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By Jinqi Ling

This e-book rereads 5 significant works through John Okada, Louis Chu, Frank Chin, and Maxine Hong Kingston so as to reconceptualize the connection among the prior and current of post-WWII Asian American literary historical past. Drawing on paintings in cultural stories, postmodern and poststructuralist idea, social historical past, and neo-pragmatism, Ling bargains clean views at the cultural politics and formal techniques of texts too frequently obvious in fresh feedback as with out complexities and fraught with totalizing implications. In difficult uncritical adoption of posthumanist perspectives of historical past, company, and identification in Asian American cultural feedback, this pioneering publication opens an method of Asian American literary texts that at the same time registers their wealthy specificity and relatedness to works earlier than and after.

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But such a theory also partially depends, as critics have pointed out, on a conceptualization of discursive "regularities" or regularity in dispersion (by which Foucault does not dismiss incompatible or differential elements in formation processes but suggests their predictable modes of operation), as well as on a belief in the inescapable complicity between power and knowledge within the Western system of cultural production. 27 Despite its best insights, I would therefore argue, Foucault's concept of discourse reversal does not—and does not aim to—give an adequate account of the results of hegemonic encounters between Asian American and Western nationalist projects in cross-cultural and cross-linguistic situations.

John Okada, No-No Boy The changing reception of John Okada's 1957 novel No-No Boy raises important questions about the nature of its production in the Eisenhower era, of its survivability into the 1970s as a cultural agent of resistance, and of its ongoing relevance to contemporary Asian American cultural criticism. The cultural politics of No-No Boy therefore provides an initial case study of how the theorized process of negotiation which I discussed in Chapter 1 is enacted by an Asian American literary text.

For historical transitions are always ambiguous, protracted, and unpredictable, constantly throwing up obstacles to development and frequently demanding recontextualization of current problematics in light of the past and reexamination of the past in relation to its residual forms in the present. But recognizing the entangled, nonlinear, and multidimensional nature of historical development, as I have emphasized throughout this chapter, should not lead to a diminished sense of history or to giving up thinking progressively altogether.

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