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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Respecting Other Cultures

…to take another culture seriously means to accept it on its own terms, to accept the distinctive ways in which it differs from our own culture.  And it entails a genuine interest in the predicament of those who belong to the minority culture – in such encounters the cultures that are involved usually do not meet on equal terms – and who see their culture and their identity threatened by that of the dominant majority.  To take another culture seriously means that we cannot take for granted that its literature shares our preconceptions and our systems of value or that it will reflect a universal human condition.

- Hans Bertens, Literary Theory: The Basics (New York: Routledge, 2001), 199.

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