Week 8, The Burden of English, Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak, (Castle)

November 19, 2007

I have not thought so much before about the way in which I read and listen to others and in doing so either experience the privilege of being understood or alienation. “You cannot make sense of anything written or spoken unless without implicitly assuming that it was destined for you, that you are its implied reader” (55). I can identify with this when I think about what I experience when I hear others tell stories that leave me without the ability to identify with their experience of power, luxury or privilege. I do not want to infer that this places me entirely in the same position as the subaltern or colonized– since in these situations there are multiple layers of alienation that are experienced that I am not familiar with. However, this chapter was eye opening in terms of the assumptions that people have as they communicate, listen and read.


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