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Translating LifeStudies in Transpositional Aesthetics$
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Shirley Chew and Alistair Stead

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780853236740

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314285

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Self-Translation and the Arts of Transposition in Allan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star

Self-Translation and the Arts of Transposition in Allan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star

Chapter:
(p.361) Self-Translation and the Arts of Transposition in Allan Hollinghurst's The Folding Star
Source:
Translating Life
Author(s):

Alistair Stead

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853236740.003.0019

This chapter examines self-translation and the arts of transposition Allan Hollinghurst's 1992 novel The Folding Star (1992). It argues that Hollinghurst's fiction is a tragicomic gay romance which is in many ways preoccupied with translation itself and with various kinds of ‘shadowy transposition’. Hollinghurst translates intriguingly across sexual orientations, cultures and periods and projects Edward Manners, his gay narrator-protagonist, as translator both materially and metaphorically. The Folding Star is a narcissistic and hermetic parody of a Symbolist fiction whereby Hollinghurst implicitly reviews the mystifying and dehistoricising hermeticism of the Symbolism of Georges Rodenbach and Fernand Khnopff. At the same time, he exploits its cult of introspection, elaborate correspondences, subtle evocation, and calculated indecisiveness. Most of all, Hollinghurst takes up literary Symbolism's privileging of the medium of language.

Keywords:   Allan Hollinghurst, self-translation, transposition, The Folding Star, gay romance, hermeticism, Symbolism, Georges Rodenbach, Fernand Khnopff, sexual orientations

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