This essay mines the concept of untranslatability in two texts by Eduardo Lalo: Los países invisibles and La inutilidad. The analysis interrogates the juridical implications of translation within the “world republic of letters,” which ostensibly accrues literary capital to texts produced within a particular national context. On this premise, Natalie L. Belisle argues that “untranslatability” designates the exclusion of texts originating in juridically indeterminate spaces, such as Puerto Rico, from world literary space. Building primarily on theories of language and translation in the writing of Edouard Glissant, among others, the author suggests that Lalo's work deploys untranslatability as a means of affirming the literary and political identity of Puerto Rican writers' against the classificatory schema of world literary space and the canon.

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