Research - Prof. dr. E. Helena Houvenaghel

Exile & Migration - Myth & History Rewriting

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The cultural identity of the Judeo-Mexican-American writer Susana Chávez Silverman, descendant of migrants, is multilayered and her linguistic identity is a patchwork of languages (Spanish, English, Italian, South African, French, Brazilian Portuguese) and accents (Argentinian Spanish, Peninsular Spanish, Mexican Spanish). This multiple cultural and linguistic identity is also reflected in Silverman’s multilayered concept of the world map. In her autobiographical writings, Chávez Silverman rarely situates herself in one single place or one single moment, but is constantly connected to different spaces. The autobiographical self is the one to problematize, in Bilingual Memories (2004), her own incapacity to be in one single place at a specific moment. She becomes aware of her constant way of connecting distant places and calls into question her own “weird geography”, this involuntary, inevitable tendency that characterizes her way of being. In this article, “Counter-mapping by second generation migrant authors: Susana Chávez Silverman’s Bilingual memories (2004)” I study Chavez-Silverman’s way of mapping the (multiple) self.