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Graziadei, Daniel (2017): Towards an Ethics of Intercultural Misunderstandings. In: Primerjalna Knjizevnost, Vol. 40, No. 2: pp. 109-122

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This paper proposes that one of the striking effects of literary misunderstandings is a challenge of our truths and cognition. Such seems to be particularly true when the sense-making process of the implicit reader is touched and redirected by the uncovering of the misunderstanding. The surprise, challenge and scrutiny that follows offers an ethical potential to rethink one's own processes of reality-and truth-construction as well as one's bias and stereotypes. The article took examples from three contemporary novels - Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow, Amara Lakhous's Scontro di civilta per un ascensore a piazza Vittorio, and Patrick Chamoiseau's L'empreinte a Crusoe in order to investigate the ethical potential of literary misunderstandings that double the misunderstandings by affecting the characters in the fictional world and involving the readers in their individual acts of reading. The examples chosen allow to conclude that literary misunderstandings have indeed the potential to offer amazement and puzzling that lead to a strong offer for revision of the sense-making processes and established truths that guide the reading process as well as cognition in general.

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