A Turning Point. La svolta culturale di Jhumpa Lahiri in In altre parole

Raffaella Malandrino


Published before the very recent publication of Jhumpa Lahiri's first narrative work in Italian, Dove mi trovo (2018), In altre parole (2014) is, according to the Bengali American author, a "linguistic autobiography" that marks a stage of creative transformation in her career. Written exclusively in Italian, and in a context of voluntary exile in Rome, where the writer lived from 2012 to 2014, this collection of essays, personal reflections, and narratives operates as both a linguistic and a literary forge, and explores the creative potentialities emerging along with a new writerly subjectivity, unmoored from the use of the English language and from the literary themes of the South Asian American diasporic experience. A reflection on linguistic renunciation, navigating between the constraints imposed by the fragility of a new language and exploring the vivifying possibilities of a simultaneous disarticulation and re-elaboration of the self, In altre parole operates at the interstices between self and language, investigating the links between identity and otherness. Focusing on the analysis of its formal articulation and metatextual awareness, this essay retraces the translinguistic itinerary of this transformation, relocating In altre parole (In Other Words in its 2016 American translation) and Lahiri's artistic turn in a critical space exploring how the search for expressive freedom negotiates the relationship with the reading community and with the expectations that surround the writer's migrant background.


literature; Jhupa Lahiri; diasporic literature; diaspora

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13136/2281-4582/2018.i12.399


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