J. M. Coetzee’s Summertime: Mistranslation, Linguistic Unhousedness, and the Extraterritorial Literary Community.
AbstractThis article deals with J. M. Coetzee’s Summertime, focusing on its depiction of linguistic multiplicity as allied with confusion and misunderstanding, given the impossibility of an unequivocal and straightforward road between languages and hence, the inevitability of mistranslation. In this work, we encounter characters that hover between languages without properly belonging to any of them, a linguistic unhousedness accompanied by territorial and cultural unsettlement. This is especially the case of John Coetzee, presented as an outsider as regards family and homeland, with an imperfect knowledge of Afrikaans and a relation to the English language depicted in primarily instrumental and professional terms. As a clear continuation of Boyhood, Summertime fancifully projects and subverts the illusion of belonging on the Afrikaans language, together with that of belonging on the Karoo land. Given the absence of other meaningful communities, such as the ethnic or the national, the only community projected by Summertime is the community of writers who, like J. M. Coetzee and borrowing George Steiner’s expression, are ‘extraterritorial’ writers, never linguistically at home. In order to develop these ideas, attention will be paid to other works by Coetzee, such as Boyhood, Youth, Slow Man, Diary of a Bad Year, and the collection of letters he has exchanged with Paul Auster, Here and Now.
The authors retain copyright of articles. They authorise AEDEAN to publish them in its journal Atlantis and to include them in the indexing and abstracting services, academic databases and repositories the journal participates in.
Under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), for non-commercial (i.e., personal or academic) purposes only, users are free to share (i.e., copy and redistribute in any medium or format) and adapt (i.e., remix, transform and build upon) articles published in Atlantis, free of charge and without obtaining prior permission from the publisher or the author(s), as long as they give appropriate credit to the author, the journal (Atlantis) and the publisher (AEDEAN), provide the relevant URL link to the original publication and indicate if changes were made. Such attribution may be done in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the journal endorses the user or their use of the material published therein. Users who adapt (i.e., remix, transform or build upon the material) must distribute their contributions under the same licence as the original.
Self-archiving is also permitted, so that authors are allowed to deposit the published PDF version of their articles in academic and/or institutional repositories, without fee or embargo. Authors may also post their individual articles on their personal websites, again on condition that the original link to the online edition is provided.
Authors are expected to know and heed basic ground rules that preclude simultaneous submission and/or duplicate publication. Prospective contributors to Atlantis commit themselves to the following when they submit a manuscript:
- That no concurrent consideration of the same, or almost identical, work by any other journal and/or publisher is taking place.
- That the potential contribution has not appeared previously, in any form whatsoever, in another journal, electronic format or as a chapter/section of a book.
Seeking permission for the use of copyright material is the responsibility of the author.