At a moment when free circulation within the European Union is hampered by particularisms and populisms, and the European project seems increasingly endangered by the non-European «other» inside and outside its geopolitical confines, this essay investigates Europeanness shaped by the joint action of travel and translation, as forms of transit and border crossing promoting exchange and difference. Focusing on Christine Brooke-Rose and Diego Marani, the essay explores the act of «carrying across» common to geographic dislocation and linguistic transfer as an agent of transformation able to regenerate the European power of symbolization through linguistic and cultural grafts. The two authors undermine eurocentrism from within by presenting language and identity as unstable spaces of multiple interactions. Their practice of spatial and cultural transfer situates Europeanness between national singularity and the levelling indistinction of globalism, redefining geographic and linguistic boundaries as lines of contact and estrangement that foreground identity’s intrinsic alterity.
European Union, populism, difference, otherness, translation, Christine Brooke-Rose, Diego Marani