Sommer asserts that many people normally live that is, think, feel, create, reason, persuade, laugh in more than one language. She claims that traditional scholarship (1 - aesthetics, 2 - language and philosophy, 3 - psychoanalysis, and 4 - politics) cannot see or hear more than one language at a time, and her goal is to create a new field - bilingual arts and aesthetics, which examines the aesthetic product which is produced by bilingual diasporic communities. Sommer invites distinguished writers to examine the fundamental difference it makes to play games between languages. These essays bring home challenging observations of postmodernism (multiple identities, the fragility of meaning, the risks of communication) with the grace and intelligence of seasoned players. The focus of this volume is the Americas, but examples and theoretical proposals come from Europe, too. There, the issue of traditional regional language rights makes points of contact with indigenous rights in the Americas. In both areas, the issue offers another level of complexity to the migrant and cosmopolitan character of local societies in a global economy.
Table of Contents
Choices?; what is the ontological status of bilingualism?, M. Holquist; is monolingualism possible?, E. Bernadez; Jose can you see? - Latina responses to racist discourse, A.C. Zentella; places; New York, diaspora city - Latinos between and beyond, J. Flores; Montreal - a city in translation, S. Simon; introduction to Tetraglosia - the situation of Maghrebi writers, R. Bensmaia; bilinguism, Quecha poetry and post modern subjectivity, J.A. Mazzotti; the trans-American trail to "Cerca del Cielo" - John Sayles and the aesthetics of multilingual cinema, J. Miller; genders Dona Marina and Captain Malinche, M. Glantz; bilingual blues, bilingual bliss - El Caso Casey, G.Perez Frimat; the mother tongue, B. Trigo; Cuban lexicon for bargaining bilinguals in Daina Chaviano's - el hombre, la hembra y el hambre, E. Whitfield; doubled-barreled canon; pidginizing Chinese, Y. Huang; found in translation - reflections of bilingual American, J. Marzan; the language of mixture, J. Ortega; Kafka's languages, D. Suchoff; Igor Guberman - an exile's art of punning, G. Slobin; bilingual sciences, S. Molloy.
DORIS SOMMER is Professor of Latin American Literature at Harvard University and the author of Proceed With Caution, When Engaged by Minority Writing in the Americas, (Harvard 99); Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America, (California 91) and One Master for Another: Populism as Patriarchal Rhetoric in Dominican Novels (op 1984). She edited The Places of History: Regionalism Revisited in Latin America, (Duke 99) and co-edited Nationalisms and Sexualities, (Routledge 91).