By Iris Owens
Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, “the French rat.” That at the very least is how Harriet sees issues, no matter if it’s Claude who has simply requested Harriet to depart his Greenwich Village condo. good, a technique or one other she has no purpose of leaving. on the contrary, she is going to remain and designated revenge—or may have if Claude had no longer had her unceremoniously evicted. nonetheless, even though moved out, Harriet isn't approximately to maneuver on. now not in anyway. Girlfriends circle round to patronize and suggest, yet Harriet in simple terms takes offense, and it’s effortless to appreciate why. simply because mad and maddening as she can be, Harriet sees prior the well mannered platitudes that everybody else is content material to spout and stay by means of. She is an unblinkered, unbuttoned, unrelenting, and notably bitingly humorous prophetess of all that's unsuitable with women’s lives and hearts—until, in a shock twist, she unearths a savior in a gloomy room on the Chelsea inn.
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This manoeuvre causes heterogenising and homogenising forces to show. In The Carrier forces of centrifugality and centripetality are explicated primarily in the reduction of the stereoscopic vision to a telescopic vision. In Jasmine the high speed transformation and discontinuity on the surface of the novel turns out to be contaminated by so many continuities and homogenisations at a silent formal and semantic level of the text, slowing down the novel’s capacity for generating high speeds of becoming and actually causing its intentional hybridity to be subliminally governed by the centripetality of organic hybridity or the domestication of difference into a cultural sameness.
All of these operations subordinate difference to the familiar, domesticate it, or cast it in the iron chains of ruling principles and pre-established norms and codes. Difference is co-opted into a sphere of control, a sphere of a certain established sameness and similarity, a certain established notion of what things should be or be made to look like before they are included as right or true – as for example in the way the difference of the East is perceived, or, rather, constructed in Western Orientalism, fixing an image of the East which ultimately serves to define and confirm the positive Identity of the West.
As a consequence the paradigm of hybridity is not only diluted as an analytical concept, it is also made to serve universalist claims. Andrew Smith observes that the valorisation of hybridity and the migrant condition is often used as an explanatory trope for human life itself, as a new revolutionary mode of human existence (see Smith, 2004, 246–7, 249). In support of such criticism, Marwan Kraidy has accumulated a host of examples of more or less embarrassing glorifications of hybridity. Here is a passage from Pascal Zachary’s The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge, published in 2000: Diversity defines the health and wealth of nations in a new century.
After Claude by Iris Owens