?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

More thoughts after Eastercon 2012

First a link:

In case you missed it here's: Alex Dally MacFarlane's, Eastercon: It was fun, but...

Also, if you haven't read Tori Turslow's Dear Western SFF: stop it with 'exotic' already, the link is in the post below this.

More thoughts from Eastercon:

I roomed with aliettedb during Eastercon and as usually happens during the moments when we do actually get to see and spend time with each other, we wound up talking until all hours about the things that matter to us. Perhaps this has to do with how we both write Science Fiction and Fantasy in a borrowed language, but I think it's mainly because we've moved from being people who just know each other online to trusting each other as friends.

There are things from the non-anglophone panel that continue to circle around inside my head. Some assume that because we write in a borrowed language, we can't delve the nuances of it and can't truly express in it as native english speakers do. Sometimes, it felt like we were artifacts placed under examination. I suppose it's human nature..but still, it doesn't mean I feel comfortable about it. 

And finally, this poem was born out of all those thoughts. I hope it speaks in ways that I cannot.


Afterwards. . .

They said my tongue was twisted
They said I had no range--

I looked them in the eye and
I refused to be silenced.

They told me I should
surrender, why struggle?

"Assign someone else to be
the translator of your
dreams--”

I remained stubborn as hell
Refusing to be silenced.

I brought worlds to life with my words
And turned stars into dragons breathing
water, I saw them murder fire-- ( aliette's dragons )

I narrated the birth of the great mother's vessel
and told of how the skygods
unfolded the gates
of time--

Songs are born as throats break
We birth legends as
we die--

I have a voice
I choose not to be
silent.


@rcloenenruiz 2012

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
j_cheney
Apr. 12th, 2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
I like it ;o)

It would never have occurred to me to question your command of English. (It is, BTW, somewhat appalling how little command of the language many Anglophones have...)

Edited at 2012-04-12 07:24 pm (UTC)
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
Sorry about the response delay. LJ tends to go down on the list as the week progresses. I'm glad you liked the poem. And I think the reason why anglophones have little command of the language is because they speak it everyday and so it's taken for granted.

I was talking about this with my husband this morning as we biked with our son to football. How Dutch people tend to not follow biking rules when we "foreigners" are totally focused on following the rules to the letter because we are not from here. I guess, it's the same thing with language. When it's not yours, you tend to be a bit obsessive about which words you use and if you are using them correctly. I have that with Dutch too...argh...it's not easy.
j_cheney
Apr. 21st, 2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
Hmmm....that could be true.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Heh...that part was totally inspired by you. :)
(Deleted comment)
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 11:59 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it. Hope you're having a good weekend.
tamaranth
Apr. 12th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Your poem is awesome: bookmarked!

Some assume that because we write in a borrowed language, we can't delve the nuances of it and can't truly express in it as native english speakers do.

I don't have stats, but it seems comparatively rare for those born and educated in the UK to speak a second language fluently -- unless they've been brought up in an environment where they're exposed to multiple languages.

(Anecdotally, this was deemed a Bad Thing in the UK in the 1970s: my mother firmly believed that if I grew up bilingual it would somehow damage me. I didn't learn French until my teens, although my father was a native French speaker, and still don't speak it well.)

Given the perception that learning a second language is hard, it might explain why British fans -- especially the older ones -- question the fluency of non-native speakers, and / or feel it appropriate to compliment non-anglo writers in ways that boil down to 'pretty good English ... for a foreigner'.

Personally I am awed by those who can express themselves poetically, lyrically, creatively in more than one language: and I am aware that this says more about me than about those who are multilingual.

I wish I'd made it to that panel!
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 12:08 pm (UTC)
Given the perception that learning a second language is hard, it might explain why British fans -- especially the older ones -- question the fluency of non-native speakers, and / or feel it appropriate to compliment non-anglo writers in ways that boil down to 'pretty good English ... for a foreigner'.

Hmmm...I suppose you're right. I do get the pat on the head for speaking good Dutch as well. And I know it's not meant in a bad way, but if a person has lived in a country and spoken the language for a certain number of years, the "compliment" comes across as really patronizing. Same with the English thing, I suppose.

I didn't learn how to speak Tagalog until I was in highschool. I was so used to speaking Ilocano, Ifugao or English, Learning tagalog was like learning a foreign language. After I'd mastered tagalog, no one ever thought to compliment me on how well I spoke it.

Interestingly, my proficiency in English was taken for granted because I'd graduated second in my class and had one of the highest scores during the admission exams.
rose_lemberg
Apr. 12th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
This was both beautiful and moving.

Some assume that because we write in a borrowed language, we can't delve the nuances of it and can't truly express in it as native english speakers do. Sometimes, it felt like we were artifacts placed under examination
I get this shit too.
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
I think the weirdest part was the artifact feeling. In some ways, it felt very surreal...and I admit to feeling very tempted to act out as an artifact.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 13th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
Your writing voice is your writing voice: only you get to say how you use it and in what language and why and when. Anyone saying otherwise needs to stop and think hard about their own stupid assumptions and privileges.
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm bad about updating LJ. Thank you so much for your words, Kari.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 21st, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting!
Hugs.
Kosmogrrrl
Apr. 13th, 2012 09:32 am (UTC)
This is a stunning poem. Thank you.
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 12:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
gaspodia
Apr. 13th, 2012 09:39 am (UTC)
That is beautiful - thank you for sharing it! I get this shit too :) My father is a bilingual writer and your poem resonates with me on a personal level as it reminds me very much of the way my Father manages to express the beauty of one language when writing in the other.
rcloenen_ruiz
Apr. 21st, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad the poem spoke to you. You must be very close to your father. Thank you for sharing that. I think having more than one language enriches us and I think everyone would benefit from being able to speak more than one dominant language.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow