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Original Content: Non-Western SF Roundtable (Part 2)

Part 2 of our roundtable on Non-Western SF. Part 1 is here.

Participating: Aliette de Bodard (France), Joyce Chng (Singapore), Requires Hate(Thailand), Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Philippines/The Netherlands),Ekaterina Sedia (Russian/USA), Rachel Swirsky (USA).

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Aliette: We talk about colonisation, which is mostly a phenomenon of the past (but which has left marks and scars everywhere that will take a long time to fade); but I think we need to bring up globalisation. It’s often lauded as a way which makes the world smaller so that cultures can meet. In reality, it’s immensely problematic, because what it has mostly done is homogenise everything to a common US/European framework and deny the values and identities of the people from outside that framework in, I think, a more insidious way than colonisation. Many people (especially in the West) suffer from the illusion that colonisation is dead; but it’s not. It lives on in its new incarnation; and it means we can talk about “universal stories” and “universal tropes” with such glibness–and forget that a large chunk of the world follows very different values and mindsets from the “default”, Western Anglophone one. Like requireshate says, there’s a really pernicious assumption that everyone is part of the mass and subscribing to the same “core” values, whereas nothing could be further from the truth. And there remains a fundamental power imbalance between the Western, English-speaking world and the non-Western countries–an imbalance that notably gets expressed in literature, and in the one-way street that means books get translated from English into pretty much every country in the world, but 0.3% of books published in the US are actually translated into English.

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Joyce: Oh yes, globalization is insidious. Everyone is equal. Shrinking world. Blah blah blah. Everyone holds hands and we are friends. No. The scars of colonization are still there. Many former colonies are left with the issues to deal with. :(

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requireshate: When I go to a bookstore, there are veritable shelves of translated fiction–a fair bit from Japanese and Chinese, but vastly dominated by English-language fiction in translation. It’s what a lot of kids grow up reading, and it’s pretty awful to see so many covers featuring white girls (localized YA fiction and paranormal romance: Vampire Academy, Sherilyn Kenyon, and so on). The same holds true for advertisements in cosmetics/hairstylist/etc sections in any shopping mall–chock-full of white women on display, even some black women, but starkly few Asian women! And then, only from brands that are Asian in origin anyway. Christian Dior, Lancome, whatever? All white ladies. And, again, clothes brands, lingerie, all white bodies. These western corporations didn’t even think of localizing their advertising materials. Why would they? White signals opulence, beauty, and desirability. White is good, attractive, and an ideal we should aspire to. All this without Thailand having ever been colonized.

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Joyce: Ditto in Singapore. A lot of white girls. Sooo… what does it say about the effects of colonization/colonialism? That Singaporeans have colonized minds?

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Aliette: it’s the same in Vietnam, at least in those few bookstores I went to: the bookshelves for fiction translated from Western English were larger than the ones for Vietnamese and Chinese fiction put together, and that’s not even counting Young Adult…

(and also the same, sadly, for beauty products displaying white models)

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Rochita: I think you can say the same about The Philippines. When I went home last year, I was struck once again by the plethora of fiction in English. They dominated the shelves. I was hard put to find books written by Filipino writers. True, there were some I hadn’t read before, but the imbalance was mind-boggling.

What worries me about globalisation is how easy it is to buy into that mantra of a universal narrative. Argh. Just as well say people all look alike.

Addressing the question of Western people writing about or of a borrowed culture (I think I prefer that term), I believe it is possible to avoid the pitfall of exotization. It will probably take a good deal of reading and a good deal of time and energy investment, but I believe it will be well worth it to the reader and to the author. It’s not enough to visit a country (the tourist writer who goes “oh shiny, I wanna write about that because it’s so cool and different”). I think, as Requires Hate has pointed out, it’s important to at least engage the literature of the country. It may be difficult but I think a lot of the heart of a culture is revealed in the work written by the people themselves.

Let me tell you what an American person established in the publishing industry told me: I should buy a thick book of American poetry and read these poems everyday until I get the nuance of the language. When  told this to visiting poet, JT Stewart, she said to me: No. You don’t need to do that because you write the language as you hear it in your ears. As you grew up hearing it and speaking it. Not as Americans do.

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Aliette: Yes, there’s a very deep-seated assumption that Westerners are the reference for the English language–whereas the largest Anglophone country in the world is India, and there are plenty more non-Western countries where English is an official language. That’s not even getting into the mechanics that mean most of the world has to learn English as a second or third language just to get by, whereas most English speakers can afford to remain monolingual.

Coming back to the subject of writing in another culture: I, too, think it’s possible to do it well (if not perfectly, and probably not as insider narrative). I’d add talking to actual people from the culture and visiting (with locals, not expats!) to reading the books.

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Rochita: I agree.

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Joyce:  Ditto.

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Aliette: Paraphrasing a 101 I gave to someone else about writing other cultures:

I think that, especially if you’re  a Westerner doing another culture, you have responsibilities to do the best darn research you can (and not just appropriate the cool bits). You must take care not to promote harmful stereotypes ; especially since, as a Western writer (especially, but not only, if you live in the West), you must be aware that your narrative is going to be privileged over that of locals. That gives you extra responsibility to get it as right as you can.

You have to accept that your narrative will always be that of an outsider. Sometimes a privileged or particularly well-documented outsider; but it won’t be 100% accurate. It doesn’t mean it’s worthless, it doesn’t mean it can’t be good; but it does mean you have to be aware of the issues in writing outsider narrative (mostly that a lot of other people have been doing it badly, badly wrong over decades); and thus be very careful of what you put on the page.

You might get called on what you wrote; you might be accused of getting things wrong. This is the frustrating part, because there really isn’t any other answer that you can give but “sorry, will do better”, even if you think the other person’s experience isn’t “representative” (whatever that hoary term means). You basically aren’t speaking in a position of authority about the culture, even if you researched it to death. (that’s the bit I struggle most with, incidentally. But I totally understand where it’s coming from).

But, honestly, when I see the mistakes that piss off people like requireshate, it starts with very basic stuff like getting names wrong, or over-exoticising the everyday. When I read a story about Vietnam or France, most of the stuff that makes me want to throw it at the wall is on the same basic level of wrong names, followed by wrong mindsets (I once read a story in which a 17th-Century Vietnamese struck his father and didn’t feel remorse about it. Not likely unless we’re talking psychopath). The mindset is a surprisingly faily one: people from a different culture are going to have vastly different values and assumptions, and you just can’t transplant, say, a modern British person and pass them off as a Vietnamese just through a little change of costumes! You have to understand what makes a culture’s bedrock, what is likely to make people tick, what they’re likely to value and hate–different cultures have radically different axes. To take just one example, the quintessential Confucian male is the scholar with great literary talent, wearing his hair long (because cutting one’s hair was a Barbarian thing), and not hesitating to weep tears when parting from friends. This is a far cry from the male ideal in, say, mainstream US society, where weeping is seen as a very girly thing, and there is deep-seated suspicion of people who are too smart.

And, finally, when you’re done writing your short story or book, get someone from said culture to read it; several someones if you can, that you can trust to give you an honest opinion of where you might have screwed up (always useful to not only have several pairs of eyeballs, but several people from different points of view within the culture can help identify issues).

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Ekaterina: Also, something Western writers often overlook or are not terribly concerned about: even though you are not speaking from the position of the authority, as Aliette said, you WILL be perceived as an expert and an authority of a foreign culture you write about. And that’s a serious risk.

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Joyce: I would like to follow up on Aliette’s point: Do ask people from that culture to have a look through/critique/beta-read the story. Please, please, please, do it.

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Rochita: Excellent pointers. And take note of the pointer where Aliette says that if someone says you’re doing it wrong from the reference point of their own experience, then you as an outsider writer just have to accept it and apologize or determine to try better/fail better. It bewilders me when people get defensive about criticisms leveled at their outsider work because isn’t that to be expected? I mean, as writers we already know that when we put something out there, not everyone is going to love it. That is just asking for the impossible. And that someone bothers to point out the fail is a sign that they wanted you to try harder or at least there was/is an expectation that you can do better than that.

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Ekaterina: Another point is that the insiders will disagree. Some will like it, some won’t, and some will hate it because it is by an outsider. And the lesson for the writer there is not to say “Well, screw it, haters gonna hate, I’ll just write whatever because you cannot please anyone”. You’re still responsible for doing as good a job as you can. And accepting that your best might not be good enough for some people, and their opinions are also valid. Don’t trot out the natives who loved your work, don’t tell people who dislike it that they’re wrong because another person from the same culture liked it. So really, if you want approval, stay out of other people’s cultures. Nations won’t get together to sign waivers that say that you are free to appropriate whatever and no one can say anything about it ever. People will be angry, and they will be right to be angry. If it upsets you, reconsider your motivation.

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Joyce: I agree with Ekaterina’s points here as well.

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Rochita: Ditto.

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Aliette: Yup, definitely agree!

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Rachel: As the token westerner… ;-)

It’s interesting to me that outsiders get so frustrated with the idea that insiders will disagree with each other about what constitutes a good representation. (In my experience, the same dynamic occurs along other axes of privilege as well.) Writers understand that when they are writing, for instance, a character, not all of their readers are going to agree with each other. Readers aren’t a monolith. If you can understand that two American white dudes can disagree on whether a character is well-written, then theoretically you can understand that two people from a non-Western culture can disagree on how well the representation is done.

Writers are also–well, I hope they’re also–prepared for the idea that no matter how much energy they put into making a piece of work as beautiful and wonderful as they can, people are still going to criticize it. For some reason, that understanding gets churned under as soon as the issues in question carry sociological weight; there seems to be a feeling that research or good intent should insulate the writer from criticism.

Most writers I know have prepared themselves for being critiqued about character, etc. When privileged people take on writing about people from non-privileged populations, they need to be prepared for that level of critique, too. It may be more heated, but the stakes are also higher.

I hope that writers who ask other people to beta-read their stories do so with care and concern for the people on whom they are imposing. Nisi Shawl recommends in Writing the Other that one should offer a meal or at least a drink. If you’re in a reciprocal critique relationship with someone, or hope to establish one, that’s one thing. If you’re talking to someone with whom you have a prior relationship, that’s another. If you are approaching someone you don’t know, it’s vital to bear in mind that you are asking for a favor, and to remember reciprocity.

Speaking as a western writer, and as someone who has attempted to engage in writing with other kinds of privilege, I am inclined to agree that it’s inescapable that a privileged person will write a narrative that is rooted in their privilege. One can minimize exoticism, I hope, but I don’t think it’s possible to erase it.

As a writer of science fiction, particularly, though, I see myself as having an obligation to present a future that is, as Joyce says, for everyone. As I should have said in the other roundtable, despite the American propensity (including mine) toward tunnel vision, reality is global, and (barring certain speculative scenarios), the future should be global or globally influenced as well. I think there’s an obligation for Western writers who work within science fiction to engage with both western and non-western cultures. Otherwise, we do end up with white-washed (western-washed) futures and I think that the effect of this on the cultural imagination is wholly negative; the future isn’t just for white westerners. I think it’s a particularly pernicious form of erasure.

Obviously, the tunnel vision problem can, to some extent, be fixed by providing more works in translation, and by providing greater publishing access to non-western writers, both those who write in English and those who don’t, but I also think that the western imagination of the future itself needs to be adjusted.

Honestly, I think part of the problem with Americans writing about non-western cultures-or reading about them, or engaging with work written within those contexts–is that we hardly talk about colonialism at all; it’s a tabooed subject, but I don’t think one can really understand the global political context without an understanding of colonialism.

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Aliette: I agree… to some extent. That’s another point I wanted to bring up: we’ve been focusing on narratives exclusively or quasi-exclusively set in other countries so far, but SF has a habit of large-scale narratives set all over the world. Well. All over the Western world. It is very problematic when the future space stations are manned only by white people, the future of the world decided jointly by America and Europe, and the non-Western countries are presented as hell-holes of poverty only fit to escape from. (though we can argue about the very notion of having a large-scale and global setting and deciding the future of the world, which feels a tad imperialistic to me…).

That said, for me, it rejoins some of the comments we’ve been making on different types of narratives: it would definitely be better to have visions of the future coming out of the Western Anglophone tradition that are genuinely multicultural, but having other narrations from non-Western countries would, I think, present radically different pictures of the future, and alleviate the issue of tunnel vision sometimes found in (Western, American) SF books. The best cure for tunnel vision is openness of mind :-)

There is also a big problem with colonialism here in France. It is pretty much never talked about in polite society, and glossed over in school by saying “we did some morally reprehensible things, but it’s OK because we brought the gift of civilisation to the colonised countries”. The extent of the reprehensible things (destruction of said local civilisation, widespread repression, imposition of foreign ways of living and inferiority complexes) is just never brought up at all. I once started to talk about how France broke Vietnam by colonising it and separating it into three entities just as it was becoming a country, and other French people told me to stop–I can stop, sure, but it’s still true! (and don’t get me started on the “gift of civilisation” thing…)

From comparing notes with the UK (where I lived for a while), I suspect there’s a big tendency in the Western world to say that colonialism is over and done with, and that there is thus no need to talk about it or address it. Which is… disingenuous, annoying, and harmful because it perpetuates colonialist myths about the past and the present.

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Joyce: Why is colonialism a taboo subject? Is it because as Aliette has said, nobody wanted to talk about the “reprehensible things”? Westerners have to confront this particular demon if they want to really understand what’s going on. To say that it’s “over and done with” is just ignorance and damaging.

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Aliette: speaking only for France, I think we’re very bad at dealing with our demons. There’s been a lot of self-examination going on in the wake of WWII (and over the fact a lot of French people were collaborators), but I highly suspect this is because the faction that came out ahead in France fought collaborators–so we don’t have to admit, per se, that the *official* government sanctioned anything that was going on during WWII. Same thing applies to colonisation and its legacy; there’s no examination of the fact that the French government and the French people were arrogant enough to carve out huge chunks of countries and mostly ignore the people who were there in the first place; and are responsible for a lot of the current problems plaguing the developing world.

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Rachel: In the United States, we pretend that colonialism is something that other countries did and do not acknowledge the ways in which it influenced our global positioning.

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Aliette: bringing up another subject… Should we discuss the issues associated with genre definition and genre narratives? I have the feeling that “this story isn’t SFF” is very often used as an argument to dismiss non-Western SF on the grounds that it doesn’t adhere to a mostly Western definition of SFF–like having no novum, not being “realistic”, not having enough “science” or “defined rules of magic”. (it’s also used to dismiss women writers from SF, but that’s another kettle of fish altogether!)

There is a twin issue, which is the other problem Rochita raised: different cultures have different values and different narratives, and there is thus a tendency for the field to tell non-Western writers that their writing is flawed; that their narratives don’t deliver a satisfying ending, their characters are too passive; their story structures are weak (or too convoluted): in other words, to hold everyone to a narrow definition of story, very largely elaborated in the US/Western Anglophone world.

What do people think?

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Joyce: I think it all ties in with that mindset of the non-Western writer being ‘inferior’. That’s one dangerous (colonized) mindset.

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Aliette: Yes, colonisation v2.0.

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Rochita:  Yes. I remember a conversation I had with Chris Beckett at my first Eastercon where Chris was asking me if there were any SF narratives in The Philippines. I had been doing a lot of reading into native folktales and native myths, and I told Chris about certain stories that struck me as having a particular SF flavor. For instance, there is a story where a woman is carried away to the Skyworld in a basket. I could see the basket as a metaphor for flying saucer and the visitors from the Skyworld as possible aliens or future beings from the same world. But because these stories are not told in what we define or recognize as SF language, a reader used to the Western narrative would probably not identify it as SF.

I believe that we, as writers in the act of decolonizing, seek to break the expectations that are placed on our SF as we try to reconcile history and heritage and the way we look at SF. I read Aliette’s stories and I can see how this is a story that is uniquely Aliette and uniquely SF because it does not always conform to the SF narrative. The expectations of Western SF are very particular so much so that if we bring stuff to the table that just doesn’t compute with that expectation, the work we produce is shunted off as “oh it’s fantasy in space” or some such thing.

For me, the beauty of being a non-western writer is this: I don’t feel constricted by the demands of existing SF, because I do not see the body of Western SF as being the only true SF. My input into the great SF conversation is to say: look, I know you think of SF that way, but just put yourself in my shoes and try to see through my eyes because I am trying to show you what SF looks like from my point of view.

There was a time that I did feel pressured to conform, but I soon realized my inability to be truly creative inside those strictures. I believe SF as a genre is one that means for its inhabitants to be constantly trying the boundaries, shaking up conventions, and turning expectation on its head. So, to me the unexpected narrative is more beautiful because it expresses this spirit of openness. It’s frustrating when we get told that our characters aren’t proactive enough of they aren’t saving themselves or that things just happen. It’s like the colonizers telling the village people: Look, your Mumbaki, he doesn’t fit in with our model of what Christianized people should be like.

If we were equal, we wouldn’t have to be worried about our stories not conforming to narrative or fitting into the set paradigm.

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requireshate: With regards to being sellable and marketable–that requires playing to the western gaze, making your culture accessible to western readers, giving them a channel for literary tourism. Another tool of imperialism, frankly.

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Rochita: True. In a sense that’s like selling your soul. <g> I don’t think it’s sustainable and in the end, I don’t believe it makes for good fiction.

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Joyce: Ditto on “tool of imperialism”. It hurts the non-Western writer in the end.

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Ekaterina: Cultural colonialism, again — only certain kinds of narratives are acceptable. And Western readers and writers often forget that this is not a symmetrical situation! American culture as filtered through Hollywood/major book releases is so ubiquitous everywhere, they shape narratives all over the world. So it’s not only non-Western writers not being translated into English but also a form of cultural genocide where intrusions of Western narratives everywhere reshape stories as well. It’s such a self-perpetuating machine that feels very powerful. I mean, I have no idea how to deal with something so huge.

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Aliette: *nods* I agree with pretty much everything; and I wish I had a solution, but like Ekaterina I find the whole issue a bit daunting. Very huge and very pervasive–and so very insidious.

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Rochita: I’d like to share something from the Babaylan Files. Conversations-signs and symptoms of the decolonized Filipina in the US. My observation of American/European culture is how there is a very strong “I” orientation. Societies are individualistic and this also shows in the narratives that we get from the West. In returning to the indigenous, there is a stronger focus on community: we have the narratives of extended families, the strength of women bonded together, the role of culture bearers and the consciousness of history, which not all western writers are aware of, but which I believe the non-western writer is more keenly aware of. I’m sorry that I can’t point to a specific article as I didn’t realize we’d be having this conversation when I read it, but I remember this article that said reading history and getting very angry are the first steps towards decolonization. <g>

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May 15, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Comments

  1. Why is colonialism a taboo subject? Is it because as Aliette has said, nobody wanted to talk about the “reprehensible things”?

    As a white person raised in the UK – yes, I think it is just this. We acknowledge that colonialism was reprehensible but we a) think it’s enough to just go “I know it was bad! How can you call me a racist!” without even considering that colonialism is alive and powerful under new names like globalisation and cultural imperialism, and b) don’t want to look bad. Yeah, we know colonialism is bad, but the more people talk about it, the more bad we Westerners look – and we know it’s bad, okay! Leave us alone! We’re good people!

    We really need to be educating our children that colonialism and the racism that drove it didn’t stop the moment we abolished slavery or withdrew from India, etc, but that would require adults to acknowledge and understand this – and there’s a massive amount of reluctance, even among people who are not utterly insular and narrow-minded, to admit that our culture and society is still damaging the rest of the world. Mostly, I think, because it makes us look bad to admit it. Apparently we are a society of five-year-olds.

    Comment by Alex Dally MacFarlane | May 15, 2012

  2. [...] Part 1 Part 2 [...]

    Pingback by Non-Western SF Roundtable « A Wolf's Tale | May 15, 2012

  3. Translations of Chinese SF to English by Beijing Guomi Digital Technology:

    http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.com.es/2012/05/interview-with-verbena-cw-editor-of-liu.html

    Comment by saajanpatel | May 15, 2012

  4. yes yes! I love this post!

    Also saying right out there that colonialism isn’t over and that globalism is a kind of colonialism!

    Comment by leewind | May 15, 2012

  5. [...] on non-Western SF. We tackle writing other cultures, exoticism, non-Western narratives: part 1, and part 2. Many thanks to Fabio Fernandes, Lavie Tidhar and Charles Tan for making this possible. [...]

    Pingback by Aliette de Bodard » Blog Archive » More linky linky | May 15, 2012

  6. For those of the roundtable who have read Lavie’s Osama, which takes place partially in Thailand and in Paris (among other places), what do you think of how he handled “Outsider” treatment of the areas? The point of view character is explicitly a non-native, a tourist, which does tend to color the exposition along those lines.

    Comment by montsamu | May 15, 2012

    • Lavie himself is not exactly a representative of a majority culture. Sure, there are plenty of outsider narratives, which can be interesting and valid and worthwhile, but it’s the power differential that makes some of them problematic. An American writing about Thailand and an Israeli writing about Paris explicitly come from very different places; the first type of narrative can potentially become colonizing (by virtue of being valued above and distributed more widely than native voices; native voices already lacking fair representation in the majority culture etc). The second is just that — an outsider encounter which is unlikely to displace native narratives or to significantly affect representation of the depicted culture.

      Comment by katsedia | May 16, 2012

      • All very true and worth thinking on. Plus, maybe I missed something, but it’s not a narrative that pretends to be insider in any way, is it? Not to say that narratives from the POV of outsiders aren’t problematic (they can also be very damaging), but the ones I find most damaging are what I call “outsider narratives”: novels set in a foreign culture, with important characters from said culture, but written by people foreign to the culture.

        Comment by Aliette de Bodard (@aliettedb) | May 16, 2012

      • @Aliette — quite true. Pretend insider v explicit outsider accounts are obviously worth differentiating. As problematic as outsider accounts may be, they seem less problematic if they in no way pretend to be insider, and disclaim as much. I think I nattered elsewhere about speaking about a culture and speaking FOR a culture distinction, and the former seems… more honest, I guess, although not by any means issue-free.

        Comment by katsedia | May 19, 2012

  7. [...] World SF Non-Western SF Roundtable (Part 2). [...]

    Pingback by SF Tidbits for 5/16/12 - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog | May 16, 2012

  8. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this discussion. I particularly appreciate Aliette de Bodard saying unequivocally that globalization is a new form of colonialism. Colonizing the mind is so much more powerful and so much less trouble than actually having to go to strange lands and subdue the natives, although perhaps the latter is a useful precursor to the former.

    One other aspect of the discussion that struck me was that writers who are from non-dominant cultures do not have any kind of obligation to educate western readers. I recall that as a kid growing up in India I read books by Western writers and had to figure out the meaning and significance of words, customs and events from context, from other reading, and from what I learned about that part of the world in school. There is no reason why Western readers shouldn’t or can’t go through that process too. That said, I like to say that although I currently live in the US, and have done so for some years (hoping to return to India some day), I write for the world. This means that I’d like my work to make sense to a reader from Mongolia or Mali just as much as the US, and also that the Indian audience is central (keeps me honest). Some people I’ve talked to here in the US seem to take for granted that I am writing just for them (and say so), which is very annoying.

    I am also the kind of writer who happens to like description. I think the difference between a non-western writer writing from their lived experience and a western writer writing about a non-western culture from visits and research is one of emphasis. What stands out to the outsider, as has been remarked in this discussion, is what is different from what you have known, distorted (if the writer is not careful) by stereotype and prejudice. A writer from a non-Western culture, immersed in that culture, should not be unconscious of the air he or she breathes, because part of being a writer is bringing these things to consciousness (to me these include smells, sounds, colors, the landscape as character). But such a writer will choose different aspects of the physical setting from which to make meaning, and will make meaning from otherwise cliched things through their own experience. Take fruit stands. When I think of fruit stands, or for that matter food vendors who ply their trade in carts,I think of going shopping with my mother as a child or teen, about arguments regarding the best kind of mango among my aunts and uncles, or the physics discussions my friends and I had around the paratha vendor’s cart in the evenings as undergraduates in college. Western writers might find it quaint that parts of Delhi still have wandering cows, and pariah dogs, and might point that out in their stories as part of the exotic baggage. But I was the kind of kid who made friends with wandering animals, and was sensitive to their presence and lives as I was to trees and humans. So I write about them (sometimes) but from a deeper place than mere window dressing. Although these are real experiences,one is still in danger of being read as pandering to Western expectations. There’s nothing I can do about that, however, other than trying my best to be as fiercely myself as possible, and reading discussions such as these.

    Kudos and congratulations to Fabio, and thanks to all the participants in the discussion.

    Comment by vsinghsblog | May 16, 2012

  9. [...] roundtable and its sequel, plus associated blog post, tackled the relationship between science fiction, Western writers, and [...]

    Pingback by H II Regions, 22 May 2012 « Cosmic Vinegar | May 22, 2012

  10. [...] A World SF Blog “counter”- Roundtable as a kind of answer to Locus – in two parts (one, two) [...]

    Pingback by INTERVIEW: Some Thoughts on Post-Colonialism and Politics in SF with Djibril al-Ayad, Editor of “The Future Fire” Magazine - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog | May 23, 2012

  11. [...] talked about that very issue quite a bit at World SF roundtable recently! Part 1 and Part 2 are available online. I recommend it, since it is certainly a more nuanced and detailed discussion [...]

    Pingback by MIND MELD: How to Write Science Fiction on a Post-Colonial World? - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog | June 6, 2012


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