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“Ah quel chien de pays!”

Einsprachigkeit und Mehrsprachigkeit bei Herder, Kant, Johanna Schopenhauer und Goethe

Anke Gilleir


Pages 25 - 43



This article reflects on the presence (or absence) of multilingualism in the work of four writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, i.e. at a time when the identification of nationality with one specific language became a prominent strand in European cultural and political thought. The backdrop of my analysis is the so-called ‘multilingual turn’ in literary studies and its dominant focus on the phenomenon of multilingual literature. Besides world literature, multilingual literature is considered an undeniable part of global culture and as a political sign of the declining myth of monolingual normativity. Yet, considering that the history of modern literature yields only a handful of texts that indeed engage various (national) languages, the question is whether this focus should not be extended towards other strategies that may shed light on the ‘politics of literature’ (Rancière) during the genesis of cultural nationalism.

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