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Literary benefits of linguistic and cultural hybridity

  1. Literary Benefits of Linguistic and Cultural Hybridity by Leanne Radojkovich
  2. Writers with two or more linguistic and cultural identities have a wide range of storytelling techniques.
  3. Unique prose styles result from exposure to dual: • environments • behavioural norms • languages
  4. Knowing two languages means knowing two syntaxes - leading to fresh sentence structures.
  5. Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stops for them, maybe, but for the mourners time runs amok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides, the days growing longer and shorter, the moon. Lucia Berlin "Wait a Minute"
  6. Rhythms of one language invigorate another.
  7. I was popular in certain circles, says Aunt Rose. I wasn't no thinner then, only more stationary in the flesh, Lillie, don't be surprised – change is a fact of God. From this no one is excused. Grace Paley "Goodbye and Good Luck"
  8. "I think the most powerful sounds are...those childhood voices... Russian and Yiddish, coming up smack against the English." Grace Paley
  9. Words from one language can be reused in another - creating neologisms.
  10. So I said to Mrs. Z., one oi out of you and it's divorce. Grace Paley "Zagrowsky Tells"
  11. Translated proverbs and phrases give rise to arresting new viewpoints.
  12. "Si, Doña Claudia. Pero, del gozo al pozo!" He said this any time things were going well. From pleasure you go to the pits, or, from delight to the cess pool. Lucia Berlin "Del Gozo Al Pozo"
  13. Conflicting cultural forces sharpen a writer's eye for what is genuine and real.
  14. "...writers of mixed identity...retain the sites of friction where different racial, sexual, and national elements meet, forming sparks and sharp edges." Suzanne Bost
  15. Mixed-identity writers I have studied use similar storytelling techniques.
  16. # 1 Direct sensuous details to describe place and character.
  17. Larks and meadowlarks, redwinged blackbirds darted above the ditches by the road; the singing of the birds rose above the sound of the truck. Lucia Berlin "Bluebonnets"
  18. Aunt Martha had blue permanented hair and big round rouge spots on her cheeks. She wore a red flowered muu-muu and she crushed me to her, rocking me, hugging me. I was enfolded into the vast poinsettias on her breasts. In spite of myself I clung to her, sank into her and her smell of Jergen's lotion, Johnson's baby powder. Lucia Berlin "Itinerary"
  19. #2 Living dialogue.
  20. I seen you push me. I feeled you push me. Who you think you go around pushin. Bastard. Grace Paley "Gloomy Tune"
  21. #3 Open-ended resolutions.
  22. Goodbye, I said, have a nice day. Goodbye, they said once more, and set off in pride on paths which are not my concern. Grace Paley "The Used-Boy Raisers"
  23. The alertness borne of linguistic and cultural hybridity has produced a vivid prose style with the candour of memoir.
  24. Read more in my Master of Creative Writing exegesis "The Literary Benefits of Linguistic and Cultural Hybridity" available on my website.