Identity, Split-Self and Translingual Narrative in Jhumpa Lahiri


This paper offers a preliminary investigation of the interconnection between identity, translingualism and split-self in the non-fictional production of Jhumpa Lahiri, a Bengali American author, focusing in particular on her In altre parole (2015), a text originally written in Italian. Moving across languages and cultures, Lahiri interrogates her own sense of identity by considering the nodes of tradition and transformation, in particular through her crucial translingual practice, thus shifting away from English and adopting Italian as a professional literary language. The outcome is a hybrid text that can be approached via the notion of “split self” (Emmott 2002), i.e. the plural manifestations of consciousness in its various expressive forms. The investigation will be conducted by applying an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the methodological tools and frames of postcolonial studies, narratology and cognitive poetics.

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Translingualism, Jhumpa Lahiri, Identity, Split self, Non-fictional narrative

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