In this Book

Literary Gestures
summary
Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing contests the dominance of materialist and cultural critiques in Asian American literary discourse by re-centering critical attention around issues of aesthetics and literary form. Collapsing the perceived divisions between the "ethnic" and the "aesthetic" in Asian American literary criticism, the eleven original essays in this volume provide theoretically sophisticated and formally sensitive readings of works in prose, poetry, and drama. These contributions bring discussions of genre, canonicity, narrative, and literary value to the fore to show how aesthetic and formal concerns play an important part in the production and consumption of these works. By calling for a more balanced mode of criticism, this collection invites students and scholars to reinvest in the literary, not as a negation of the sociopolitical, but as a complementary strategy in reading and understanding Asian American literature.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. 1. Introduction: The Aesthetic in Asian American Literary Discourse
  2. pp. 1-14
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  1. Part I: Asian American Critical Discourse in Academia
  2. pp. 15-16
  1. 2. Autonomy and Representation: Aesthetics and the Crisis of Asian American Cultural Politics in the Controversy over Blu’s Hanging
  2. pp. 17-34
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  1. 3. Interventing Innocence: Race, 'Resistance,' and the Asian North American Avant-Garde
  2. pp. 35-52
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  1. Part II: Aesthetics and Ethnicity
  2. pp. 53-54
  1. 4. The Asian American in a Turtleneck: Fusing the Aesthetic and the Didactic in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey
  2. pp. 55-69
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  1. 5. The Language of Ethnicity: John Yau’s Poetry and the Ethnic/Aesthetic Divide
  2. pp. 70-85
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  1. 6. “A Flame against a Sleeping Lake of Petrol”: Form and the Sympathetic Witness in Selvadurai’s Funny Boy and Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost
  2. pp. 86-103
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  1. 7. Poignant Pleasures: Feminist Ethics as Aesthetics in Jhumpa Lahiri and Anita Rao Badami
  2. pp. 104-120
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  1. Part III: Intertexts: Asian American Writing and Literary Movements
  2. pp. 121-122
  1. 8. “A Loose Horse”: Asian American Poetry and the Aesthetics of the Ideogram
  2. pp. 123-136
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  1. 9. “A New Rule for the Imagination”: Rewriting Modernism in Bone
  2. pp. 137-156
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  1. Part IV: Rewriting Form, Reading for New Expression
  2. pp. 157-158
  1. 10. Performing Dialogic Subjectivities: The Aesthetic Project of Autobiographical Collaboration in Days and Nights in Calcutta
  2. pp. 159-172
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  1. 11. Bicultural World Creation: Laurence Yep, Cynthia Kadohata, and Asian American Fantasy
  2. pp. 173-186
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  1. 12. Dismantling the Realist Character in Velina Hasu Houston’s Tea and David Henry Hwang’s FOB
  2. pp. 187-202
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 210-233
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  1. Notes on Contributors
  2. pp. 203-226
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 231-239
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