“From Catalan to Spanish: Paternal Language, Mother Tongue and Self-translation in Terenci Moix’s Works”
This presentation explores how self-translation and language choice is presented in the work of the Catalan author Terenci Moix. Born in Barcelona in 1942, Moix has been considered a “prodigal son” of Catalan letters. He is part of a generation of Catalan authors that grew up during Franco’s dictatorship and that started to write in Spanish during the late 60s and 70s. His trajectory, nonetheless, is the contrary: Moix started writing in Catalan in the late 1960s and early 70s, and decided to switch to Spanish and to translate to Spanish his most important works during the late 70s and 80s. As he explains in his memoirs, Spanish was the language of his mother, while Catalan was the language of his father. The desire to switch to Spanish is explained in his memoirs as the result of a closer identification with the maternal world and a rejection of the paternal lineage. In my presentation, I will problematize Moix’s explanations and this dichotomy between a paternal and a maternal language and consider to which extent his explanations are also tied to a desire to write in a more marketable language (Spanish).
Anna Casas Aguilar is an Assistant Professor of Spanish Cultural Studies. She completed her PhD in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto in 2013. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary peninsular literature, film, and photography, with a special interest on gender. She has published articles in Romance Quarterly, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos and in several edited volumes. She is also co-editor of a special number of Catalan Review. She is currently finishing her book manuscript Masculine Subjectivity and Self-writing in Spain. For more information see: annacasas.com