All literature is foreign somehow, and all foreign literature, or literature written in foreign languages, and literature from other eras, is more foreign.
The feeling of being in a struggle with someone else for — you, over you. The feeling of having to explain yourself, again and again. The feeling of having to explain really basic things, to exhaustion. Being told you have not explained yourself when you have, but have not been heard. Being told you have imagined events which are in fact documented.
People to whom one has awarded some form of special status, due to traumas they have. People who want to be the center of a movement for self serving reasons. People who will not separate support for them personally and support for their cause or positions.
The feeling of having to negotiate with someone for basic recognition; being flooded by them with the insistence that you agree with things you do not. People who try to make you pass tests, people who judge, people who want your attention but also ask you to prove your worth to them. People with whom you cannot be yourself in conversation, because they interpellate you as someone else. People with whom conversation becomes exhausting because of the struggle over your locus of enunciation it entails.
Notice the moment of giving people “special status” out of some form of pity or perhaps because you recognize differences with them but they do not. Notice situations in which you are asked to explain again and again things which are either basic or which you have in fact already explained carefully. Notice the moment of beginning to negotiate for recognition or for your identity. These are signs that an interaction is turning or perhaps has turned exploitative or abusive.
These things are not easy to notice because they resemble their positive versions: recognizing difference, articulating a position or a wish, defining yourself. But in the positive versions there is mutuality; in the negative versions, there is not. In the negative ones, you are trapped in the conversation through one or more of the dynamics listed above, and negotiating for the right to exist.