Multilingual Anthology of American Literature : A Reader of Original Texts with English Translations

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-10-01
  • Publisher: New York University Press

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What exactly constitutes American literature? Harvard professors Marc Shell (OVERDUE; ART AND MONEY) and Werner Sollors (THEORIES OF ETHNICITY; BLACKS AT HARVARD; MULTILINGUAL AMERICA) offer a unique and fascinating twist with THE MULTILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE: A READER OF ORIGINAL TEXTS WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS. They say that American literature doesn't include only material written in English--it includes a Lenape epic, WALAM OLUM; it includes Omar Ibn Said's African-American narrative in Arabic; it includes Victor Sejour's French story Le Mutatre. Twenty-nine works are here, in languages ranging from Russian and Yiddish to Welsh and Norwegian, along with English translations, reminding us of America's polyglot roots.--PUBLISHERS WEEKLYAn 1830s African-American slave narrative written in Arabic. Dafydd Morgan, the only American immigrant novel published in Welsh. The Native American epic, Walum Olum, in the Lenape language. Theodor Adorno's dream transcripts, in German. A short story about the politics of abortion in working-class Chinatown. Lesbian Love, a surprisingly explicit chapter from an 1853 New Orleans novel. A haunting 1904 ballad, The Revenge of the Forests, that is one of the first expressions of radical environmentalism in the United States.Largely ignored in the debates over canon and multiculturalism in America, indigenous American works written in languages other than English have over time disappeared from view.The first anthology of its kind, The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature brings together American writings in diverse languages from Arabic and Spanish to Swedish and Yiddish, among others. Presenting each work in its original language with facing page translation, the book provides an important complement to all other anthologies of American writing, and will serve to complicate our understanding of what exactly American literature is.American literature appears here as more than an offshoot of a single mother country, or of many mother countries, but rather as the interaction among diverse linguistic and cultural trajectories.Consider that Cotton Mather spoke half a dozen languages and wrote in both Spanish and Latin. Or that the first short story known to have been written by an African American (and reproduced here) was written in French. Not only a literature of immigration and assimilation, American multilingual literature participates in the larger literary tradition which too often marginalizes authors who complicate the fit of authorship, citizenship, and language.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1(11)
Werner Sollors
1696 Francis Daniel Pastorius, Bee-Hive
Alfred L. Brophy
The Massachusett
Kathleen Bragdon
1753 Petition from the Indians at Mashpee to the Massachusetts General Court
1685 Marginal Annotations to Eliot's Translation of the Bible
1835 Lorenzo Da Ponte, Poet's Lament
Alide Cagidemetrio
1831 The Life of Omar Ibn Said, Written by Himself
Ala A. Alryyes
Before 1833 The Walam Olum or the Red Score of the Lenape
Dennis Tedlock
1837 Victor Sejour, ``The Mulatto''
Andrea Lee
Werner Sollors
1847 W. Branford Shubrick & S. W. Kearny, ``Circular''
Werner Sollors
1853 Ludwig von Reizenstein, ``Lesbian Love''
Steven Rowan
1859 Cyprian Kamil Norwid, ``To Citizen John Brown''
Stanislaw Baranczak
Clare Cavanagh
1885 Luigi Donato Ventura, Peppino
Alide Cagidemetrio
1892 Eusebio Chacon, Calm after the Storm
Doris Sommer
Erlinda Gonzalez-Berry
1893 ``Letter from a Jew to Alexander III'' and ``Letter from Alexander III to Yankel''
Rachel Rubin
1897 R. R. Williams, Dafydd Morgan
Melinda Gray
1897 Julian Czupka, ``The Tyrolean''
Karen Majewski
1910 Abraham Cahan, History of the United States
Jules Chametzky
Rachel Rubinstein
1904 Konrad Nies, ``The Revenge of the Forest Primeval''
Regine Wieder
Christoph Lohmann
Swedish-American Writing
Dag Blanck
Jeanne Freiburg
1912 Johan Person, ``A Misunderstood People''
1904 C. W. Andeer, ``The Swedish-American''
1915 Ole Amundsen Buslett, ``The Road to the Golden Gate''
Orm Overland
1920 Eda Lou Walton, ``Navajo Gambling Songs and Night Chants''
Werner Sollors
1921 Judah Leib Lazerow, ``The Staff of Judah''
Menahem Blondheim
Michael P. Kramer
1925 Jens Thorgaard, Poems
Birgit Flemming Larsen
1925-1927 Kurt M. Stein, Germerican Writing from the 1920s
Marc Shell
1930 Dorthea Dahl, ``The Copper Kettle''
Orm Overland
1910-1940 Angel Island Poetry
Te-Hsing Shan
1940-1942 Theodor W. Adorno, ``Three American Dreams''
Anne Halley
1972 Gyorgy Gyekenyesi, ``Occidental Cantata''
Katherine Gyekenyesi Gatto
1972 Stratis Haviaras, ``Apparent Death''
Yota Batsaki
Nicole Ollier
1983 Pan Xiumei, ``Abortion''
Xiao-Huang Yin
Rebecca Chien
1994 Tino Villanueva, ``Convocation of Words''
James Hoggard
Werner Sollors
Afterword 684(9)
Marc Shell
Appendix. Brief History of Bilingualism in Poetry 693(18)
Tino Villanueva
Notes 711(34)
Permissions 745(4)
Index 749

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