Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

«Viajero en tierra extraña»: Paul Bowles y la retórica de la interculturalidad

Elena Ortells Montón


Paul Bowles‘s short fiction provides a powerful image of the culture clash surfacing from the application of a Western gaze to the North African Arab culture. The gulf between cultures is enlarged rather than negotiated since the texts analyzed do not present elements for reconciliation. The sense of incomprehension of the western subject towards the «other» is achieved by distancing both narrator and reader from the events depicted, as well as by enhancing the violence of the images and symbols chosen to describe the «exotic» Arab environment. The conclusion may be drawn that there is little hope of a dialogue between cultures, unless the initial assumed positions of superiority and inferiority are dropped, reversed or suppressed, which does not seem to be the case in these instances of Bowle’s y short fiction.

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