In her article, "Comparative Literature and Cultural Identity," Jola Skulj proposes a framework inspired by Mikhail Bakhtin's work. Skulj argues that the validity of cultural identity cannot be an equivalent to the measure of originality of an inherent national subjectivity in it. Such an idea of identity concept, quite acceptable in the nineteenth century, is insufficient to the views in literary studies today. From the standpoint of comparative literature, cultural identity exists only through its own deconstruction and permanent multiplication of several cultural relations. The identity principle of individual cultures is in fact established through the principle of otherness or -- to use Bakhtin's terminology -- through the principle of dialogism. As any individuality, cultural identity is a meeting point of several cross-cultural implications. It is of a complex plurivocal character, open to its own changes in order to preserve its own being in a new context of interests. Skulj argues that cultural identity is genuinely an intertext expressed in many instances in and via culture texts including literature. Thus, permanently re-interpreted cultural identity undoubtedly refers to the field of research of cross-cultural interactions and such a concept of cultural identity pre-eminently belongs to an expanded field of comparative studies.
"Comparative Literature and Cultural Identity."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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