Congresos y reuniones científicas
Interpreting Maladies: An Experience of Cross-Cultural Translation
Jornada; XLIII Jornadas de Estudios Americanos; 2011
Institución organizadora:
Asociación Argentina de Estudios Americanos, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad de la República, Facultad de Humanidades de la Universidad de Montevideo
The problem of cross-cultural mediation arises in those social circumstances that require some exchange of cultural values. The aim of cross-cultural mediation can be said to decrease the threat of intercultural clash and evade marginalization, which may be the direct result of a lack of awareness of the linguistic or behavioural codes of the cultures involved. Cultural differences are acquired differences, acquired by socialization in specific cultural contexts where interaction among social and cultural agents determines the complex process of identity formation. In this respect, national identities, in many cases recently formed after great efforts against colonial rule, have become exposed and prone to erosion by global forces such as multinational corporations, international communities, and even tourism. This paper explores these issues by focusing on a particular experience in which cultural differences are articulated in J. Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies” (in Interpreter of Maladies: Stories, 1999). I intend to prove that the interactions among the main characters in this story effectively address the problem of the exchange of cultural values and meaning in the so-called process of cross-cultural mediation referred to before. I also seek to examine this phenomenon in light of the notions of displacement and cultural dislocation, among other relevant concepts in the fields of postcolonial and ethnic literatures.