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Blood Oranges Essay

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In the following interview, Bunge and Mueller discusses teaching, politics, and being bilingual and its effects on her writing.

[Nancy Bunge]: How has being bilingual influenced your consciousness of language?

[Lisel Mueller]: We learn language by imitation; even people who don't know the grammar of their own language will speak it correctly if they hear it spoken correctly. Usage is another thing we just pick up. We don't think about our native language at all. But when you switch to another language, you are conscious of everything. You're conscious of the grammatical constructions, you're conscious of the phrasing, you're conscious of the idioms, you're conscious of each word—what it means, how it is used in its various forms, its derivation, if there is a cognate in your own language, how it might differ—all those things become so important. And metaphor is difficult at first...

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This section contains 3,754 words
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Buy the Blood Oranges Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Blood Oranges from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.