14 July 2009

Global literature

Adam Donaldson Powell writes:

"Many authors throughout history have played with using different languages in dialogues within the same work; and bilingual and multilingual adaptations in all possible forms is as popular today as ever before (especially in the international haiku network). However, the intent to use this literary form to reflect a modern globalized and mixed up cultural and linguistic world is a fairly new concept. We are moving from national literature in translation to multicultural/multilingual literature and 'global literature.' ... It is my hope that more 'global literature' will be written and published in the near future - including the employment of international cyberpunk and international urban dialects as language forms. Language is changing daily, and authors need to keep up ... and stay ahead artistically. This is just the beginning of a whole new world of literature."

I share Powell's hope that more writers will join the growing contemporary multilingual literary community. Globalization is a dirty word for some intellectuals, but like it or not, we have been globalized not only by McDonalds but by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (and other excellent writers that are read by everybody, not just their linguistic community). To be deliberate in being globalized is merely to be honest. What we need now (and I keep saying it, I know) is a parallel community of literary critics that will help us read globalized writers.

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