Edited By Irene Maria F. Blayer and Dulce Maria Scott
Chapter Eight: Intercultural and Hybrid Poetics in David Oliveira’s Poetry: From Azorean “Ethnic Signs” within American Literature to Life in Cambodia
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Intercultural AND Hybrid Poetics IN David Oliveira’s Poetry
From Azorean “Ethnic Signs” within American Literature to Life in Cambodia
Of the few contemporary American poets of Portuguese descent, such as the acclaimed Frank Gaspar, Thomas Braga, Sam Pereira, and a few lesser-known names, in my estimation David Oliveira’s (1946–) poetic voice seems to be the one that really comes close to Holly E. Martin’s analysis of hybridity in literature. In Writing between Cultures: A Study of Hybrid Narratives in Ethnic Literature of the United States, Martin contends that most
of the fictional characters discussed in this book could be identified with the category of ethnic pride and consciousness, because they live as self-identified members of a specific minority ethnic group, maintain ties with their ethnic culture, and yet fully view themselves as U.S. Americans with an integral role in U.S. history and culture. As such, they have chosen to integrate the different cultures that shape their identities rather than to allow one or the other to dominate. Authors writing about characters with this sense of group identity, who also view themselves as both ethnic and U.S. American, produce many of the works discussed here as examples of hybrid perspectives in ethnic U.S. literature. (85)
David Oliveira does exactly this in In the Presence of Snakes (2000), A Little Travel Story (2008), and, to some extent, in an earlier...
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