In 2017 during the height of the #MeToo movement, Kristen Roupenian’s short story “Cat Person” was published in The New Yorker and subsequently went viral online. On its surface, the story follows a bad date between a college student named Margot and a 34-year-old man named Robert, but subtly speaks to larger issues including sexual consent and a woman’s struggle for power in a patriarchal society. In her writing, the author adheres to the linguistic varieties expected of a short story author, but challenges those expected of a woman and a writer submitting to The New Yorker. Her decisions when following or breaking away from the linguistic norms in these categories were likely influenced by the social context of the #MeToo movement and are ultimately what made the story so successful and widely read. This phenomenon can be seen in examining the language choices of the author through a lens of feminist translation theory and short story theory. However, there are many instances in which the French translator Marguerite Capelle does not maintain a similar register or specific word choices indicative of the adherence to or deviation from one of the aforementioned linguistic varieties. The evidence exemplified in this paper suggests that perhaps there is more research needed about the hierarchy of linguistic varieties in transnational #MeToo literature.
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Rosman, Emily, "The Importance of The Hierarchy of Linguistic Varieties in Transnational #MeToo Literature Using Kristen Roupenian’s Short Story “Cat Person” as a Case Study" (2022). Research Days Posters 2022. 41.