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Translingual Paratopia and the Universe of Katalin Molnar

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The concept of paratopia in Dominique Maingueneau’s literary discourse analysis designates the writers’ paradoxical location, their oscillation between belonging and not belonging to the literary field and to the society. This in-between situation is also characteristic to bilingual people, and as such translingual writers (Steven Kellman, Translingual Imagination, 2000) are outsiders twice over in comparison to other authors: they also live between their original and their adopted societies. The specificity of translingual paratopia consists in the possibility of bilinguals to use their “other” culture or language as a source of legitimization in their adopted society’s literary field. The fluctuation may be observed in different dimensions of literary works, as it is demonstrated by the analysis of the Franco-Hungarian writer, Katalin Molnár’s novel, Lamour Dieu (1999). Since her early texts, Molnár has challenged the validity of linguistic correctness; she plays with the boundaries of text and the limits of language. In her novel too, she transgresses literary forms, rules of grammar, she incorporates Hungarian proverbs and intertextual references into the French text and she creates neologisms that reflect a personal universe. Hence she portrays an image of in-betweenness: she is situated between forms, languages, cultures and universes.

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