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Author: Subject: Scholze-覚łta, Dietrich: Bilingualism in Sorbian Literature. The Example of Jurij Brězan
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[*] posted on 10-6-2016 at 01:23 PM
Scholze-覚łta, Dietrich: Bilingualism in Sorbian Literature. The Example of Jurij Brězan


Lětopis Abstract 2013 1: Scholze-覚łta, Dietrich: Bilingualism in Sorbian Literature. The Example of Jurij Brězan

General bi- or multi-lingualism is currently a worldwide phenomenon, therefore not exclusive to the Lusatian Sorbs. Literary bilingualism, based on mother tongue competence, is however a relatively recent phenomenon in Sorbian cultural history. Up until 1945 Sorbian literature appeared almost totally in Sorbian (mostly in periodicals). The question of national identification and choice of language was raised for authors by the Sorbian Law in Saxony in 1948, which secured material support for the Slav minority in the eastern part of Germany. At the same time interest in Sorbian culture and traditions grew amongst German speakers after the war. The first to profit from this was the prose writer, Jurij Brězan (19162006), the most important Sorbian writer in the second half of the 20th Century. In 1951 he published a volume of Sorbian prose and lyric poetry in East Berlin, which he had himself translated into German. He was followed by a whole phalanx of younger writers who similarly published their major works in original Sorbian and German versions. For this generation literary bilingualism became a natural way of raising their function and effect as artists. The strongest part of their motivation was to draw modern Sorbian literature out of its isolation and to raise the reputation of this small culture.
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