These essays bring home the most challenging observations of postmodernism-multiple identities, the fragility of meaning, the risks of communication. 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 (aesthetics; language and philosophy; psychoanalysis, and politics) cannot see or hear more than one language at a time. The goal of these essays is to create a new field: bilingual arts & aesthetics which examine the aesthetic product produced by bilingual diasporic communities. The focus of this volume is the Americas, but examples and theoretical proposals come from Europe as well. In both areas, the issue offers another level of complexity to the migrant and cosmopolitan character of local societies in a global economy.
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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).
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