Mismatching Perspectives and Pacific Transculturality

Anne Rønning


Increased critical consciousness and awareness of interculturality in a global and glocal context at the beginning of the twenty-first century has increasingly used the concept of transculturation when discussing modernities. Politically transculturation can be used to describe processes of negotiation in contemporary society that lead to social awareness and solidarity, as well as ensuring the continuity of societies. The fusing of cultural forms leads to a mismatching of perspectives, hence some critics have preferred to use the terms translation and/or transliteracy to describe this concept. Transculturation is related to the “normal processes of artistic borrowing and influence, by which any culture makes part of its contribution to the conversation of mankind,” as Les Murray maintained, and “it engages multiple lines of difference simultaneously” with overlapping boundaries (Rogers 491). Referring to various authors and linking it to cultural appropriation and border crossings, this article examines how the narrative expression of Both Sides of the Moon, to cite the title of Alan Duff’s book, is a key feature of Pacific writing, in an area where centuries of migration from near and far have exposed different cultures to each other on social, political, linguistic and aesthetic levels. These ‘contact zones’, to use Mary Pratt’s words, provide the reader with constantly moving translated identities, cultural hybridity and a use of language that has a highly local significance in a global context.


transculturation; perspective; Pacific area.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/co201310190-201


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