Dareen Louise M. Guisehan BSED English III
Contemporary Literature Mrs. Maria Emperatriz G. Rabat October 12, 2012
The English Language and Contemporary Literature
When I first heard about contemporary literature, the first thought that came into my mind is that it is the literature that we have today. I never thought of it as a literature that deals seriously with cultural identity albeit the stories we can easily relate that it told. The contemporary writers’ names also sounded so exotic to me that it amazed me that they use the English language proficiently without deserting their cultural roots. They write like they were born with English tongues. But why is it then that these contemporary writers don’t write their works in their own language or dialect? For me, this question also answers the question about the relationship of the English language and the contemporary literature. The English language is the universal language. It is just a tool for the contemporary writers to communicate with the multiracial community. They only write in English for us to be able to understand the stories they want to share, the ideals they want to impose, and the culture and the way of life they want us to take a glimpse. How can we understand what they wanted to say if they won’t use the English language? It does not mean that if we use the English language, we are not patriotic to our own native tongues. It is just a tool we have to have. Though these contemporary writers write in English, they assimilate it with their own styles and their identities. As Salman Rushdie put it, “…those peoples who were once colonized by the language are now rapidly remaking it, domesticating it, becoming more and more relaxed about the way they use it…” This I believe means that we do not own the English language but we have ways to make it ours. The literatures we write in the English language are certainly ours. For me, the English language is like the original “pancit” recipe...
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