Narrating the Meaning of Existence: An Analysis of the Autobiographical Narratives of Three Translingual Writers
Keywords:translingual writers, languaging, sociocultural theory, autobiographical narrative, linguistic superdiversity
This paper focuses on the autobiographical narratives of three translingual writers, Nabokov, Brodsky and Makine. Their narratives are analyzed by taking into account Vygotsky’s ideas on the relationship between language and thought (1987), Bruner’s ideas on storytelling (1986, 2002) and Swain’s concept of languaging as a meaning-making process through language (Swain, 2006). The paper investigates the question of the role of language in making sense of writers’ lives as displaced people. In order to answer this question, we analyzed the autobiographical narratives for languaging episodes that are defined as autobiographical excerpts where the writers attempt to make sense of their lives as displaced people. The following major themes have been identified as the result of the analysis: construction of the lost world out of new experiences, discovery of the meaning of existence, reconciliation through cultural and linguistic hybridity. We believe that the implication of the study is that it can resonate with the lives of other displaced people at the time of cultural and linguistic superdiversity.
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