Reading: “Multicultural Hybridity,” Part Two

*You ought to read Reading: “Multicultural Hybridity” by Laurie Grobman first.

Chapter Three of Multicultural Hybridity involves Laurie Grobman’s idea about the “hybrid aesthetic,” this idea that the standards by which we judge literary writing don’t have to come from only two choices: old-school/white/Western or a rejection of old-school/white/Western, but that our standards could recognize many different kinds of quality.

I was glad to read this chapter and its ideas, since I was trained in college to analyze and criticize literature from pluralist perspectives. The professor who had the biggest influence on me, Dr. Robert Evans, had us read works and then analyze them from a formalist perspective, then from a feminist perspective, then from a Marxist perspective, then from a new historicist perspective, then from a structuralist perspective, and so on. We learned to look at literature in more of an I.A. Richards kind of way than in a Harold Bloom kind of way.

This chapter in Multicultural Hybridity took those ideas one step further, into the domain of acknowledging multiple standards of beauty, of excellence, of quality, or of meaningfulness. I believe that we all bring our own baggage to the reading, and I was glad to read about this idea of how to literary scholars and teachers can be create a more accommodating (and open and honest) environment for more readers. Doing that is highly important as we move further into the 21st century with its post-colonial diversity.

[continued in Reading: “Multicultural Hybridity,” Part Three]

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