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Aula 3 - SEMINÁRIOS EM LÍNGUA INGLESA DISCURSO LITERARIO

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Seminários em Língua Inglesa: Discurso Literário
Aula 3 – Literature and language
Nesta aula, vamos demonstrar que a literatura, como a mais duradoura de todas as artes, possibilita ao leitor conhecer melhor determinada cultura.
Iniciaremos nossa aula discutindo a ligação entre língua e literatura. Visto que cada língua apresenta peculiaridades e expressam a visão de mundo de determinado povo, entendemos que a literatura produzida em uma determinada língua é o reflexo de determinado povo e sua sociedade em determinado momento histórico.
A seguir, discutiremos brevemente o conceito de cultura como conhecimento transmitido e comportamento compartilhado por determinado grupo.
Finalmente, trataremos da relação entre literatura e cultura, que é um desdobramento da primeira parte da aula. Veremos que a literatura produzida por determinado povo ajuda o leitor a entender melhor a realidade desse povo.
In this class, we are going to discuss the close relationship between literature and language, and demonstrate how readers can understand a specific culture more deeply based on the language and literature originated from that culture.
Language and literature
Edward Sapir (1921) has demonstrated efficiently in his book Language: an Introduction to the study of speech, the close connection between language and literature:
“Languages are more to us than systems of thought-transference. They are invisible garments that drape themselves about our spirit and give a predetermined form to all its symbolic expression. When the expression is of unusual significance, we call it literature.”
Indeed, language is the medium of literature, i.e. it’s the channel through which literature can be expressed.
Since each language has its own distinctive features, which are peculiar to a people and their way of conceiving the world, we can only expect that the literature produced in a specific language will say about those people, their culture and their society.
Besides, according to Sapir (1921:106), “the innate formal limitations — and possibilities — of one literature are never quite the same as those of another”, mainly due to the peculiarities of the languages in which they are produced.
In the *prologue* of his book Crítica e clínica, Deleuze (2011) offers us a creative text that will help us reflect on language and literature and show how this combination can truly enchant us.
*prologue*
“Este conjunto de textos (...) organiza-se em torno de determinados problemas. O problema de escrever: o escritor, como diz Proust, inventa na língua uma nova língua, uma língua de algum modo estrangeira.
Ele traz à luz novas potências gramaticais ou sintáticas. Arrasta a língua para fora de seus sulcos costumeiros, leva-a a delirar.
Mas o problema de escrever é também inseparável de um problema de ver e ouvir: com efeito, quando se cria outra língua no interior da língua, a linguagem inteira tende mais para um limite “assintático”, “agramatical”, ou que se comunica com seu próprio fora.
O limite não está fora da linguagem; ele é o seu fora: é feito de visões e audições não linguageiras, mas que só a linguagem torna possíveis.
Por isso, há uma pintura e uma música próprias da escrita, como efeitos de cores e de sonoridades que se elevam acima das palavras. É através das palavras, entre as palavras, que se vê e se ouve.
Beckett falava em “perfurar buracos” na linguagem para ver ou ouvir “o que está escondido atrás”. De cada escritor é preciso dizer: é um vidente, um ouvidor, “mal visto mal dito”, é um colorista, um músico.
Essas visões, essas audições não são um assunto privado, mas formam as figuras de uma história e de uma geografia incessantemente reinventadas. É o delírio que as inventa, como processo que arrasta as palavras de um extremo a outro do universo. São acontecimentos na fronteira da linguagem.
Porém, quando o delírio recai no estado clínico, as palavras em nada mais desembocam, já não se ouve nem se vê coisa alguma através delas, exceto uma noite que perdeu sua história, suas cores e seus cantos. A literatura é uma saúde.”
Deleuze’s text reveal to us that the choices skilled writers make about the use of language enable them to express ideas that will contribute significantly, not only to our delirium, but also to the cultural content of a society.
Indeed, it is through language that writers are able to transmit the habits, routines, context, traditions etc. of a people. Literature, then, opens the doors to the human soul and leads readers to a closer look on human beings and their culture(s).
Culture
Defining the term ‘culture’ is definitely not easier than defining literature. This is due to many reasons, but mainly because of the complexity of this concept. 
Therefore, many definitions have been proposed and they vary considerably.
In fact, the term ‘culture’ can be treated erroneously as equivalent to: nation, race, ethnicity, identity etc.
According to Peoples and Bailey (1998):
Culture is the socially transmitted knowledge and behavior shared by some group of people. (Peoples; Bailey, 1998, cited in Birukou, et. al, 2014)
Spencer-Oatley (2012) provides some key characteristics of culture:
Culture is manifested at different layers of depth.
Observable artifacts;
Values;
Basic underlying assumptions.
Culture affects behavior and interpretation of behavior.
For example, a gesture that could be interpreted as conveying approval and acceptance in one culture might be considered rude and obscene in another.
Culture can be differentiated from both universal human nature and unique individual personality
Culture is neither human nature nor an individual’s personality.
Culture influences biological processes.
Spencer-Oatley (2012) claims that even responses to our biological needs, such as eating, drinking etc. are influenced by our cultures.
Culture is associated with social groups.
Culture is shared by some sort of social group or society.
Culture is both an individual construct and a social construct.
People who are immersed in a specific culture act in accordance to the attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs shared by that culture.
Culture is always both socially and psychologically distributed in a group, and so the delineation of a culture’s features will always be fuzzy.
Culture is not uniformly distributed, i.e., group members do not share identical behaviors, attitudes and so on. Rather, they show ‘family resemblances’.
Culture has both universal and distinctive elements.
Since all human beings are biologically similar and live in quite the same social structures, it can be said that they form their cultures in an extremely *similar way. * However, despite the generalizations, there are significant differences among cultures as well.
Culture is learned.
“Culture is learned from the people you interact with as you are socialized” (Spencer-Oatley, 2012, p. 12).
Culture is subject to gradual change.
Change along time is common to all cultures.
The various parts of a culture are all, to some degree, interrelated.
Cultures are integrated systems. In other words, their constituent parts are interrelated to a certain degree.
Culture is a descriptive not an evaluative concept.
There is no such thing as a ‘high’ or a ‘low’ culture. Cultures are either similar or different from each other.
Relationship between literature and culture
We have already learned about the importance of literature to our growth and development as people. 
In fact, literature, as a subjective human expression, enables readers to understand not only themselves, but also their culture and their people, as well as other cultures and other people more deeply.
Ortiga, et. al (2010) argues that:
“A literatura expressa os dilemas, sentimentos e muitas vezes a realidade do homem, de maneira a explorar o raciocínio e o imaginário do leitor, transportando-o para o lugar do outro.
Desse modo, ela leva o leitor à análise de realidades diversas, impulsionando-o ao conhecimento, pois trata