The works of translingual writers-those who write in a language other than their native tongue-present a rich field for study, but literary translingualism remains underresearched and undertheorized.
In this work Tamar Steinitz explores the psychological effects of translingualism in the works of two authors: the German Stefan Heym (1913-2001) and the Austrian Jakov Lind (1927-2007).
Both were forced into exile by the rise of Nazism; both chose English as a language of artistic expression.
Steinitz argues that translingualism, which ruptures the perceived link between language and world as the writer chooses between systems of representation, leads to a psychic split that can be expressed in the writer's work as a schizophrenic existence or as a productive doubling of perspective.
Movement between languages can thus reflect both the freedom associated with geographical mobility and the emotional price it entails.
Reading Lind's and Heym's works within their postwar context, Steinitz proposes these authors as representative models, respectively, of translingualism as loss and fragmentation and translingualism as opportunity and mediation. Tamar Steinitz teaches English literature at Queen Mary and Goldsmiths colleges, University of London.
She has also worked as a literary translator.