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Caroline Bergvall
Caroline Bergvall
Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1962 to a Norwegian father and French mother, Caroline Bergvall grew up in Switzerland, Norway and France with longer periods in the US and England....
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American Poet Magazine
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Some Capacities and Fallacies of Literary Hybridity: A Card Game

 
by Christine Hume

This game plays with hybridity at the level of genre, and acknowledges genre as just that: a question, a plaything, a protean game, an unfinished conversation.

Rules: Click on the deck to draw a card at random. Ideally, each section will invite conversation; this is not solitaire. Take turns drawing cards by clicking on the deck again and reading the text aloud. For any non-face cards, invent your own topic concerning hybridity; ask another player to compose a short, impromptu talk using your topic. Or, if playing alone, post your thoughts on the Poets.org Facebook page to join in on the conversation.


More on hybridity: a literary hybrid is a troubling concept in that it often exemplifies the very categories it gestures toward dismantling or assimilating; it reifies genres, traditions, and disciplines, requiring strict expectations and assumptions about literariness. Hybridity fortifies dualistic thinking of all kinds: aesthetic (academic vs. outlaw, conceptualism vs. flarf, official vs. innovative, quietude vs. post avant-garde), disciplinary (writer vs. artist, documentary vs. creativity, technology vs. inspiration), cultural (ethnic vs. white, double-consciousness vs. dominant, polyglot vs. monolinguistic). It invites a binary, oppositional vision of literary history (the game of war). These easy categories, however, won't be contained and often find ways of increasing infectiousness through cross-infection.







Adapted from the essay "Some Capacities and Fallacies of Literary Hybridity: A Card Game" by Christine Hume. Reprinted from American Poet, fall 2010, issue 39.
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