Literary benefits of linguistic and cultural hybridity
Literary Benefits of Linguistic and Cultural Hybridity by Leanne Radojkovich
Writers with two or morelinguistic and cultural identitieshave a wide range of storytellingtechniques.
Unique prose styles result fromexposure to dual: • environments • behavioural norms • languages
Knowing two languages meansknowing two syntaxes - leadingto fresh sentence structures.
Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stopsfor them, maybe, but for the mourners time runsamok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides,the days growing longer and shorter, the moon.Lucia Berlin"Wait a Minute"
I was popular in certain circles, says Aunt Rose. Iwasnt no thinner then, only more stationary in theflesh, Lillie, dont be surprised – change is a fact ofGod. From this no one is excused.Grace Paley"Goodbye and Good Luck"
"I think the most powerful sounds are...thosechildhood voices... Russian and Yiddish, coming upsmack against the English."Grace Paley
Words from one language canbe reused in another - creatingneologisms.
So I said to Mrs. Z., one oi out of you and itsdivorce.Grace Paley"Zagrowsky Tells"
Translated proverbs andphrases give rise to arrestingnew viewpoints.
"Si, Doña Claudia. Pero, del gozo al pozo!"He said this any time things were going well. Frompleasure you go to the pits, or, from delight to thecess pool.Lucia Berlin"Del Gozo Al Pozo"
Conflicting cultural forcessharpen a writers eye for whatis genuine and real.
"...writers of mixed identity...retain the sites offriction where different racial, sexual, and nationalelements meet, forming sparks and sharp edges."Suzanne Bost
Mixed-identity writers I havestudied use similar storytellingtechniques.
# 1 Direct sensuous details todescribe place and character.
Larks and meadowlarks, redwinged blackbirdsdarted above the ditches by the road; the singingof the birds rose above the sound of the truck.Lucia Berlin"Bluebonnets"
Aunt Martha had blue permanented hair and biground rouge spots on her cheeks. She wore a redflowered muu-muu and she crushed me to her,rocking me, hugging me. I was enfolded into thevast poinsettias on her breasts. In spite of myself Iclung to her, sank into her and her smell ofJergens lotion, Johnsons baby powder.Lucia Berlin"Itinerary"