Al Athar مجلة الأثـــــــــــــــر
Volume 11, Numéro 16, Pages 1-10

The Liminality Of Meaning: The Implications Of Homi Bhabha’s Theory Of Hybridity

Authors : Bellour Leila .


The present paper is a daring attempt to vindicate the implications of Homi Bhabha’s postcolonial theory of hybridity in reading literary texts and cultures. Reading, in Bhabha’s theory, is by no means a slavish imitation of an authorial intention or an assimilation of the target culture. Meaning is generated out of the transaction between the student’s culture and that of the author. The student’s identity and the text’s meaning are both located in the in-between. The text itself might be read as a hybrid, nomadic, and ryizomatic world. The act of reading is a process of cultural hybridity in which the student’s negotiation of meaning constitutes what is dubbed a ‘Third Space’, an interstice which transcends the Manichean polarities us/them, Self/Other, colonizer/Colonized. Bhabha’s theory puts into radical question the mimetic view of language. Reality, in his approach, is produced not prior but during the student’s encounter with the text/target culture. Since the text is not immune from the taints of its author’s ideology and his cultural demarcations, students’ role is to resist imperial/colonial representations by correcting and dispelling many Western texts’ stereotypes. They are enticed to appropriate the literary signs they read and to dislocate the text from its original context. Indeed, the postcolonial strategy of ‘writing back’ would constitute great gains if applied in the literature class.