Alternating between the son’s and the father’s voices, the narrative recounts their very different views on migration, though both are stories of loss. As is typical of Abate’s many works, this novel depicts the problematic effects of migration: though it allows for economic survival, the resultant distance is corrosive to families and individuals. Parati examines Abate’s innovative mix of Arbëresh, Calabrese dialect and Italian, viewing this linguistic hybridity as a means of interrogating the social forces that move migration. This parallel is even more prononunced

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in I Germanesi – stories of Arbëresh who have migrated to Germany. Abate shows how, as Arbëresh, they are foreign within Calabria, as Calabrese they are foreign within Italy and, later, when they emigrate from Italy to find work, they become foreigners as Italians in Germany. Parati sees a parallel between the exchange of mistaken identities and the unequal economic exchange that forces the migration narrated by Abate’s characters. Parati reads the characters’ intersecting identities as counterpoint to the author’s use of intersecting languages: standard and non-standard Italian, Arbëresh and German. Both are forms of resisting the stereotyping discourses that dismiss migrants as universally ‘other’ and knowable (Parati 2005: 40–43). Parati’s study further analyses how the complex narrative structures employed by migrant authors resist the fundamental excluding binary of native vs non-native. For example, she reads Shirin Ramzanali Fazel’s autobiographical Lontano da Mogadiscio (1994, Far from Mogadishu, 2013) as an act of ‘hybridisation’. Fazel was born in Mogadishu in 1959 and migrated to Italy with her husband and two daughters after the dictator Saïd Barre came to power in Somalia and began expelling foreigners (Fazel’s husband was considered foreign, as he was Italian-Somali and had an Italian passport). The narrative nostalgically contrasts the Mogadishu of Fazel’s childhood with the hostility and misunderstanding which her family encounters in Italy. Self-consciously directed at an Italian audience, the text was written to respond to the negative stereotypes of Africa as a land of poverty, disease and war. Fazel braids together a varied cultural background from her Somali mother, Pakistani father and formation in an Italian school in Somalia. Parati examines how Fazel problematises the distinction between Western and non-Western, between ‘us’ and ‘them’, by pendulating between her identification with Italians and nonItalians once she reaches Italy. Parati interprets Fazel’s text as ‘express[ing] the need for a redefinition of community and for a collective act of witnessing the construction of multicultural Italian identities’ (2005: 66). Parati sees the multiple migrations, languages and identities narrated by migrant authors as a ‘challenge [to] any preconceived idea about the subjects of migration and the story of transmigration’ (2005: 180). She analyses multiple authors, arguing that the linguistic complexity evident in texts by migrant authors are expressions of ‘talking back’ to the hegemonic notion of one nation–one language (2005: 72) – texts such as Cristina De Caldas Brito’s self-conscious intrusions of Portuguese in Italian (2005: 60); Gëzim Hajdari’s (2008) conflation of Albanian and Italian poetic forms (2005: 61–62), Tahar Lamri’s use of multiple Italian dialects (2005: 61), as well as authors’ varied linguistic choices, including Jadelin Gangbo’s interweaving of archaic and modern Italian (2005: 81–85). Critics frequently cite linguistic hybridity as a narrative technique employed by authors to encapsulate the diasporic identity. Daniele Comberiati

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(2010) shows how the linguistic hybridity in the novel Madre piccola (2007, Little Mother, 2011) by Cristina Ubax Ali Farah takes multiple forms that reflect the cultural hybridity born of Italy’s colonial footprint. Ali Farah was born in Italy in 1973 to an Italian mother and a Somali father, but lived in Mogadishu until the age of 18. After the outbreak of civil war in Somalia in 1991 she returned to Italy, where she graduated from La Sapienza University in Rome. Her many writings emphasise the error of expressing individual identities – and, by extention, national identities – exclusively in terms of a single territorial space, and how both national and individual identities are forged through intertwining processes of cross-contamination. Madre piccola, Ali Farah’s (2007) first and most-widely read novel, presents the intertwining stories of three protagonists: Domenica, an Italian-Somali girl, Barni, her cousin and best friend, and Taageere, a nomadic man with whom Domenica becomes romantically involved. Each chapter is narrated by one of the three protagonists, and the story emerges from their intersecting points of view. The text reveals undeniably autobiographical undertones insofar as the Italian-Somali protagonist, Domenica, goes to Italy when civil war breaks out; ten years later, she is reunited with her cousin, Barni, whom she asks to become the ‘madre piccola’ for the child she is expecting. Comberiati identifies three instantiations of the author’s linguistic hybridity: the inclusion of Somali variants of specific Italian words (such as ‘kabushiini’ instead of ‘cappuccino’ or ‘faramascio’ for ‘farmacia’), the author’s use of Somali words that remain untranslated and her fluid movement between linguistic registers (2010: 211–212). Her linguistic hybridity functions as a metaphor for the fragmentation of the Somali diaspora and a reflection of the hybridity born of Italy’s involvement in Somalia. Comberiati further argues that the author’s linguistic hybridity offers a model of national identity based on affective relationships rather than geography. Migration’s hybridisation of the social fabric of Italy finds counterpoint in the (potential) hybridisation of the Italian literary canon, signalled by the presence of migrant texts. Scholars have analysed how migration literature responds to both the social exclusion of migrants and their parallel exclusion from the literary canon. Orton (2011b) analyses the use of comedy in the writings of Togolese-Italian author Kossi Komla-Ebri in order to create a space for migrant writings within the Italian canon. Komla-Ebri emigrated to Italy in 1974 at the age of 20 in order to pursue medical studies. A practicing physican and political activist, in 2001 Komla-Ebri became the first African-Italian to run for Italian parliament. He writes prolifically, is co-director of El Ghibli, his (2002a) novel – Neyla – has been translated into English, and his collections of humorous anecdotes Imbarazzismi (2002b, EmbaRACEments) and Nuovi imbarazzismi (2004, More embaRACEments), which relate his encounters with ‘everyday racism’ among Italians, are taught as part of the high-school

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­curriculum. Orton (2011b) focuses on how the comedy in these latter two texts is used to forge community with the author’s Italian readership and expand the current c­ ultural definition of ‘Italian’ to include people of colour. Orton shows how Komla-Ebri highlights his cultural fluency with humour, lampooning the Italian institutions that Italians also lampoon (the military, government bureaucracy), inviting his readers to disassociate themselves from those Italians who hold the racist ideas which his stories recount. Orton (2012) contends that literature has served a privileged role in demarcating Italian national identity and examines how the writings of Pap Khouma, Komla-Ebri, Randa Ghazy, Amara Lakhous, Igiaba Scego and Cristina Ubax Ali Farah interrogate the assumptions that link national literature to national character, particularly in the later writing of Pap Khouma. No longer dependent on an Italian editor, Khouma’s most recent text, Noi italiani neri (2010b, Black Italians) is a firstperson narrative constructed as a court hearing, with the narrator presenting evidence to ‘Your Honour, the Judge’, thus not only suggesting his cry for social justice but also casting the Italian readership in the role of jury. He directly poses questions that the text does not attempt to answer, but rather expects the reader to answer individually: I am an Italian, and I have black skin. Will I always be considered second rate, never a citizen, but always just a visitor? [… ] What makes a native into an ‘Italian’? Language? Anyone can learn it, given time. Religion? So Italians who convert to Islam are no longer Italian? [… ] so how can you measure belonging? khouma 2010b: 10, 15–16

Orton casts Khouma’s questions about the social inclusion of migrants onto the literary plane, and suggests that the same questions about belonging can be applied to migrant texts and the literary canon. Since literary histories have functioned as a way to chart cultural inclusion, Orton interprets the adamant exclusion of migrant texts from Italian literary histories and anthologies as motivated by the same social anxieties that reject widening the definition of ‘Italian’ to include individuals of different phenotypes. Laura Harris (2008) re-evaluates how hybridity is constructed and perceived in Ermina Dell’Oro’s best-selling novel L’abbandono, Una storia Eritrea (1991, Abandonment: An Eritrean Story). Dell’Oro was born in 1938 in Eritrea to white Italian parents and grew up in Asmara while Eritrea was an Italian colony and later a British protectorate. L’abbandono tells the story of Sellass, an Eritrean woman who falls in love with a Northern Italian, Carlo, and has two children. When Italy is defeated in World War ii and England invades Eritrea,

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her ­children are considered to be neither Italian nor Eritrean. The novel narrates Sellass’ many trials to protect her children and the angst of her double exclusion, both from the Eritrean and from the Italian communities. Harris (2008) argues that, in Dell’Oro’s text, the ‘meticcio’ (mixed-race) status alone is ­presented as the sole form of hybridity, dismissing and disallowing any other expression of diasporic identity. She argues that Dell’Oro’s essentialised privileging of the ‘meticcio’ status, and the author’s own position as a privileged white colonial, find parallel in the social discourses of exclusionary multiculturalism that essentialise all differences as equally ‘other’ and that present ‘a discourse of mutually porous boundaries of identity, nation, and race’ (2008: 602) She suggests that, despite views (such as Parati’s) that the multitude of literary migrant voices is creating new national hybridities, the social reality is that privileged stories (such as Dell’Oro’s) silence the less-privileged voices of other African writers in Italy, who present different views of hybridity and whose books quickly go out of print. Harris takes issue with the optimistic view that the popularity of some texts indicates a new ‘multireality’ (2008: 607) in Italian society and literature. She specifically cites the example of Pap Khouma’s autobiographical Io, venditore di elefanti (1990), edited by well-known ­Italian journalist Oreste Pivetta. Hailed as one of the foundational texts of migration literature soon after its publication, it became a best-seller, has been translated into English and is included on high-school and university courses. The text relates the multiple migrations of the protagonist, Pap, and his daily dramas as he encounters police, faces racism, searches for housing, copes with homesickness and tries to survive economically as a street vendor. Khouma inserts the stories of other migrants into his own, which he also parallels with the political path of immigration law in Italy, entwining the ‘private’ with the ‘public’ story by relating how Pap changes as the environment changes around him. Harris disagrees with the widely held critical view that Khouma’s text was a watershed. Rather, she points out that Khouma’s text went out of print in the first decade after its publication and thus had a different reception from Dell’Oro’s best-selling text, which reinforces traditional views of race and power. Harris argues that, despite the interest in migration literature as a manifestation of multiculturalism, ‘Italian receptivity toward an African Diaspora’ (2008: 606) that does not support essentialised forms of hybridity is yet to be realised. Postcolonial Italy: Confronting Racism and Exclusion As one would expect, there is a degree of overlap between scholars who focus on the hybridising influence of migration literature – i.e., its role in reflecting cultural change – and scholars who employ postcolonial approaches. However,

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the studies cited in the previous section focus on hybridity in terms of individual and national identity construction. The studies outlined below explore postcolonial issues in terms of the discourses of power that typify colonial domination, and how those discourses play out in Italy’s current cultural racial attitudes, public policy (including the legal stance toward second-generation migrants) and the book market. Caterina Romeo (2011) examines the manifold portrayals of racism in migrant writers, arguing that constructions of racial otherness are the inheritance of Italian colonialism. Romeo delineates how the narrators in these texts experience racist attitudes in Italy that essentialise and marginalise migrants of colour: the narrator in Khouma’s (1990) Io, venditore di elefanti is picked up by the police in Italy and told to break-dance for their amusement, Methnani and Fortunato’s narrator in Immigrato (1990, Immigrant) tells how his skin colour actually renders him invisible socially and Bouchane’s (1990) narrator is perplexed when his Italian boss calls all migrants ‘marocchini’ regardless of their nationality (2011: 135–137). Romeo outlines occasions on which the black narrators are infantalised by white Italians, and sees these racist attitudes as the logical extension of colonialist discourses that inferiorise non-whites. She coins the term ‘nerezza’ (blackness) in order to discuss the idea of race in Italy as a social construct, which she distinguishes from the cultural movement of negritude (2011: 133), and gives particular attention to the intersection between race and gender. She cites Geneviève Makaping’s (2001) direct denunciation of ‘internalised racism’ (2011: 140) in her native Cameroon (for example, that lighter-skinned women are more prized as brides) as evidence that colonialist racist discourses have been absorbed into the dominated cultures and are re-encountered by migrants once they arrive in the land of the former colonisers. In the short stories by several authors collected in the volume Pecore nere (Kuruvilla et al. 2005, Black Sheep), Romeo further examines the intersections of race and gender in mixed marriages and in the children of those marriages, observing that interracial marriages and families ‘require constant social legitimization’ (2011: 144). However, she also underscores how the title ‘Black Sheep’ suggests both exclusion and inclusion for, while the ‘black sheep’ of a family is the rejected member, s/he still remains a member of that family and, by extension, a member of the nation (2011: 143). Romeo’s analysis of these authors’ works offers the conclusion that race is the focus of discrimination because the Italian construction of national identity has not yet widened to include non-whites (2011: 146). Postcolonial approaches have been criticised for essentialising diasporic ­experiences and ignoring differences between African countries. Sabrina Brancato (2008) problematises these issues; she explores the commonalities

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and differences of writings by African authors in different European contexts and asks if it is justified to theorise an Afro-European literature when even the notion of Europe is in question. She contextualises this question in terms of Europe’s conflicted approach to multiculturalism, which she considers to be ‘assimilation oriented’ (2008: 3). Brancato compares the production of African migrants in Italy (primarily texts of the ‘first wave’) and Spain – i.e., ‘new’ countries of migration – with their production in France and Britain – or ‘traditional’ countries of migration – in order to explore the extent to which Afrosporic literature can be grouped and studied under one umbrella term. Rather than offering a conclusion, her study raises issues about the migrant author’s choice of language. She considers the case of French-Algerian author Nassera Chohra, whose 1993 volume Volevo diventare bianca (I Wanted to Become White) is considered to be one of the foundational texts of Italian migration literature. Chohra was born in Marseille and her text deals predominantly with the events of her early life – her underprivileged childhood and youth in France, her migration to Italy as a young woman – and concludes with her marriage to an Italian man. Written in Italian with the collaboration of journalist Alessandra Atti di Sarro, Chohra’s narrative highlights the transnational character of migration, as Brancato (2008) underscores. The critic reads Chohra’s text as a manifestation of how the field of migration literature has been shaped by institutional forces such as the book market, the university and associazioni, asserting that these institutions promote migrant writers by capitalising on their racial difference. In this light, Brancato also cites the case of Jadelin Gangbo, who was born in the Republic of Congo in 1976 but was orphaned and came to Italy at the age of four. Gangbo was raised by Italian parents, but not granted Italian citizenship under Italian law (Parati 2005: 183). He has published four novels, the most widely read being Rometta e Giulieo, which was published in 2001 with the major publishing house Feltrinelli. As the title implies, Rometta e Giulieo refers to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers who, in Gangbo’s novel, are r­ ewritten as an Italian university student (Rometta), and a young Chinese man working as a pizza delivery boy (Giulieo). The narrative intertwines the development of their relationship with frustrated intrusions from the writer telling the story, as he is hounded by his publisher. In a Pirandellian move, the author, who is named Jadelin and who has fallen in love with Rometta himself, enters his own story, deletes his work and kills himself. Like other critics, Brancato acknowledges the creativity of the narrative and the orginality of the language that moves between modern spoken Italian and archaic language, but she is more intent on the formation of Gangbo as an author. At the outset of his writing career, he was encouraged by publishers to position himself as a migrant

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and, despite his initial resistance, did formulate a migrant identity (2008: 8–9). Brancato’s analysis suggests that the publishers’ insistence that Gangbo submit his work to contests for migrant authors and position himself as ‘other’ in order for his work to be published replicates colonial discourses of power: those in control of the cultural institutions determine who is ‘other’ and the ways in which ‘otherness’ is allowed to be performed. Postcolonial approaches recognise and seek to explore the relationships between diaspora and multicultural issues, translation studies and the postcolonial issues so frequently raised by authors whose paths of migration have carried them across these disciplines. Critics employ postcolonial tools to highlight the causal relationship between the legal exclusion and the social exclusion of migrants. For example, Alessandra di Maio’s (2008) analysis of Igiaba Scego’s (2005) short story ‘Salsicce’ (Sausages) reads the story against Italian legal policy (Law 26/1981) that offers no form of asylum to the children born of Italian fathers and African mothers in Italy’s former colonies who then come to Italy (di Maio 2008: 93–95). Igiaba Scego self-identifies as a ‘­second-generation’ migrant or ‘G2’. She was born in 1974 to Somali parents living in Rome, where her father was a government official. Growing up, she visited relatives in Somalia on occasion, and speaks in Somali with her relatives, but writes exclusively in Italian. She has published numerous short stories and novels, and feels that her cultural formation was Italian. Scego has been highly active in promoting the civil rights of children of migrant parents, more than half of whom are denied citizenship under current Italian law (Orton 2012). Di Maio (2008) analyses Scego’s best-known short story, ‘Salsicce’, in which the protagonist, a young Somali-Italian Muslim woman, attempts to shore up her Italian identity by eating sausages after her unpleasant visit to the police station, where she has had to be fingerprinted and registered because she is officially considered a migrant. Di Maio sees the ironic humour of the story, and the protagonist’s physical refusal to accept ‘Italianness’ in the form of prohibited meat (she vomits up the sausages) as a reversal of the law’s refusal to accept the ‘foreign’ bodies of colonial offspring (2008: 94–95). Her attempt to digest the sausages symbolises her endeavour to ‘internalise’ Italian culture, and her failure suggests a mutual rejection – not only can she not accept Italian ways, but Italian society will not accept her. Orton’s study (2012) reads Scego’s acclaimed novel, La mia casa è dove sono (2010, My Home is Where I Am) as an interrogation of the discourses that inform the current legislation excluding second-generation migrants in Italy. She argues that Scego’s autobiographical work unveils the contradictory rhetoric that pays lip service to the value of multiculturalism and purports to champion it but, in actuality, maintains the stereotypes and power structures

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inherited from colonialism that marginalise foreigners and their children. Orton concentrates on Scego’s theme of maps in the novel, which is structured not chronologically but geographically. Every chapter centres upon a public landmark in Rome, which the author redefines by rewriting its relationship to Italy’s colonial past. By redrawing the map of Rome, Scego rewrites and makes public repressed history. Scego’s works have done much to draw attention to the disenfranchisment of ‘G2’ individuals and call into question the shadow of colonial practices that still obscure race relations in Italy.

Feminist Approaches: Female Roles between Multidimensional Marginalisation and Intercultural Mediation While practitioners of feminist approaches to migrant literature in Italy share significant methodological overlap with scholars in other disciplines, and feminism often concerns itself, as does postcolonialism, with issues of hybridity, one must not attempt to subsume feminist approaches into postcolonial approaches or into other theoretical interpretations. First, feminist issues cannot be considered secondary to or derivative of other analytical frameworks. To consider them as such would be to automatically diminish and downgrade feminist values. Second, even if feminist terminology and investigative strategy may seem superficially similar to postcolonial approaches, for example, feminist interpretations frequently reach different, and valuably different, conclusions. A slightly different frame will often yield a very different picture. As the corpus of texts by female authors connected to Italy’s former colonies has grown, feminist interpretations have increasingly overlapped with postcolonial studies and diaspora studies, inviting literary explorations of the relationship between postcolonialism and female subjectivity. Unsurprisingly, feminist interpretations of Italian migration literature are varied and frequently at variance with each other. Referencing Parati and West (2002), Cinzia Sartini Blum suggests that such divergent views in feminist interpretions reflect the ‘“inherent plurality” of feminist thought’ (2008: 47). As more and more female authors have published their work, critics have analysed issues of identity construction, the creation of private versus public space, the role of language and the performance of gender. Scholars examine authors’ contrasting constructions of femininity in different cultural contexts, constructions which interact and frequently conflict. Judith Butler’s theories of gender as performative and Gayatri Spivak’s theorisation of women as subaltern have influenced readings of ­migrant authors. Migration profoundly affects the intersection of race, class and gender, as moving from one national context to another can dramatically realign how these distinctions are perceived and performed. Cinzia Sartini Blum examines both writing by female migrant authors and female characters

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in the writings of male migrant authors, arguing that the many female roles portrayed show women as intercultural mediators. Blum shows how, in the writings of male authors such as Kossi Komla-Ebri and Pap Khouma, women ‘subvert the topos of the female as “place” (a means of assimilation) on the conventional itinerary of the male journey’ (2008: 225); in texts by female authors Shirin Fazel and Igiaba Scego, Blum applies Braidotti’s ideas of the countermemory of the nomad and the destabilising effect of memory as inherently multifaceted to show how ‘literature is constituted as the location where … the productive dialogue between different cultures has taken place’ (Blum 2008: 253). Lidia Curti’s analyses (2006, 2011a, 2011b) also focus on the concept of multiple female identities. She interprets the writings of female migrant authors Maria Viarengo, Chohra, Dell’Oro and Sibatu as acts of ‘writing across borders’ (2011b:  47) and an ‘example of nomadism between languages and cultures’ (2011b: 51). Curti sees these works as evidence of Italy’s redefinition as a multicultural nation, a view she elaborates on in her study of writers Cristina Ubax Ali Farah, Gabriella Ghermandi and Igiaba Scego. Curti describes these writers as ‘multidimensional marginalised subjects’ (2011a: 79); all are postcolonial subjects, though with very different stories of migration (Scego and Ali Farah self-identify as second-generation or ‘G2’ writers, while Ghermandi came to Italy from Ethiopia at the age of 14). Curti utilises Hall and Du Gay’s (1996) concepts of the fluidity of cultural identity and ethnicity as a process of negotiation to examine the plurality of identities constructed in these authors’ texts. Curti examines the motifs of journey and diaspora in terms of the ‘double aspect’ of the migrant condition: on the one hand, exclusion and, on the other, ‘the opening to a new world’ (2011a: 86) and demonstrates how the narrators’ transversal identities play out in the co-presence of multiple languages. In her studies, Curti repeatedly asserts that these writings are contributions to Italy’s formation as a multicultural nation, an issue that consistently recurs in postcolonial interpretations of Italian migration literature. Graziella Parati’s critical background in autobiography and gender studies (1993, 1995, 1997) has informed her work on female migrants writing from a postcolonial context. Her article ‘Looking through non-Western eyes: immigrant women’s autobiographical narratives in Italian’ (1997) juxtaposes the autobiographical narratives of Nassera Chohra (1993) and Maria Viarengo (1990) to show that these are stories of privileged migration (Chohra came to Italy as a tourist, Viarengo was sent to Italy from Ethiopia by her Italian father to receive an Italian education) and cannot be read as representative of the experience of migrant women. Parati evaluates how these authors resist the kind of essentialisation of otherness that Spivak (1990) warns of in The Postcolonial Critic

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(1997: 123–124) by weaving together her analysis of their texts with her interviews of the authors. In these interviews, the authors required Parati to justify her purpose and her motives; they questioned her own experiences of migration, they resisted some questions and, at some points, Chohra even turned off the tape recorder (1997: 122). Parati is very aware that having the authors expand and critique their own writings turns the act of analysis into a collaboration and unseats the critic’s privileged position of power. She employs Luisa Passerini’s idea of the ‘right to autobiography’ as the ‘affirmation to be in history and to have a history’ (1997: 121–122) and reads migrants’ autobiographical works as an essential part of the history of migration. Indeed, all of Parati’s work repeatedly emphasises how writing is a way in which migrant authors can inscribe themselves into the Italian cultural identity.

Impact

Perhaps the best way to characterise the impact of the study of migrant authors on Italian literary studies generally is to suggest that both migration literature and the study of it have acted as countervoices to the established and more traditional approaches. In addition, migration literature and the literary analysis of it have evolved in concert, mutually supporting and redefining each other. The wide spectrum of approaches that has existed from the field’s very outset still accurately typifies the diversity of approaches and the interdisciplinary nature of migration literature studies in Italy. Although the first autobiographical works by migrants were initially received with interest, and some texts since then have been recognised with literary awards, translated into multiple other languages and even included in school curricula at high-school and university levels, migration literature has, both in cases of individual works and as a genre, made little headway into being accepted into the Italian canon. Thus far, no work of migration literature has been included in any anthology or general history of Italian literature. However, just as migration literature branched out from its initially autobiographical nature and has entered the dialogue about migration issues themselves, so the study of migration literature quickly veered from the realm of mere canonical debate to embrace theories and approaches that can contribute more directly and e­ ffectively to the public and cultural discourses shaping migration issues and Italian self-definition. While the study of migration literature has not seen the changes in the Italian literary establishment for which some might have hoped, it is in ­itself a viable countervoice and, as such, an expansion of literary and critical dialogue about migration and national definition, and part of a Zeitgeist that

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has seen the establishment of an emigration museum in Rome10 and such mainstream cousins as Gianni Amelio’s critically acclaimed film Lamerica.11 The success of migration literature studies can also be charted though the collaborative and grass-roots organisations that both advance the development of literary studies and support the production and dissemination of migrant literature. Whether this Zeitgeist will flourish until migration literature is substantially accepted into the canon of Italian national literature and cultural, sociological and interdisciplinary literary approaches are deemed valid by the literary establishment remains to be seen. For now, the theoretical tools of migration literature studies will continue to question the aesthetically oriented standard practice, just as migration literature functions as countermemory to official discourses about Italian cultural identity, and migration itself forces a rethinking of Italian nationalism. As countervoice, the study of migration literature, together with the efforts of migrant authors themselves, has already claimed and changed a part of the literary and political dialogue – if for no other reason than that both authors and critics have seen the literary and political as themselves inextricable, and both as woven tightly into the broadcloth of personal and national identity.

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Clearly, the interest in emigration and immigration has not always converged in Italy. While emigration has become an accepted element of Italy’s history, immigration has not. Indeed, the National Museum of Italian Emigration was opened in Rome in October 2009 in an overt attempt, according to Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the main force behind the museum, Alfreddo Mantica, to ‘reinsert emigration into Italy’s history’. The President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, suggested that Italy’s current cultural re-definition as a nation of immigration played a role in official attempts to incorporate Italy’s history of emigration in the country’s official history. At the museum’s opening ceremonies, President Napolitano stated ‘Today we welcome immigrants and have become a country of massive immigration, but we must never forget that we are a country of emigrants…. We Italians have left our mark all over the world … there are 50 million people today in the world with at least one-eighth Italian blood and it is right to consider them part of the community’ (see . The city of Turin established a museum of Italian emigration in 2006. Lamerica (1994) tells the odyssey of a Southern Italian con man’s attempts to re-enter Italy from Albania, and makes overt parallels between the contemporary mass migration of Albanians into Italy and the earlier mass migrations of Italians to the United States. The film underscores the tragedy, inaccuracy and power of the belief in the mythical ‘Lamerica’ held by modern Albanian migrants and earlier Italian migrants.

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References Abate, C. (1986) I Germanesi. Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino. Abate, C. (2004) La festa del ritorno. Segrate: Mondadori. Abate, C. (2010) The Homecoming Party. New York: Penguin (trans. Antony Shugaar). Ali Farah, C.U. (2007) Madre piccola. Milan: Frassinelli. Ali Farah, C.U. (2011) Little Mother. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press (trans. Giovanna Bellesia-Contuzzi). Blum, C.S. (2008) Rewriting the Journey in Contemporary Italian Literature: Figures of Subjectivity in Progress. Toronto, Toronto University Press. Bouchane, M. (1990) Chiamatemi Ali. Milan: Leonardo. Brancato, S. (2008) ‘Afro-European literature(s): a new discursive category?’, Research in African Literatures, 39(3): 1–13. Burns, J. (2003) ‘Borders within the text: authorship, collaboration and mediation in writing in Italian by immigrants’, in L. Polezzi and J. Burns (eds) Borderlines. Migrazioni e identità nel novecento. Isernia: Cosmo Iannone editore, 387–398. Calavita, K. (2005) Immigrants at the Margins: Law, Race, and Exclusion in Southern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chohra, N. (1993) Volevo diventare bianca. Rome: E/O (ed. Alessandra Atti di Sarro). Comberiati, D. (2010) ‘“Missioni”: double identity and plurilinguism in the works of three female migrant writers in Italy’, in M. Gebauer and P. Schwarz Lausten (eds) Migration and Literature in Contemporary Europe. Munich: Martin Meidenbauer, 205–218. Cosenza, F. (2011) Letteratura nascente e dintorni. Milan: Biblioteca Dergano Bovisa. Curti, L. (2006) La voce dell’altra: Scritture ibride tra femminismo e postcoloniale. Rome: Meletemi. Curti, L. (2011a) ‘Transcultural itineraries in women’s literature of migration in Italy’, Feminist Review Conference Proceedings, Feminist Review, e79–e92. Curti, L. (2011b) ‘Voices of a minor empire: migrant women writers in contemporary Italy’, in G. Parati and A. Tamburri (eds) The Cultures of Italian Migration: Diverse Trajectories and Discrete Perspectives. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 45–58. Dell’Oro, E. (1991) L’abbandono. Una storia Eritrea. Turin: Einaudi. Di Maio, A. (2008) Wor(l)ds in Progress. A Study of Contemporary Migrant Writings. Milan: Mimesis. Dossier Statistico 1989. Rome: Caritas. Enciclopedia de estudios afroeuropeos (2012) http://www.encyclopediaofafroeuropean studies.eu/encyclopedia/category/italy/literatura/?lang=en, 11 December 2017. Eurostat European Commission (2017) , 30 May 2018. Fazel, S.R. (1994) Lontano da Mogadiscio. Rome: Datanews.

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Fazel, S.R. (2013) Far from Mogadishu. Milan: Novecento Media (trans. Shirin Fazel). Ganeri, M. (2010) ‘The broadening concept of “migration literature” in contemporary Italy’, Forum Italicum, 44(2): 437–451. Gangbo, J.M. (2001) Rometta e Giulieo. Milan: Feltrinelli. Gnisci, A. (1992) Il rovescio del gioco. Rome: Carucci. Gnisci, A. (1998) La letteratura italiana della migrazione. Rome: Lilith. Gnisci, A. (2001) Una storia diversa. Meletemi: Rome. Gnisci, A. (2004) Via della decolonizzazione europea. Cosmo Iannone: Rome. Gnisci, A. (2006) Nuovo Planetario Italiano. Geografia e antologia della letteratura della migrazione in Italia e in Europa. Troina: Città aperta. Gnisci, A. (2011) Manifesto trasculturale, 16 May, http://ww3.comune.fe.it/­ vocidalsilenzio/gniscimanifesto.htm. Gnisci, A. and N. Moll (2002) Diaspore europee e lettere migranti. Rome: Edizioni interculturali. Hajdari, G. (2008) Poesie scelte: 1990–2007. Nardò: Editore Controluce. Hall, S. and P. Du Gay (1996) Questions of Cultural Identity. London: Sage. Harris, L.A. (2008) ‘Hybrid Italians, diasporic Africans’, Callaloo, 31(2): 600–608. Ibba, A. and R. Taddeo, eds (1999) La lingua strappata. Milan: Leoncavallo Libri. Jaeggy, F. (1989) I beati anni del castigo. Milan: Adelphi. Khouma, P. (1990) Io, venditore di elefanti. Milan: Garzanti (ed. Oreste Pivetta). Khouma, P. (2010a) I Was an Elephant Salesman. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press (Trans. Rebecca Hopkins). Khouma, P. (2010b) Noi italiani neri: storie di ordinario razzismo. Milan: Baldini and Castoldi Dalai. King, R. and N. Mai (2011) Out of Albania: From Crisis Migration to Social Inclusion in Italy. New York: Berghahn. Komla-Ebri, K. (2002a) Neyla. Milan: Edizioni Dell’Arco. Komla-Ebri, K. (2002b) Imbarazzismi: quotitidiani imbarazzi in bianco e nero. Milan: Edizioni dell’Arco Marna. Komla-Ebri, K. (2004) Nuovi imbarazzismi: quotidiani imbarazzi in bianco e nero … e a colori. Milan: Edizioni dell’Arco Marna. Kuruvilla, G., I. Mubiayi, I. Scego and L. Wadia, eds (2005) Pecore nere. Racconti. Bari: Laterza. Makaping, G. (2001) Traiettorie e sguardi: E se gli altri foste voi? Soveria Mannelli, Calabria: Rubbettino. Marotti, M.O., ed. (1996) Italian Women Writers from the Renaissance to the Present: Revising the Canon. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Mauceri, M.C. (2011) ‘I nuovi scrittori italiani: vent’anni dopo’, El Ghibli, 8(32). Methnani, S. and M. Fortunato (1990) Immigrato. Rome: Theoria. Orton, M. (2011a) ‘Telling uneasiness: second generation migrant writers in Italy and the failures of multiculturalism’, Italian Studies, 66(3): 393–412.

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Orton, M. (2011b) ‘Comicità e capitale culturale: l’umorismo di Kossi Komla-Ebri’, in F. Pezzarossa and I. Rossini (eds) Leggere il testo e il mondo: Vent’anni di scritture della migrazione in Italia. Bologna: CLUEB, 183–198. Orton, M. (2012) ‘Writing the nation: migration literature and national identity’, Italian Culture, 30(1): 21–37. Orton, M. and G. Parati, eds (2007) Multicultural Literature in Contemporary Italy. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Parati, G. (1993) ‘When the “other” is black: potraits of Africans by contemporary Italian writers’, in Romance Language Annual Vol. 5. West Lafayette: Purdue Research Foundation, 272–277. Parati, G. (1995) ‘Italophone voices’, Italian Studies in Southern Africa, 8(2): 1–15. Parati, G. (1997) ‘Looking through non-Western eyes: immigrant women’s autobiographical narratives in Italian’, in G. Brinker-Gabler and S. Smith (eds) Writing New Identities: Gender, Nation, and Immigration in Contemporary Europe. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 118–142. Parati, G., ed. (1999) Mediterranean Crossroads: Migration Literature in Italy. Madison NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Parati, G. (2005) Migration Italy: The Art of Talking Back in a Destination Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Parati, G. and R. West, eds (2002) Italian Feminist Theory and Practice: Equality and Sexual Difference. Madison NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Pezzarossa, F. (2008) ‘Interscrittura. Un laboratorio di scrittura interculturale’, in M. Traversi and M. Ognisanti (eds) Letterature migranti e identità urbane. Milan: Franco Angeli, 35–50. Pressburger, G. (1989) La legge degli spazi bianchi. Turin: Marietti. Romeo, C. (2011) ‘Rappresentazioni di razza e nerezza in vent’anni di letteratura postcoloniale afroitaliana’, in F. Pezzarossa and I. Rossini (eds) Leggere il testo e il mondo: Vent’anni di scritture della migrazione in Italia. Bologna: CLUEB, 127–150. Scego, I. (2005) ‘Salsicce’, in G. Kuruvilla, I. Mubiayi, I. Scego and L. Wadia (eds) Pecore nere. Racconti. Bari: Laterza, 23–36. Scego, I. (2010) La mia casa è dove sono. Milan: Rizzoli. Schwarz Lausten, P. (2010) ‘Living in a language: Italian migration literature’, in M. Gebauer and P. Schwarz Lausten (eds) Migration and Literature in Contemporary Europe. Munich: Martin Meidenbauer, 93–111. Spivak, G. (1990) The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues. London and New York: Routledge. Viarengo, M.A. (1990) ‘Andiamo a spasso [Scirscir’n demna]’, Linea d’ombra, 54: 75–76. Wren-Owens, E. (2011) ‘Authenticating, authorizing, politicizing: paratext and firstwave Italian American and African Italian autobiographies’, Forum Italicum, 45(1): 166–186.

Chapter 10

Challenging the Myth of Homogeneity: Immigrant Writing in Japan Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt Abstract The chapter begins by stating that, despite the presence of immigrant writers in Japan, the term ‘immigrant literature’ is exclusively used to refer to immigrant literatures in foreign countries. In contrast, the literature written by minority authors inside Japan is usually categorised according to the authors’ ethnic origin. The chapter argues that the absence of a generic term pointing to the writers’ migration experience can be related to both the heterogeneity of this relatively small group of writers, as well as to Japan’s generally rejective stance towards immigration. Both factors also explain the comparatively little scholarly attention that minority literatures have attracted so far. The chapter’s main focus is on the literature of ethnic Koreans in Japan, which dates back to the colonial period (1910–45) and which, thanks to its literary importance, has been studied since around 1980. In addition, recent trends in research on first-generation foreign-born authors are outlined.



Introduction

There is no such thing as an immigrant literature in Japan. Needless to say, modern Japan has been subject to foreign immigration for decades, and a considerable number of these immigrants and their descendants do write. By far the most important group in this respect is the Korean minority, which has its roots in the Japanese colonisation of Korea (1910–1945) and, from its very beginning, has given birth to numerous successful writers. Nonetheless, the term imin bungaku – a literal translation of the English expression ‘immigrant literature’ – is hardly ever applied to ethnic and immigrant writing within Japan. Instead, it is exclusively used for immigrant literatures in foreign countries. In the context of Japanese literary studies, imin bungaku refers in particular to works produced by writers of Japanese ancestry in the Americas (this particular subcategory of immigrant literature is also termed ‘Japanese language literature’ – nihongo bungaku; see below).

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Instead of a generic term, the literature written by minority authors inside Japan is categorised according to the authors’ ethnic origin, with the so-called Resident Korean Literature (zainichi chōsenjin bungaku, often abbreviated as zainichi bungaku) being the single most important category. In fact, among the various signifiers of Japanese minority literatures, zainichi literature is the only label that points to works written by immigrants and, nowadays, their Japan-born descendants. Other commonly used terms such as Okinawa literature and Ainu literature refer to indigenous ethnic variation inside Japan or, as in the case of Burakumin literature, to ethnic Japanese ‘outcast’ literature. While Koreans represent by far the largest group of ethnic-minority writers who have attracted increased academic attention since the late 1970s, a handful of foreign-born writers of Japanese such as Ian Hideo Levy (born 1950 in the United States), Arthur Binard (b. 1967 in the United States), David ­Zoppetti (b. 1962 in Switzerland), Yáng Yi1 (b. 1964 in China), Tián Yuán (b. 1965 in China), Shirin Nezammafi (b. 1979 in Iran) and others have emerged since the mid1990s. Most of them rose to fame as they were short-listed for or awarded prestigious literary prizes. While they received considerable media attention on the occasion, scholarly analyses of their works – with the notable exception of Hideo Levy – are scarce and for the most part limited to short treatises. The analytical focus tends to be on the issue of what it means to be writing in a language other than one’s mother tongue, which explains why non-native immigrant writers of Japanese are often discussed together with bilingual Japanese authors like Tawada Yōko (b. 1960) – writing in Japanese and German – or Mizumura Minae (b. 1951), who spent much of her youth in the us and became known for mixing Japanese with English. This literature is sometimes referred to as ‘border-crossing literature’ (ekkyō bungaku) and even more often ­subsumed under the umbrella term ‘Japanese-language literature’ (nihongo bungaku), the bulk of which consists of texts written by Japanese emigrants, particularly those residing in the Americas. As will be detailed below, both terms codify the writers’ position as outsiders and stress the linguistic aspect of their literary expression rather than their migration background. The above illustrates the strong propensity prevalent in Japanese literary research to create a wealth of literary categories and labels to which I will later return. The absence of an overall term pointing to the migration experience and the writers’ status as immigrants in Japan is thus remarkable and can be related to multiple possible reasons. First of all, Japan is far from regarding itself as a country of immigration. Although the number of registered foreigners 1 East Asian names are transcribed following the East Asian order, in which the family name precedes the personal name.

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has been rising over recent decades, the total number is indeed low, amounting to no more than about two million in 2011, which corresponds to far less than 2 per cent of the population.2 Japan is a hyper-aged country whose birth rate is well below the replacement level; in fact, population decline has continued for about a decade. However, despite the problematic demographic trend and notwithstanding the Japanese Business Federation’s urgent call for an expedite increase in skilled long-term immigration, the Japanese government is extremely reluctant to change its closed-door policy. Although no longer an official doctrine, the notion that Japan is (and should remain) a racially unified and ethnically homogenous nation is deeply rooted. Cultural nationalism is thus likely to play a role when it comes to explaining the imbalance between the literary significance of Korean-minority and other immigrant writers, and the comparatively limited scholarly attention they have received in terms of quantity. However, the cited lack of an overall category may also be owed to the obvious differences in the historic development of these literatures. For a long time, Koreans were simply the only group of immigrants to produce a substantial amount of literature. Although any ­‘non-Japanese’ author writing in Japanese ultimately poses a challenge to the concept of national literature (kokubungaku), in terms of mother tongue and country of origin, these writers are of very diverse backgrounds. In fact, whereas the zainichi literary tradition carries the burden of colonialism, linguistic suppression and socio-cultural stigmatisation, more recent transnational writers such as those mentioned above are not only few in number but have chosen both Japan as a place of residence and Japanese as their literary language of their own free will. As will be detailed below, their common discussion under the label of ‘Japanese-language literature’ has been criticised from a postcolonial point of view as concealing these differences. Indeed, it must be added, the very term nihongo bungaku has been criticised for its exclusionist connotations. Owing to the long history and literary importance of zainichi Korean writing in Japan, and considering the lack of systematic research on more recent immigrant literatures, the main emphasis of this chapter will be on the literature 2 In recent years, the number of Chinese newcomers has risen to about a third of all foreign residents, outnumbering the Korean minority who, with a quite constant half a million members, had represented the largest group of (now mostly Japan-born) ‘foreigners’ since 1945. South Americans of Japanese ancestry who were admitted to Japan to relieve the labour shortage of the late 1980s and Filipinos also form numerically significant foreign groups but have not produced any commercially successful authors and will thus not be discussed further here. Notably, only about half of the foreigners living in Japan hold permanent visa (Ministry of Justice 2011).

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of Koreans in Japan and their study. In addition, trends in research on more recent immigrant literatures will be mentioned where applicable.

Historical Background and Development of the Field



A By-product of Colonial Labour Immigration: Zainichi Korean Writing After 250 years of political seclusion and very limited contact with the outside world, Japan was forced to open up to Western trade in the mid-nineteenth century. This encounter quickly led to the introduction of radical reforms aimed at a thorough ‘modernisation’ of state structures, including the establishment of a judiciary and a public education system, as well as an industrial economy. Japan rapidly developed military and diplomatic strength and, again inspired by the Western model, soon strove to acquire its own colonies. The adoption of imperialism not only helped to contain the lingering threat of colonisation but also promised to pave the way to true equality with the Western powers. Next to China, Korea had for centuries been the most important source of cultural and technological progress but, due to its slower pace of modernisation, now became regarded as less civilised and inferior. Less than a decade after the establishment of a modern Japanese nation-state in 1868, Japan coerced Korea into so-called unequal treaties, which gave it extraordinary powers on the peninsula. In 1905, Korea was declared a protectorate and, five years later, annexed. Koreans were made Japanese nationals and thus became legally eligible to work in Japan; however, it was not until the 1930s that the pace of migration (which, by then, included forced labour) picked up speed. Approximately 800,000 in 1938, the number of Koreans in Japan swelled to about 2 million by the end of the war (Weiner 1994: 187–208). The currently used term zainichi chōsen kankokujin, meaning Resident North and South Koreans, came into use in the early postwar years. Although technically still Japanese nationals, the approximately 650,000 Koreans who stayed in Japan after 1945 were subjected to alien registration (Kashiwazaki 2000). When the San Francisco Peace Treaty went into effect in 1952, their Japanese nationality was revoked3 and they became officially referred to as 3 As Japan had no diplomatic ties with either of the two Korean states, the revocation left the immigrants stateless until they became able to apply for South Korean nationality in 1965. Although only those who took on South Korean citizenship were granted permanent resident status in Japan, very few Koreans did so. The reasons included their opposition to the military government in the South (whose members had collaborated with Japan during the colonial

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Resident – zainichi – Koreans, a term which suggests that the Koreans do not really belong to Japanese society but will eventually return to their homeland. The notion of Korean residents as temporary sojourners was, however, over decades, shared by many in the zainichi community, notably by their political organisations which, for this reason, did not actively strive to improve Koreans’ living conditions in Japan until the 1980s. By this time, the vast majority of zainichi Koreans were Japan-born, many of them second-, third- or even fourth-generation immigrants who, despite their legal status as foreigners, spoke very little or no Korean.4 Japan had naturally become regarded as their permanent place of residence. The overwhelming majority of pre-1945 colonial immigrants had consisted of impoverished, illiterate farmers. This dominance of unskilled labourers led to a negative stereotyping of Koreans as uneducated and uncivilised, a stereotype which persisted well into the postwar era, deeply influencing second- and even third-generation ethnic-Korean-minority writing thought to set in during the late 1960s and late 1980s respectively. However, even among the earliest immigrants there was a tiny but culturally productive elite of intellectuals who published anything from dictionaries to fiction written in Japanese, with the earliest novella dating from 1909. The number of works slowly grew in the 1920s and saw a significant increase in the late 1930s and 1940s (Kawamura 1999a: 314–326). These bilingual authors, some of whom later returned to their native Korea, came to be regarded as the first generation of ethnic-Korean authors writing in Japanese in the postwar literary discourse. The authors’ decision to write in the language of their colonial oppressors was motivated by a number of strategic considerations, including the tremendously high degree of illiteracy in contemporary Korea and the perceived need to inform a Japanese audience of the economic misery of the exploited Korean populace. From the period), sympathy for the socialist Northern regime (presumably made up of former liberation fighters) and a refusal to acknowledge the North–South division. Those who did not take on South Korean citizenship are designated as originating from chōsen or ‘Korea’, referring to the peninsula as a geographic region and thus not constituting a nationality in the legal sense. Accompanying the democratisation of the South and concurrent decline of the North in the late 1980s and 1990s, and especially after the abduction of dozens of Japanese citizens by North Koreans was made public in the early 2000s, a growing number of people changed their registration from chōsen to South Korea. 4 Japan-born zainichi outnumbered their parents’ generation around 1970; intermarriage with Japanese also increased sharply around that time. However, as Japanese nationality law follows the principle of ius sanguinis, by which citizenship is conferred by ‘blood’ descent, in legal terms the immigrants remain as foreigners for generations unless they naturalise. For decades, foreigners were obliged to take on a Japanese name upon naturalisation.

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viewpoint of Japanese imperialist propaganda, the emergence of authors from the colonies writing in Japanese was regarded as welcome evidence of a successful assimilation and was thus encouraged.5 Indeed, Japanese colonial policies were aimed at the eradication of all traces of Korean culture and a complete amalgamation into the Japanese empire. Central measures included the prohibition of the Korean language (Chou 1996: 48–55) and the forced adoption of a Japanese name (Kim Yŏng-dal 1997). In the Koreas, these laws were immediately revoked after liberation and are now no more than a historical footnote but, in Japan, this legislation had long-lasting effects. Harajiri notes, for example, that, even in the 1990s, more than 90 per cent of the Koreans in Japan were using a Japanese name for everyday affairs (Harajiri 1998: 171). This implies that even the choice of (pen-)name thus becomes a political one for Korean-minority authors, as does the definition of ‘mother tongue’ vs ‘foreign language’. In the early postwar years, the growing invisibility of the minority, on the one hand, and the abandonment of aggressive assimilation policies on the other, led to a decreased interest in resident Korean authors’ Japanese literature. Equally, on the part of those Koreans who stayed on in Japan, recovering their ‘Koreanness’ appeared to be more urgent than continuing to publish in Japanese mainstream media. Indeed, many of the second-generation authors who debuted in the 1960s as writers of Japanese had earlier published texts in Korean periodicals run by zainichi Korean organisations. The Japanese publishers to whom they now turned were not implementing any particular programme to promote zainichi writing but accepted the pieces on the basis of their literary quality. Rather, a zainichi writers’ decision to submit to Japanese publishers can be interpreted as an attempt to regain creative freedom, both in regard to language – it had proved more than difficult for many authors born and/or raised in Japan to compose literary texts in what they nonetheless regarded as their mother tongue, Korean – and, to a degree, also in regard to content. That is, the turn to Japanese publishing houses usually followed a break with the highly ideological, pro-North Korean and, often enough, fiercely a­ nti-Japanese Korean organisations. This is not to suggest that the second generation was less politicised than the first – it clearly was not – but authors generally opposed the peninsula’s political division and tended to identify with ‘Korea’ as a whole. As South Korea democratised and the North’s economy and political reputation deteriorated, this assertion of neutrality slowly became a minority position and does not play any role among third-generation zainichi­ 5 Needless to say, these texts were subject to severe censorship, just like any work published by mainland Japanese authors.

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authors – a category which was the first to include women writers – who generally stay clear of party politics. Becoming Writers: Conditions of Literary Production The development of more recent immigrant writing in Japan followed a very different path that showed few similarities to the zainichi Korean experience. Most importantly, all the foreign writers mentioned in the introduction are first-generation immigrants who, themselves, chose to go to Japan. Their cultural and geographical origins are very diverse, but what most of these authors share is an academic background. Many first went to Japan as university students – a number of them hold degrees in Japanese literature – and quite a few moved on to work as part-time or even full-time university lecturers. While there are no programmes to further immigrant authors writing in Japanese, a small but influential prize must be mentioned here. Founded by Boyan Hishig, a trilingual (Mongolian–Chinese–Japanese) poet, upon his return to Mongolia, the Foreign Students’ Literature Prize (Ryūgakusei Bungakushō) was awarded to eight writers between 2001 and 2010. Although, thanks to coverage in nationwide newspapers, the number of submissions kept on rising to more than 100 at a time, the prize had to be discontinued due to the lack of funding. The reason why the prize is still worth mentioning is that two of the laureates – Tián Yuán, who received the inaugural prize and later served on the selection committee, and Shirin Nezammafi, who was honoured in 2006 – were able to pursue careers as a bilingual poet and prolific translator, and a successful writer, respectively. Unsurprisingly, due to its much longer history and thanks to its rootedness in a larger community, zainichi Korean literature has been published in a far wider range of arenas. As outlined above, literature written by ethnic Koreans in Japanese has existed since the colonial era. Much of this literature was printed in mainstream Japanese journals and established publishing houses. However, a number of ethnic-Korean journals, many of which were founded by established zainichi writers, have appeared over the decades, some of which exclusively focused on literature. Minshu Chōsen, published in the immediate postwar years (1946–1950), was probably the first ethnic journal to include literary texts. Jindarae and its successor, Karion, are also two very early examples. Originally published in around 20 volumes by the Group of Osaka-based Korean Poets in the turmoil of the 1950s, they have recently been made accessible again through reprints (see the second section of this chapter). Founded about two decades later, Sanzenri (1957–1987, 50 volumes) was another periodical covering a wide range of issues relating to Koreans in Japan, including literary texts and a special issue on literary criticism in 1979. A similarly broad approach

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was taken by Seikyū, brought out in 25 volumes between 1989 and 1996. Kakyō, a small journal devoted to the study of zainichi Korean literature which has been appearing since 1977 has also occasionally printed primary texts. Possibly more widely read but not as long-lived was Mintō which, in the three years of its existence (1987–1990), published ten volumes of zainichi Korean literature and criticism. In 2006, Chi ni fune o koge, a journal dedicated to publishing the work of female minority writers, was established but was recently discontinued after issuing seven volumes in late 2012. To my knowledge, the organisation behind this journal was the only one ever to sponsor a small literary prize meant to further zainichi (women) writers. This effort itself was honoured with the (equally small) 11th Women’s Culture Award in 2007. However, none of the recipients of the Chi ni fune o koge prize was able to gain wider recognition, let alone to launch a career as a full-time writer. As the above shows, although of minor importance in terms of circulation, ethnic literary periodicals did play a crucial role in publishing literary texts. Several of the more well-known authors – such as, for example, Yang Sŏk-il (b. 1936, co-founder of Jindarae) – wrote their first pieces for zainichi Korean magazines, and others – like Ri Kaisei (b. 1935), one of the most revered authors of the second literary generation of zainichi writers – continued to do so even in the late 1980s, which naturally increased the journals’ attraction for readers and lesswell-known writers alike. Treasured by readers and researchers, these periodicals served as a testing ground for a large number of aspiring minority writers and, in fact, became a springboard to a professional literary career for some. The authors of the second generation, in particular, started out writing for ethnic journals, though some third-generation authors have also published there. In addition to publication in ethnic journals, appearing irregularly and available only by subscription, a significant amount of zainichi Korean literature was distributed via the same publication channels as that written by Japanese authors, which means advance publication in a nationwide monthly literary journal and, in some cases, as short sequels in a daily newspaper with, later, book publication by one of the large Tokyo-based publishing houses. Apart from the journals and associations mentioned above, there are no special institutions supporting zainichi authors or, in fact, other immigrant writers, nor are there well-established writing competitions, writing labs or widely recognised literary prizes reserved for ethnic-minority or immigrant writing. The abovementioned Foreign Students’ Literature Prize is thus a notable but short-lived exception. As shown, in the case of zainichi writing there is not only an abundance of literary material published in ethnic journals geared towards a niche market, but also an impressive amount of far more visible literature, much of which .

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has been canonised via its inclusion in a number of anthologies. However, overall it must be stated that the material conditions under which zainichi Korean literature has been published, as well as questions concerning the influence which these extra-literary factors have had on writers’ careers, have yet to be researched in detail. All this makes it difficult to assess how much minority writers (feel they) had to fight for recognition, and perceptions may well differ. For example, Hikari no naka ni (1939, Into the Light, 2011) by Kim Sa-ryang (1914–1950) who, together with Kim Tal-su (1919–1997), is frequently given as the founding father of zainichi literature, was short-listed in 1940 for Japan’s most prestigious literary prize, the Akutagawa Prize (founded in 1934). However, it took another 31 years for a Korean-minority writer to actually receive the award.6 In his speech of acceptance, Ri Kaisei dedicated his prize to Kim Sa-ryang, suggesting that the selection committee’s decision back in 1940 might not have been directed by purely literary motivations. Contrary to Ri’s perception, however, Edward Mack, author of a seminal study on how modes of book production, promotion and consumption influence ideas of literary value, emphasises that the selection committee was, in fact, eager to promote literary voices from the colonies. He notes that ‘of the twenty-one prewar and wartime Akutagawa Prize works, fourteen either take place abroad or focus on non-Japanese characters’ (Mack 2010: 204). Mack quotes Kawamura Minato’s assertion that the prewar prize ‘even played the role of stimulating the appearance of a literature that collaborated with foreign expansion strategies. It would not be an overstatement to say that those literary works were running a three-legged race with the period’s social trends and the ideology of national policy’ (Kawamura 1999b: 205). The nomination of Hikari no naka ni – as well as the final selection of a work by an author from Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, whose status was that of an internal colony – clearly follows that pattern. What is remarkable about the nomination of Hikari no naka ni, therefore, is perhaps less that the author went away empty-handed, and more that the book’s critique of imperial Japan’s notorious name-changing policy was obviously not perceived as such by committee members and state censors. A much more recent and, perhaps, obvious example of resistance to ethnic Korean writers is the cancellation of several autograph sessions of the Akutagawa laureate of 1997, Yū Miri (b. 1968), due to a bomb threat by a ­self-identified 6 Korean writers did, however, receive other renowned literary prizes in the meantime. Kin Kakuei (1938–1985), for example, was awarded the Bungei Prize in 1966 and Ri Kaisei himself had received the Gunzō Prize for New Writers in 1969. Besides Ri Kaisei, three other zainichi Korean writers were honoured with the Akutagawa Prize in 1988 (Yi Yang-ji), 1997 (Yū Miri) and 2000 (Gen Getsu).

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right-wing nationalist. The man was particularly upset by the author’s presumably provocative use of the Korean reading of her name, Yū, instead of the Japanese reading Yanagi. That is, rather than the actual content of her work, Yū’s ostentatious self-identification as a Korean-minority writer was regarded as an offence. This xenophobic attack, which was covered widely in the mass media, did not, however, have any lasting effect on Yū’s successful literary career, which continues to this day. Scholars at Work: Research Structures As described, there are no specific (permanent) structures designed to facilitate or explicitly further and support immigrant or ethnic-minority writing in Japan. The study of these authors, too, developed quite independently of formal institutions and is, instead, the result of the commitment of individual researchers. While zainichi writers had incurred critical praise from early on, their literature was not defined as a field of systematic study until the late 1970s. An U-sik was perhaps the first to put out a book-length study of a Korean author writing in Japanese (Kim Sa-ryang) in 1972; however, Isogai Jirō must be credited for publishing the first comprehensive monograph on zainichi Korean literature in 1979 (25 years later, in 2004, he published a second monograph on the topic, and a third one in 2015). Already in 1977 Isogai, who is a (Japanese) writer himself, had founded a literary circle devoted to reading zainichi Korean literature. It was one of the first of its kind and exists to this day, holding monthly meetings and publishing the above-mentioned literary journal, Kakyō. In 1983, Takeda Seiji followed suit and published his reading of the three most important minority writers of the time, namely Kim ­Sŏk-pŏm, Ri Kaisei and Kin Kakuei. The 1990s saw three major publications on the topic authored by Hayashi Kōji (1991 and 1997) and Kawamura Minato (1999a). Kawamura’s book, in particular, helped to map the field since it included both comprehensive lists of ethnic-Korean writers and a chronologically ordered list of their publications. After the turn of the millennium, three books including substantial chapters on zainichi Korean authors and situating their writing in a broader literary historic context were published by Kawanishi Masa’aki (2001), Yamasaki Masazumi (2003) and Watanabe Kazutami (2003). Even more recently, Hosomi Kazuyuki (2011) published an individual study about the poet Kim Si-chong (b. 1929). This brief overview shows that, altogether, research on zainichi Korean literature really only took off in the late 1990s and remained predominantly male until 2004, when the first and, thus far, only book-length study in Japanese authored by a female researcher was brought out by Kim Hun-a – who was also the first to focus on zainichi women writers.

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While clearly an indicator of the field’s overall importance for literary studies as a whole, research on zainichi Korean literature is not limited to monographs. Over the decades, an abundance of shorter treatises has appeared in university journals and bulletins of research associations.7 Some of the latter have published special editions on zainichi literature research in the past, for example Shakai Bungaku (2007). In addition, commercial literary magazines available at any larger bookstore also play a role in the general reception of (not only) zainichi Korean literature. These magazines, too, have occasionally issued specials on the subject which have since become a valuable resource; volume 643 of Shin Nihon Bungaku (2003), for instance, contains short bibliographical portraits of 94 zainichi authors. Often boasting a tradition of around 100 years, these magazines publish primary texts as well as criticism, targeting academic and general readers alike. Book reviews, essays on particular aspects of a writer’s works, and records of discussions between literary scholars and critics, as well as author interviews, are the most common type of publication. To complete the picture, research outside Japan needs to be at least touched upon. The reception in the zainichi writers’ land of ancestry, Korea, is of great interest in this respect and, in fact, compared to research in Western languages, South Korean research on the topic seems to be received in Japan at least to a degree. Importantly, Korean translations of and research on works of zainichi literature only became possible after 1988, when the decade-long ban on ­Japanese-language cultural products was lifted. Very quickly, an impressive number of zainichi texts already canonised in Japan were translated. A ­ ccording to Ukiba Masachika (2013), these texts were initially categorised as belonging to Korean (national) literature and analysed exclusively by scholars of Korean literature. Aside from translations, Korean researchers also turned to texts written by zainichi authors in Korean, which had been (and continue to be) largely ignored by Japanese scholarship. Ukiba goes on to explain that, around the turn of the century, Korean scholars of Japanese literature also began to take notice of zainichi authors, for their part situating their works as (­Korean) diaspora literature and emphasising the uprootedness of the characters. In Western languages, studies on individual zainichi authors have sporadically appeared since the 1970s, in the context of both Japanese and, i­ mportantly, 7 In these publications, the gender bias appears less pronounced. Although neither university journals nor the bulletins of research associations are commercially distributed (nor, for that matter, always peer-reviewed), they are no doubt a key element of Japanese academic discourse. However, due to the large number and heterogeneous quality of these papers, and arguing that the number of monographs on the topic is a good indicator of the field’s overall importance, grey literature publications are not systematically surveyed in this chapter.

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Korean studies. With her English translation and compelling interpretation of Ri Kaisei [Lee]’s award-winning Kinuta o utsu onna (1991[1971]; Lee [Ri Kaisei]’s The Woman Who Ironed Clothes, 1977), Koreanist Beverly ­Nelson’s (1979) ­chapter can be said to have paved the way for the study of zainichi ­literature in English in the late 1970s. Norma Field’s (1993) essay on zainichi literature as ethno-nationalist minority politics marked the beginning of increased academic interest in this literature in Japanese literary studies, in both English and other Western languages such as German.8 In 1995, for example, at a time when, even in Japan, there were hardly any book-length studies on zainichi ­literature, Matthew Königsberg published a comparative reading of four representative authors of the second and third generation in German. Among the many follow-up studies by German researchers is a full-length monograph on representations of gender and ethnicity in the work of the minority’s first celebrity writer, Yū Miri (Iwata-Weickgenannt 2008). In English, too, the number of publications has significantly grown since the mid-1990s. Most notable is a full-length comparative study of six zainichi authors, among them two relatively little-known women writers, published in 2005 by Melissa Wender. Wender is also the editor of the first annotated anthology of English translations of zainichi literature (published in 2011), a volume that is likely to further increase familiarity with and accessibility to this literature in the future. The above reveals that the study of zainichi Korean-minority literature by South Korean and Western academia took hold much later than in Japan. While this is hardly surprising, in Japan, too, there was a considerable time lag between the beginning of Japanese-language literature production by Koreanminority authors in the 1920s–1940s and the publication of book-length studies. Even if one were to look only at those writers who emerged in the postwar period, such as Kin Kakuei, Kim Sŏk-pŏm or Ri Kaisei, it took more than a decade for Isogai’s monograph to appear.9 By that time, postwar zainichi writers had already become a visible presence on the Japanese literary scene, not least because they had been awarded or at least short-listed for a number of important literary prizes from the mid-1960s onwards. The question remains as to whether and how the research within and outside Japan is interconnected. Generally speaking, we can assume that i­ nternational 8 This is not to say that there is no research in other languages – in fact, for example, readers of French will find several papers of interest on the topic – but they cannot be surveyed here. Therefore, my overview of research outside Japan is cursory and in no way complete. 9 As most chapters of Isogai’s book had been published elsewhere before 1979, the year of its publication should not be mistaken as marking the beginning of research on zainichi literature itself. Still, the monograph is generally regarded as a milestone in the establishment of the field by Japanese scholars, doubtlessly increasing the visibility of research on the subject.

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researchers take Japan as a starting point, in regard to both primary and secondary texts; Japanese research is readily cited in Western publications. Needless to say, there is also cross-referencing within Western research, the extent of which naturally depends on individual linguistic ability. However, it is equally safe to say that research in English, let alone other foreign languages, is very rarely taken notice of in Japan. This is most likely due not to ignorance but to linguistic barriers; while many of the younger researchers of Japanese literature do read English, this is not necessarily the rule. In particular, scholars of zainichi literature tend to develop an interest in Korean rather than English, which explains why, as mentioned above, South Korean research on the topic is somewhat more widely received. In regard to Western languages, however, academic reception at this point largely appears to be a one-way affair. While research on zainichi Korean literature is well-established, the literature by more recent immigrant authors writing in Japanese still leaves much to be discovered both by Japanese and Western scholars. Compared to publications on zainichi Korean literature, research on newcomer immigrant ­authors is scarce, even more recent and far more scattered. Award-winning foreign ­writers have received considerable media attention in Japan, including coverage in monthly literary magazines and newspapers. However, except for Hideo Levy, the most prolific non-native speaker writing in Japanese, few authors were also able to attract scholarly attention. With the notable exception of ­Sasanuma Toshiaki’s book-length study on Levy published in 2011, research on newer immigrant authors is limited to short papers. As mentioned in the introduction, foreigners writing in Japanese are not recognised as a distinct group and categories such as ‘immigrant literature’ are not applied to immigrant ­authors inside Japan. Given the absence of an overall category, it is unsurprising that no comparative monograph on literature written by immigrant authors in Japan/ese exists. These authors are often subsumed under the larger category of ‘Japanese-language literature’ (nihongo bungaku), which is of major interest for Japanese researchers. The bulk of their research, however, is focused on the literature of ethnic-Japanese first- and second-generation emigrants living outside Japan, in particular in the Americas.

Archives, Bibliographies and Anthologies

As shown above, research on foreign immigrant writing in Japanese is scarce, as are anthologies of their works. The only volume that falls into this category is a collection of the Foreign Students’ Literary Prize-winning works (Ryūgakusei Bungakushō Jikkōiinkai 2013) which has been published electronically as a Kindle book. The comparatively low prevalence of Kindle in Japan and the fact

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that a print version is not available suggests that the anthology’s recognition and impact may be rather limited. Again, the situation is somewhat different when it comes to Korean-minority writing. Although zainichi literature was not established as a field of study until relatively recently, collections of literary texts written by Koreans in Japanese have been brought out from the early postwar era onwards. In fact, the publication of anthologies and literary encyclopaedia in general appears to be a vital field of activity for Japanese literary scholars, and Korean writers seem to have been treated no differently to Japanese authors in this respect (the existence of only one single – electronic – volume containing works by foreign authors of Japanese is thus all the more remarkable). Already in 1954, for example, when most of what is regarded as zainichi literature today was not yet written, Kim Sa-ryang was commemorated with a compilation of his major works, edited by Kim Tal-su. In 1973–1974, this was complemented by four volumes of Kim Sa-ryang’s complete works brought out by one of Japan’s biggest publishing houses, Kawade Shobō Shinsha. Around the same time, in 1972, some of Ri ­Kaisei’s and Kin Kakuei’s texts appeared in a series called Shin’ei sakkashū (Cutting Edge Authors) which was not limited to minority writing and was edited by the same publisher. Just one year after Kin Kakuei committed suicide in 1985, a volume of selected works (Kin Kakuei 1986) was published by Sakuhinsha (Kin 1986). Similarly, after the first truly successful female writer, Yi Yang-ji (1955–1992), passed away in 1992, it took only one year for her complete works (Yi 1993) to be made available from Kōdansha, another prestigious publisher. Altogether, a considerable number of anthologies of well-known individual zainichi authors, including Kim Sŏk-pŏm (2005) and others have been published over recent decades and, since both Japanese public and university libraries generally share a preference for anthologies, we can assume that they represent an important source for researchers as well as for the general public. Moreover, the publication of a collection of Japanese-language works written by Chang Hyŏk-chu (Nam and Shirakawa 2003) indicates a new interest in a long-shunned author of the colonial era. Chang had started out as a proletarian writer criticising Japanese rule over Korea but later converted, publishing pro-Japanese propaganda material, and eventually naturalised after the war. In addition to collections of prose, there are anthologies of zainichi Korean poetry, some of them spanning almost a century, like that edited by Morita Susumu and Sagawa Aki in 2005. The publication of a 3-volume reprint in 2008 (2008a, 2008b) (and an additional volume of commentaries, indices and so on) of the ethnic literary journals Jindarae and Karion is another example of the extraordinary effort which Japanese literary scholars make in unearthing and carefully editing texts from thus-far obscure phases of early Korean immigrant writing.

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The canonisation of zainichi writing was taken a significant step further in 2006 when an 18-volume series entitled Zainichi chōsenjin bungaku zenshū (Complete Collection of Zainichi Korean Literature) came out with Bensei Shuppan (Isogai and Kuroko 2006). The collection contains a number of texts that are hard to find elsewhere and thus is doubtlessly a much-welcomed treasure for anyone interested in studying this literature. However, it is clearly not as complete as the title suggests. Some of the most well-known contemporary zainichi authors, among them playwright Tsuka Kōhei (b. 1948), Yū Miri and Kaneshiro Kazuki (b. 1968), are not included. As there is no general introduction to the series, the selection of authors and works respectively remains uncommented on.10 However, each volume does contain a short, fact-oriented essay of 5–10 pages and a list of publications by the writers included. Apart from collections focusing exclusively on ethnic Korean writing, zainichi authors are frequently included in differently accentuated anthologies as well as numerous encyclopaedia on modern Japanese literature. Just to give one quite recent example, novellas by Chang Hyŏk-chu, Kim Tal-su, Kim Sa-ryang, Kim Sŏk-pŏm, Ri Kaisei, Yang Sŏk-il and others have been included in an 18-volume series entitled Sensō to bungaku (War and Literature), published by Suieisha and edited by a group of writers, literary scholars and a historian (Asada et al. 2011–2012).

Approaches and Interpretations

In the last part of this chapter, I briefly describe tendencies in Japanese and Western research on zainichi Korean literature, and also touch upon work that deals with more recent immigrant writing.11 In a number of Japanese studies, both strands of minority writing are discussed together but, more often than not, they are treated separately (as is usually the case in non-Japanese research). For pragmatic reasons, I will keep the discussion separate but call attention to parallels where necessary. To illustrate certain points, a number 10

11

In a personal conversation in 2007, Isogai suggested that Yū Miri, for example, had declined to be included in the anthology. Yū, on the other hand, while never hiding her Korean background, refused easy categorisation from the very beginning of her career and, in a personal email, spoke of her discomfort with the label zainichi Korean literature as one reason for her reluctance. Unfortunately, South Korean research cannot be included in this overview; interested readers of Japanese should refer to Ukiba (2013) and Kim (2007).

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of writers as well as researchers’ readings of their works will be introduced in more detail; however, due to space constrictions, much will have to be left out and no claim for completeness can be made. As mentioned, Japanese research on zainichi literature is mainly selfreferential; it has a longer tradition and is more voluminous than research in any single Western language. While one must be careful with generalisations, one of the most obvious differences between Japanese and Western – more precisely, English and German – research is the frequency with which theoretical concepts are explicitly referenced. While works published in these two Western languages often begin with an outline of the respective theoretical framework and usually include a thorough contextualisation regarding the historico-political circumstances in which the work(s) in question was (were) published, this is less common in Japanese research. Japanese scholars tend to focus very closely on the literary text itself, which means that contextualisation takes place within an author’s oeuvre, or in comparison with other zainichi writers. A certain influence of post-structural and, especially over the past decade or so, postcolonial theory can sometimes be assumed but is rarely spelt out. Similarly, probably due to the fact that zainichi literature is not usually framed as immigrant literature, references to (research on) such writing in other national contexts do not play any significant role. That is, in Japanese research, zainichi Korean literature is, in most cases, described as a peculiarity of Japanese literary history born out of specific historical circumstances. This is particularly interesting in view of the fact that, as Matthew Königsberg points out (1995: 22–35), some zainichi writers do, in fact, construct analogies to the Jewish and Black American experience in their novels. However, even outside Japan, Königsberg’s attempt to situate zainichi literature in the larger framework of minority-literature research and his discussion of parallels to other literatures are the exception rather than the norm. Another difference in the existing research literature in Japanese, English and German is the collage-like character of most Japanese book publications on the subject. Although there are few research monographs in the above-mentioned Western languages, all were composed as such. In contrast, with the notable exception of Kim Hun-a’s 2004 monograph on zainichi women writers, all Japanese books on the subject are collections of previously published articles by the same author. While the articles-turned-chapters are thematically grouped, often revised and occasionally complemented by an introductory essay, they were very often composed over a span of several years and, as a result, may contain considerable inconsistencies in regard to literary judgment and approach. However, despite the heterogeneity of the research material, two interrelated fields of interest can be identified. On the one hand, scholars have ­focused

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on how literary constructions of ‘Korean-ness’ can be read as resistance to (forced) Japanisation, in the sense of the two colonial policies mentioned above and of postwar cultural pressure to assimilate. On the other hand, internal struggles surrounding the question of ethnic identity have been in the spotlight of research. In addition, Western researchers clearly tend to put an emphasis on issues related to gender and the wider social contexts. Regarding the long history of Korean residence in modern Japan, the great number of authors who have emerged from the minority is hardly surprising. While a collation of existing lists suggests that, over the decades, many more than 100 ethnic Korean authors have published literary texts in Japanese, scholarly attention is not evenly spread but focuses on perhaps a third of them. Very frequently studied authors include Kim Sa-ryang and Kim Tal-su who, together with Chang Hyŏk-chu, are commonly regarded as the founding fathers of zainichi Korean literature, and their contemporaries Kim Tae-saeng, Kim So-un (1907–1981) and Hŏ Nam-gi (1918–1988). The most-often-studied writers of the second generation are probably Kim Sŏk-pŏm, Kin Kakuei, Ri Kaisei, Kim Si-chong and Yang Sŏk-il (who, due to his late literary debut, is sometimes counted as a third-generation writer). Among the third-generation authors, the two contrasting women writers Yi Yang-ji and Yū Miri stand out, but Yi Ki-sŭng (b. 1952), Chong Ch’u-wŏl (b. 1944), Yi Chŏng-ja (b. 1947), Wŏn Su-il (b. 1950), Sagisawa Megumu (1968–2004), Fukasawa Kai (b. 1946), Kim Masumi (b. 1961), Gen Getsu (b. 1965) and Kaneshiro Kazuki have also received considerable attention. While Western research has generally concentrated on (a further selection of) authors belonging to this same group, the attention is distributed slightly differently. More precisely, due to the comparatively greater concern with gender issues, third-generation woman writers are over-represented in Western research.

Writing beyond National Canons: Locating Zainichi Korean and Other Immigrant Literature While research on newer immigrant writing is far less established both in and outside Japan, an important parallel to zainichi Korean literature research lies in the ambiguity when it comes to positioning this literature – vis-à-vis literature composed by Japanese nationals of Japanese parentage and, in the case of zainichi literature, also in relation to Korean literature. This ambiguity is reflected in the wide range of competing labels used to describe literature in Japanese that does not comfortably fit into national frameworks. The following overview begins with a partial discussion of a 2011 research paper by Li Jiang who, focusing on descriptions of the literature by foreignborn writers of Japanese, points out the problematic undertones of a number

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of frequently used terms, some of which may also encompass zainichi writing and are thus of importance here. Li begins with the earliest term – ‘bordercrossing literature’ (ekkyō bungaku). It is, indeed, a frequent denominator for foreign-born authors’ work, though not particularly prominent in the research on zainichi literature. While some writers have readily adopted the somewhat poetic term, others reject its inherent implication of boundaries to what represents Japanese literature. Li’s critique is specifically aimed at the often-­ overlooked nuance of illegitimacy. The word [ekkyō] implies that the action is illegitimate. […] This term indicates a sense of possession: a certain language belongs to a certain group of people and, if a member of another community uses the language, he/she is perceived as committing an illegitimate act. And the same holds true, or so it seems, for cultural borders as well. li 2011: 359

Li argues that, ultimately, the term denies ‘the possibility and the fact that two or more languages and/or cultures can reside within one community or within one individual’ (Li 2011: 361) and thus reflects Japan’s claim to socio-cultural homogeneity. Li then turns to the even-more-frequently used terms ‘Japanese-language literature’ (nihongo bungaku) and ‘non-native-speaking Japanese-language writers’ (nihongo sakka), both of which are also relevant in zainichi literature research. As mentioned in the introduction, Japanese works composed by immigrant authors within Japan represent but a very small part of nihongo bungaku, which mainly connotes works by overseas ethnic-Japanese emigrants. As detailed below, some scholars also subsume zainichi Korean writing under this category, if with slightly differing nuances. According to Li, the problem with these terms lies in the fact that they are not as neutral as their English translation suggests. Although its literal meaning is ‘Japanese language’, in many contexts nihongo connotes Japanese as a foreign language and, as such, it contrasts with kokugo, the ‘national language’, which is imagined to be spoken and written (only) by Japanese nationals of Japanese parentage. A relatively recent supplement to kokubungaku (national literature), nihongo bungaku thus ­suggests a literature composed in Japanese by authors who are not – and will never be – quite Japanese. Li correctly maintains that nihongo sakka, or Japaneselanguage author, contains the same racialised undertones and should not be used without reservations. The matter is, however, complicated by two facts. First of all, nihongo bungaku is not always used in the exclusionist sense described by Li. Especially in

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more recent publications, ‘Japanese-language literature’ is sometimes pragmatically (but perhaps naïvely) sketched as a larger, more inclusive category than ‘Japanese literature’.12 Moreover, in 2004, the Society for Japanese L­ inguistics, the oldest and largest association of its kind, changed its name from Kokugo Gakkai to Nihongo Gakkai in order to acknowledge the rapid internationalisation of research in the Japanese language. As Li rightly points out, however, this name change may indicate ‘a more cosmopolitan view of the language’ (Li 2011: 363) but does not necessarily do away with the split between Japanese for Japanese and Japanese for foreigners. Secondly, there are writers who identify with the term ‘Japanese-language literature’ precisely because of the distinction problematised by Li. Secondgeneration zainichi author Kim Sŏk-pŏm, for example, insists that he would never be able nor want to write ‘Japanese literature’. More than any other author, Kim has identified the need to overcome the ‘structural, linguistic oppression’ that results from the zainichi Koreans’ inability to speak ‘their [Korean] mother tongue’ (Kim 2001: 125–126)13 as a prime motivation for writing. Since resistance to the violence inherent in the Japanese is only possible through Japanese, Kim suggests that the language be hijacked and used in a guerillalike way to attack the oppressor (Kim 2001: 133–134). It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Kim prefers a categorisation of ‘Japanese-language author/ literature’. Kim’s understanding of nihongo bungaku as resistance is shared by Isogai Jirō, who was the first to publish a monograph on a number of zainichi Korean writers in 1979 and who, to this day, remains one of the most erudite and most prolific (influential) scholars of ethnic-Korean writing. Stressing the fact that zainichi Korean writers are not normally in a position to choose in which language to write but struggle to overcome their continuing linguistic colonisation and resist assimilation – something that becomes a normative ideal with Isogai – this researcher clearly places the zainichi literary tradition outside the limits of Japanese literature. Consequently, Isogai criticises the common practice of placing zainichi Korean literary texts on bookstore or library shelves reserved for Japanese literature as renewed colonisation and thus a very insensitive thing to do (Isogai 1979: 209–210). This view of zainichi literature as being somehow distinct from Japanese literature is shared by Hayashi Kōji, whose book titles locate ethnic-Korean 12 13

See, for example, Wakui Takashi’s ‘Kokusaika-jidai no nihongo bungaku’, available online at https://www.lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/proj/sosho/5/wakui.pdf (last accessed 13 April 2016). All English translations of secondary texts in the chapter not originally written in English are mine unless stated otherwise.

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writing as ‘Japanese-language literature’ (1991) and ‘non-Japanese literature’ (hi-nichi bungaku, 1997) respectively. Unlike Isogai, however, nowhere does Hayashi disclose the considerations behind this positioning but uses the terms without further explanation in a matter-of-fact way. His choice of authors discussed suggests that it is the foreign background of zainichi Korean authors that precludes a reading as Japanese literature, the relationship to which is not detailed any further. Besides zainichi Korean authors of all three generations, Hideo Levy and Tawada Yōko are discussed in the 1991 volume. That is, in Hayashi’s work ‘non-Japanese’ and ‘Japanese-language literature’ are very much used in the racialised sense criticised by Li Jiang (2011). Moreover, the lumping together of zainichi Korean authors and recent foreign-born writers in a single category – Japanese-language literature – is harshly criticised by Yi Hyo-dŏk/Ri Takanori (2001).14 In his view, their common discussion as Japanese-language literature disregards the central problem of voluntary versus forced language acquisition and, therefore, constitutes an unacceptable ‘ahistorical historisation’ (Yi/Ri 2001: 166) of zainichi writing. At the other end of the spectrum, there are several scholars who place zainichi Korean writing clearly inside the limits of Japanese literature. Although the question is not explicitly discussed, Kawanishi Masa’aki’s 2001 framing as Shōwa literature,15 for example, suggests such a reading. Kawamura Minato who, next to Isogai, is probably the most prolific scholar in the field, repeatedly made a case for its inclusion into the realms of Japanese modern literature. Significantly, Kawamura’s first major publication on zainichi Korean writing was a chapter on the subject included in his history of postwar Japanese literature (Kawamura 1995). Explicitly taking up the question of belonging, Kawamura points to the origin of ethnic-Korean literature as part of the Japanese literary counterculture of the 1920s and 1930s, namely the proletarian literary movement with which Korean writing was inextricably interwoven (Kawamura 1995: 200–201). In his 1999a monograph – a milestone in the development of the field covering an extraordinary breadth of authors and including 22 bibliographical author portraits as well as a comprehensive list of primary and secondary sources published between 1909 and 1999 – Kawamura elaborates his point. Arguing that zainichi Korean literature is very little known in either North or South Korea, he strongly rejects a reading of these works as belonging not only to the Japanese but also to the Korean literary tradition. 14 15

This text was not written by two people but the zainichi author uses both the Japanese and Korean readings of his name to express his hybrid identity. Shōwa denominates the reign of Emperor Hirohito (commonly known as Shōwa tennō in Japanese), which lasted from 1925 to 1989.

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Similarly, attempts to re-position these works as Asian literature are dismissed as obscuring the zainichi literature’s emergence from specifically Japanese (literary) historic conditions (Kawamura 1999a: 16–17). Kawamura describes the zainichi Korean community in Japan as an ‘internal colony’ and terms their literature ‘some kind of “colonial literature”’ (Kawamura 1999a: 19). Hastening to apologise for the presumably derogatory nuance of the term, he goes on to strictly limit his definition to (Korean) authors publishing under a Korean name, focusing on Korean protagonists and dealing with social and political issues (Kawamura 1999a: 19–20).16 Quite obviously, this definition is heavily inspired by the literature of the second generation of (male) authors who became a standard point of reference for many scholars – which, in turn, meant that later texts that do not match this ideal often met with criticism. Interestingly, what Kawamura Minato declared an ‘unresolved issue’ (Kawamura 1999a: 17) as late as 1999 – the zainichi literature’s positioning in relation to national canons – is much of a non-issue in Western academic discourse. Scholars tend not to bother with historical or content-related definitions of what criteria must be fulfilled in order for a work to be called zainichi literature – another pet topic in Japanese discussions – but instead include all literature written by ethnic Koreans in Japanese into the category. This blanket approach can be linked to the thorough contextualisation in the history of Japanese imperialism usually found in English or German texts, which entails an (often explicitly stated) understanding as post-colonial literature. Indeed, key issues of post-colonial theory such as language, place and displacement play an extraordinarily important role in the literary works of all zainichi generations, although they are addressed in different ways. Japanese scholars, too, have described these phenomena from the founding days of the field, and have cast zainichi Korean literature in terms that suggest possible links to postcolonial theory even before it was introduced to Japan. For instance, in the first monograph on zainichi literature published in 1979, Isogai Jirō suggests that zainichi Korean writers were in a position similar to that of Indian authors writing in English (Isogai 1979: 210). However, these affinities were not spelt out 16

In most of his publications (including the 1999 monograph) Kawamura has discussed authors as zainichi writers who do not fit into this definition. Two examples are Yi Yang-ji – who naturalised as a child to become Tanaka Yoshie but published her literature under her former ethnic name – and Fukasawa Kai, a naturalised writer using a Japanese name, who explores the discrimination which zainichi Koreans experience upon naturalisation from both the Japanese majority and the minority community. Authors with a Korean passport using a Japanese name such as Tsuka Kōhei, Tachihara Masaaki or Kaneshiro Kazuki, as well as the South Korean national Yū Miri, whose literary themes are far from being limited to minority issues, are also discussed under the label zainichi Korean literature.

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until 2001, when Yi Hyo-dŏk/Ri Takanori, a relatively unknown scholar, explicitly called for a reading of zainichi texts as post-colonial literature.17 Yi/Ri argues that, although zainichi Koreans had always regarded themselves as living a post-colonial existence for whom no ‘outside of politics’ ­existed, Japanese society chose to close its eyes to this reality. Taking zainichi literature as an example, Yi/Ri argues that in postwar Japan, the literature written by zainichi Koreans was onesidedly historicised and relegated to the past. This literature emerged as interloper, actively meddling with the imperialism and ethno-national problems of pre- and postwar East Asia that had been left to oblivion and denial. But despite the fact that it arose as history-oriented practice, this literature was discussed in terms of a literary genre or in regard to problems surrounding the authors’ ethnic identity. To put it bluntly, it was reduced to a literary ‘legacy’ born out of colonial rule. yi/ri 2001: 155

In contrast, Yi/Ri attempts to understand zainichi writing as political practice grounded in and relevant for the present. His first example is Kim Sŏk-pŏm, whose most important literary theme is the bloodily suppressed Jeju Uprising of 1948, a farmers’ rebellion during which more than a third of the population of Jeju Island, off the southernmost tip of the Korean peninsula, were massacred. Labelled as communist by the South Korean authorities, the protests were triggered by the decision to hold elections only in the South, which was feared would – and indeed did – cement the peninsula’s political division. The events were effectively tabooed in South Korea until the early 2000s while, in Japan, Kim Sŏk-pŏm’s numerous works on the topic – the first of which he published as early as 1957 – were read as depicting events of another country’s past and analysed from an exclusively literary perspective; that is, according to Yi/Ri, Japan’s own involvement in and responsibility for the events was completely ignored. Equally, he argues that Kim Sŏk-pŏm’s use of spies as literary characters in, for example, his debut work Karasu no shi (1967[1957], Death of the Raven), had only been interpreted as symbols of the zainichi’s ethnic 17

The surprisingly late reference to post-colonial theory may be due to the fact that many of the standard texts were only translated into Japanese in the late 1990s to early 2000s. However, while this theoretical framework was quickly applied to the zainichi community in sociological terms, literary scholars have shown more reservations. This may have to do with the overall lower importance of explicitly theoretical approaches in Japanese literary studies as a whole.

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in-between-ness while it could – and, according to Yi/Ri, should – be read as a political statement. In a similar vein, he re-reads the literature of Ri Kaisei, Ko Sa-myŏng and Kin Kakuei as dealing with the socio-economic as well as psychological after-effects of colonisation. Post-colonial keywords such as ‘diaspora’ or ‘creole’ have since become much more frequently used, albeit without explicit reference to theory and in a rather descriptive sense. Moreover, the interpretation of zainichi Korean writing as post-colonial literature was not always easily accepted. For example, when Kawamura used the term ‘Japanese creole’ (Kawamura 2003: 218–220) to describe the linguistic mélange of Japanese interspersed with Korean vocabulary employed by many zainichi authors, he was criticised, among others, by Isogai. Considering the term’s origins in the historic inter-relationship between Europe, Africa and Latin America, Isogai doubted the term’s applicability to the Korean minority’s case (2004: 39). Upon publication of the a­ bove-mentioned 18-volume Zainichi chōsenjin bungaku zenshū (Complete Collection of Zainichi Korean Literature) edited by Isogai and Kuroko in 2006, Kawamura commented as follows: In the future, ‘zainichi’ literature will probably be read differently. Postcolonialism as a critical method and approaches such as diaspora literature are currently much discussed. I guess we need to re-think ‘zainichi’ literature with reference to this theoretical frame. kawamura 2006: 3

However, even a decade later, post-colonial theory has yet to gain a strong foothold in the Japanese study of zainichi Korean literature, and so has an understanding of this literature as transcending and ultimately breaking up the borders of national canons. However, while ethno-national issues still tend to dominate Japanese readings of zainichi literature, recent research on foreign-born authors is clearly moving away from the racialised understanding of Japanese literature ­described above. To conclude this discussion on the discursive positioning of zainichi and more recent immigrant writers, I will briefly discuss two ­examples – Sasanuma Toshiaki’s monograph on Hideo Levy (2011) and Hibi Yoshitaka’s reading of Shirin Nezammafi (2012) – to illustrate that the exclusion of authors from ‘Japanese literature’ due to their foreign nationality, ethnic and cultural heritage, mother tongue and literary language, etc. may be coming to an end. To begin with Sasanuma’s book-length study – the only one on a comparable topic in any language – it is obvious that Sasanuma’s take on Levy’s l­iterature

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is deeply influenced by his own experience as a teacher of Japanese as a foreign language and Japanese literature at a Taiwanese university. As such, he finds himself working towards the unlinking of the Japanese language from exclusionist, essentialist and, often enough, self-orientalist constructions of Japanese-ness, and this is also what Sasanuma perceives to be a central effect of Levy’s literature. Affirming the internationalisation and democratisation of the Japanese language, Sasanuma, with an eye on historical precedents, at the same time warns against the Japanese language’s possible transformation into a neo-liberalist, neo-colonialist tool. In this respect, too, he sees Levy’s writing, if not his very existence, as an anti-thesis to the desire for hegemony. This reading is condensed in the title of his 2011 study Rībi Hideo: ‘Hina’ no kotoba toshite no nihongo (Hideo Levy: Japanese as a Language of Hina). Hina has historically been used to denote an unknown, less civilised, far-off-centre space. Sasanuma argues that Levy’s fictional characters (all of whom closely resemble the author) move away from their hegemonic position as white male Americans to ever-more-peripheral sites, or hina, both geographically by leaving the us for a developing Asia, and linguistically by adopting Japanese (and forms of Chinese) as mode of expression. Levy’s biography supports this reading. Born in 1950 in the United States to a Jewish father, a diplomat who later divorced Levy’s Catholic Polish-American mother to marry a mainland Chinese woman, Levy spent most of his youth outside the us, growing up in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. As a teenager, he ran away from the American Embassy in Yokohama, where he lived at the time, to immerse himself in Japanese (sub) culture and language – an experience that inspired his first novel Seijōki no kikoenai heya, published more than 20 years later (1992; A Room Where the StarSpangled Banner Cannot be Heard, 2011). Levy studied Japanese literature at Princeton University – his (1981) translation of the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry (Levy 1981) won him the us National Book Award in 1982 – and taught at Stanford before relocating to Japan, where he began to write and eventually became professor of Japanese literature at a prestigious Tokyo university. In terms of employment, Levy can hardly be said to occupy a marginal position but, as a Caucasian writer of Japanese, he most certainly does. In Sasanuma’s reading, Levy’s assertion that Japanese as a language is open to anyone, his claim that the Japanese language was the first ‘home’ he ever possessed, and his literary focus on the margins and on Asia, stretch and expand the possibilities of Japanese literature and the Japanese language. Firmly placing Levy inside Japanese literature (nihon bungaku), Sasanuma sees Levy’s work and very existence as agents of welcome change. Hibi Yoshitaka’s 2012 positioning of Shirin Nezammafi’s work as transnational literature is a bit differently focused but follows a similar trajectory. He

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begins by pointing out that the dominant notion of ‘Japanese literature’ (nihon bungaku) as composed in Japanese by Japanese for Japanese only is a grave simplification that belies historical facts. Hibi argues that, in reality, Japanese literature in this narrow sense never existed but was, from the start, merely a powerful ideological construct that necessitated the marginalisation of ‘other’ authors in order to uphold its claim of homogeneity. In this reading, the emergence of successful and thus visible other – transnational, transcultural and translingual – authors disturbs nationalised/nationalist notions of Japanese literature as being grounded in the unity of folk, ethnos and language. According to Hibi, the power of literature lies in its ability to connect public, private and personal spaces (among others, he refers to Hannah Arendt and Jürgen Habermas here) which, in turn, allows for a rearrangement of cultural modes of recognition through acts of cultural translation. Hibi identifies two levels of cultural contact – the publication of works written in Japanese by foreign-born authors, and the characters’ experience of Japan/ese; indeed, in most if not all cases, foreign-born authors’ protagonists are not Japanese by birth. Focusing on the Iranian writer Shirin Nezammafi (b. 1979), a graduate of Kobe University’s Graduate School of Engineering, Hibi stresses the import