Monday, September 24, 2007

the spaces between languages

At the end of the first day of the conversazione, in response to Alain Gagnon's lecture on Québec identity, I noted, as if it were a problem, that the fact that the marker of identity for the Québécois being language and the marker of identity for Anglophones being institutions already presented a décalage of common ground. Two frameworks by-passing each other.

But by the end of the second day, this bypassing of the two languages, seemed to be the very thing that made the Canadian experiment work, albeit irritatingly. As Alain said to me in our conversation after dinner, On se parle, quand même.

And in the spaces between languages, while we listen and wait patiently to understand the other, we allow for the possibility of multiple voices and languages to enter our consciousness.

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