Liminal space, in-between the designations of identity, becomes the process of symbolic interaction, the connective tissue that constructs the difference between upper and lower, black and white […] the temporal movement and passage that it allows, prevents identities at either end of it from settling into primordial polarities. The interstitial passage between fixed identifications opens up the possibility of a cultural hybridity that entertains difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy.
Homi Bhabha The Location of Culture (1994: 4)
The pact of interpretation is never simply an act of
communication between the I and the You designated in the statement.
The production of meaning requires that these two places be mobilized
in the passage through a Third Space, which represents both the general
conditions of language and the specific implication of the utterance in
a performative and institutional strategy of which it canot ‘in itself’
(The Location of Culture)
According to Bhabha, the "third space"–another way of framing the
liminal–is an ambivalent, hybrid space that is written into existence.
In other words, what mediates between theory and politics is
writing–not merely theoretical discourse but cultural exercises such
as novels, cinema, music. As Jacques Derrida suggests in Writing and Differance,
writing does not passively record social "realities" but in fact
precedes them and gives them meaning through a recognition of the
differences between signs within textual systems. Bhabha, then,
re-appropriates Derrida’s notion of differance to suggest cultural
difference and its representation and negotiation in the form of
writing. Having already posed the question of "what is to be done"
about the precarious pedagogical legitimacy of postcolonial debates, in
the following passage Bhabha conceptualizes writing as a productive way
of conceptualizing the differences between cultures:
"What is to be done?" must acknowledge the force of
writing, its metaphoricity and its rhetorical discourse, as a
productive matrix which defines the ‘social’ and makes it available as
an objective of and for, action. (23)
I wonder if one could draw an analogy to the blogosphere as the new means of bridging the cultural divide, or that between the established and the new, as a forum for writing and written conversation and dialogue?