By B. Huang
This booklet solutions contemporary calls in feedback and idea to check the impression of style on modern Asian American literary production. Drawing on cultural theories of illustration, social theories of identification, and poststructuralist style idea, this research exhibits how well known prose fictions have seriously restricted the advance of Asian American literary aesthetics.
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Extra resources for Contesting Genres in Contemporary Asian American Fiction
And if it is a definitive Vietnamese we hope we can claim to know by the end of the novel, it would seem, too, that le has urged us to desist from that imperative in The Gangster We Are All Looking For. Chang-rae Lee and the Counter-Gestures of Life Writing Such is the cast of my belonging, molding to whatever is at hand. —Franklin Hata, A Gesture Life The power of the autobiographic imperative is evident even in a sophisticated, “insider” audience. 67 He goes on to ask Lee whether Native Speaker is autobiographical, and to what extent Lee’s portrait September 6, 2010 16:6 MAC-US/HANG Page-29 9780230108318_03_ch01 30 Contesting Genres of Henry’s father resembled that of Lee’s own father.
While he could never self-consciously imagine emancipation from Japanese hegemony for himself (indeed, hegemony renders him incapable of identifying his complicities or his desires for liberation), he relies on conventional, patriarchal models of romance to position himself as the savior rather than the perpetrator or the victim, displacing his own abjection onto Kkutaeh and aligning himself with the figures of power. 99 He takes it upon himself to ascribe the appellation to her, an act that simultaneously vests himself with the power to name and to project his own abjection onto her.
Even as he unconsciously replicates the very assimilationist mechanisms that keep him in his place, he reenacts a liberation romance once again by adopting a young girl of Korean descent from Japan—a relationship doomed to reproduce the abjection of both the consenting male subject and the female subject he hopes to save. September 6, 2010 16:6 MAC-US/HANG Page-41 9780230108318_03_ch01 42 Contesting Genres Positioning himself as an exemplar of the American “purposeful society,” Hata presses Sunny, ward of the state he believes he represents, to comply with the role he has prescribed for her.