Download The Octopus: A Story of California: The Epic of Wheat v. 1 by Frank Norris PDF

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By Frank Norris

Just like the tentacles of an octopus, the tracks of the railroad reached out throughout California, as though to know every thing of price within the nation according to a precise, bloody dispute among wheat farmers and the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1880, The Octopus is a beautiful novel of the waning days of the frontier West. To the tough-minded and self-reliant farmers, the monopolistic, land-grabbing railroad represented every little thing they despised: consolidation, association, conformity. yet Norris idealizes not anyone during this epic depiction of the risky state of affairs, for the farmers themselves ruthlessly exploited the land, and of their starvation for higher holdings they resorted to a similar strategies utilized by the railroad: subversion, coercion and outright violence. In his creation, Kevin Starr discusses Norris's debt to Zola for the novel's awesome sweep, scale and abundance of characters and info.

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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.

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