Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee is a subversive Hesiodic Catalogue of Women. Whereas the poets of the Catalogue of Women repeated and perpetuated Hesiod's masculinist prejudices encoded in the Theogony, Cha with her portraits of "un-Hesiodic" women takes issue with Hesiod on the Greek poet's patriarchal, androcentric, and misogynist ideologies. More significant, Cha negotiates with the classical Greek texts from her multiple positionalities as a postcolonial Korean American feminist writer. In other words, she reworks Hesiod and his tradition in order to (re)inscribe the lives of Korean (American) women and (re)vision Korean history and culture with a postcolonial feminist perspective. This essay studies Cha's revisioning of Korean texts—historical records on Queen Min and Yu Guan Soon, biographical fragments of Hyung Soon Cha, and a cultural narrative on Princess Pari—as well as her rewriting of the epic genre, patriarchal linearity, and representation of Demeter in the Theogony.


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pp. 77-99
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