Date: August 2009
Creator: Miner, Joshua D.
Description: Contemporary transnational literature presents a unique interpretive problem, due to new methods of language and culture negotiation in the information age. The resulting condition, transnational compositionality, is evidenced by specific linguistic artifacts; to illustrate this I use three American novels as a case study: Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon, Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. By extension, many conventional literary elements are changed in the transnational since modernity: satire is no longer a lampooning of cultures but a questioning of the methods by which humans blend cultures together; similarly, complex symbolic constructions may no longer be taken at face value, for they now communicate more about cultural identity processes than static ideologies. If scholars are to achieve adequate interpretations of these elements, we must consider the global framework that has so intimately shaped them in the twenty-first century.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries