20 October 2009


It will be safe and convenient for us to adopt the definitions put forward by K. Alfons Knauth in his "Literary Multilingualism: General Outlines and the Western World" (2007), remembering, however, that he is dealing primarily with the better-known languages and presumably admits ignorance about languages with fewer literary works (such as the Bicol-Tagalog-English works of Abdon M. Balde Jr., this year's South East Asia Writers or S.E.A. WRITE Awardee from the Philippines). Knauth has extended definitions and examples of such sub-genres of multilingual literature as intertextual multilingualism, intratextual multilingualism, macaronic mixtilingualism, Occidental and Oriental multilingualism, courtly multilingualism, pentecostal multilingualism, modern diglossia, national and international multilingualism, simultaneism, globoglossia, primitivist multilingualism, futurist multilingualism, panlingualism, onomatopoetics, fascist multilingualism, postwar internationalism, poetic holography and zerography, fictional holography and zerography, conflictive multilingualism, and mass-medial multilingualism. I am not too comfortable with having so many sub-genres, particularly at this time when multilingualism itself has not entered mainstream or general literary theory and criticism, but the passion of Knauth more than makes up for his eagerness to rush ahead.

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