Language and Identity

BOOKS
CULTURES, LANGUAGES

1.
David Evans
Language and Identity

Language not only expresses identities but also constructs them. Starting from that point, Language and Identity examines the interrelationships between language and identities. It finds that they are so closely interwoven, that words themselves are inscribed with ideological meanings.

Words and language constitute meanings within discourses and discourses vary in power. The powerful ones reproduce more powerful meanings, colonize other discourses and marginalize or silence the least powerful languages and cultures. Language and culture death occur in extreme cases of marginalization.

This book also demonstrates the socio-economic opportunities offered by language choice and the cultural allegiances of language, where groups have been able to create new lives for themselves by embracing new languages in new countries. Language can be a ‘double-edged sword’ of opportunity and marginalization. Language and Identity argues that bilingualism and in some cases multilingualism can both promote socio-economic opportunity and combat culture death and marginalization.

With sound theoretical perspectives drawing upon the work of Bakhtin, Vygotsky, Gumperz, Foucault and others, this book provides readers with a rationale to redress social injustice in the world by supporting minority linguistic and cultural identities and an acknowledgement that access to language can provide opportunity.

2.
Horace and David R. Slavitt
Odes (Wisconsin Studies in Classics)

The Odes of Horace are a treasure of Western civilization, and this new English translation is a lively rendition by one of the prominent poet-translators of our own time, David R. Slavitt. Horace was one of the great poets of Rome’s Augustan age, benefiting (as did fellow poet Vergil) from the friendship of the powerful statesman and cultural patron Maecenas. These Odes, which take as their formal models Greek poems of the seventh century BCE-especially the work of Sappho and Alcaeus-are the observations of a wry, subtle mind on events and occasions of everyday life. At first reading, they are modest works but build toward a comprehensive attitude that might fairly be called a philosophy. Charming, shrewd, and intimate, the voice of the Odes is that of a sociable wise man talking amusingly but candidly to admiring friends.
This edition is also notable for Slavitt’s extensive notes and commentary about the art of translation. He presents the problems he encountered in making the translation, discussing possible solutions and the choices he made among them. The effect of the notes is to bring the reader even closer to the original Latin and to understand better how to gauge the distance between the two languages.

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