English 363


Blog #28
November 15, 2011, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

            In the note preceding Foster’s story the reader is warned that many different types of language will be used.  ‘ pocho,calo,sland and varieties of speech from the Vietnam era’, Foster is using aspects of both heteroglossia and alterity. heteroglossia (literally, ‘other-language’) The use of language elements inherited or learned from others…heteroglossia normally suffuses all discourses. alterity The theme or effect of otherness or strangeness ( Jahn N3.1.10). Foster uses different real languages and a variation of a language that he created or adapted for his novel exchanging the letter C for the letter K or X such in Atomik and Aztex. He uses ‘slang’ when he writes thot and cos. This variation does make the novel seem like it is written by an other or strange. Foster deliberately creates this otherness or strangeness in his novel not only because he wants the reader to recognize that it is not reality, but also because he wants the language to be problematic. This problematic language makes the reader have to work harder while reading the novel and ensures that only a selective audience will read his audience. Foster should assume that by writing this way he segregates his audience to only those who have an open mind, one open enough to be able to accept gruesome pig-gutting scenes and the ripping out of hearts which mirrors the gruesome-ness of the pig slaughters.  With this use of language, Foster seemingly associates the treatment of the Aztex or Aztec people to the treatment of pigs or other animals that are consumed and alienated by others. Although Foster seems to equate Aztex with the gentile or innocence of animals, at the same time he shows their blood thirst and that these Aztex will not be exterminated like the Aztecs were. The note preceding the text makes the reader aware of what they’re getting into. This note is supposedly written by Charlotte Delbo, which makes me wonder why Delbo would write this, or if she even really wrote it at all, and if it is not a way for Foster to defer authorship.

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