- freely available
Humanities 2016, 5(2), 28; doi:10.3390/h5020028
Abstract: (1) As a long time writer, I always found, even before I began to publish, that my work was difficult to categorise, even while categories seemed essential for publication, reception and visibility. (2) In this personal essay, I apply the notion of the transcultural to a short writing [auto]biography. The methodology adopted for this purpose is a form of autoethnography: “a form of self-reflection and writing that explores the researcher’s personal experience and connects this autobiographical story to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings”1 to explore how my immigrant background and transcultural lived experience is reflected in my creative writing, and to give an account of how my literary output has been placed in various but always restrictive pre-existing categories. I am also encouraged by Mikhail Epstein’s proposed “scriptorics”, the study of the one who writes Each section of the essay is divided into two: the first sections provide a succinct version of the issues in a developing writer’s life, framed by the need for the practice and production to “belong” somewhere; the second sections take them to a posited “Transcultural Space” where the work seems more authentically to have originated and in which it seems to be more perceptively read. (3) The result is not so much a conventional academic article as a fiction writer’s reflection on her work in the embrace of an inclusive and meaning-making realm.
2. The World of Englishes
2.1. It Starts with Language, with Reading
2.2. Trans-Cultural Space: Entering the World of Englishes
transcultural continuum/transpace/transplace. An all-inclusive space of subjective consciousness and cultural possibilities which does not deny the formative importance of native cultures (and, to some extent, their accompanying worldviews) but at the same time allows an openness to the reception, integration, negotiation, and permeation of other cultures, languages, worldview transpace/transplace. Another way of defning the transcultural continuum. Transpace/transplace is the transcultural dimension that lies beyond the divides, often commercially or ideologically emphasized, of cultures. It represents a nonoppositional point of confluence or overlapping of cultures that in many ways expands Bhabha’s notion of the third space, the in-between space where hybridization occurs.
There are ever more young authors writing in the languages of their host countries. ... Some write in the language of their host countries while retaining the mental blueprint of their mother tongue, giving rise to surprising linguistic mélanges; others create defamiliarising effects by mixing the vocabulary of two or sometimes multiple languages.
3. Outsiderness Becomes Insiderness
3.1. It Always Starts with Being an Outsider; Being from “Over There”
3.2. Transcultural Space: Outsiderness Is Insiderness; Not the End of Difference
In order to understand, it is immensely important for the person who understands to be located outside the object of his or her creative understanding—in time, in space, in culture… In the realm of culture, outsideness is a most powerful factor in understanding.
The differences complement each other and create a new interpersonal transcultural community to which we belong, not because we are similar but because we are different.
4. Experiments Never End
4.1. It Was Called Experimental Writing
4.2. Transcultural Space: An Ongoing Experiment
5. From Feminism To Gender Fluidity
5.1. It Was Called Feminist Writing
5.2. In Transcultural Space: Where Gender Is Fluid
6. From The Multi-Cultural to Real Diversity
6.1. The Multi-Cultural Writer
6.2. Transcultural Space: Taking up the Torch from Multiculturalism
Transculturalism moves further, from the diversity of cultures to the even greater diversity of individuals, transcending their rigid cultural identities. The vision of nonviolent and nonuniform globalization coincides with the transcultural perspective in which more and more individuals find themselves “outside” of any particular culture, “outside” of its national, racial, sexual, ideological, and other divisions. The global society can be viewed as the space of ultimate diversity: diversity of free individuals.
7. The Global Foreign
7.1. From Travel Writer to Global Soul
7.2. Transcultural Space: Feeling Foreign Everywhere
8. Beyond The Post-Colonial Binaries
8.1. The Post-Colonial Margin
That is why I have passionately propagated the notion of transnational literature, which could be a new cultural platform, a literary territory for those writers who refuse to belong to their national literatures, or to belong to their national literatures only. I think that establishing a theoretical ground for transnational literature and opening other options than national culture and literature is an extremely important cultural job.
8.2. Transcultural Space: The Energetic Co-Existence and Dissolution of Binaries
Once again, a rule of thumb for transcultural diversity: oppose yourself to nobody, identify yourself with nothing. No identities and no oppositions—only concrete and multiple differences. The deeper is differentiation, the better is the prospect for universal peace.
Conflicts of Interest
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