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352 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 This process of positioning gives one the sense that Marlatt is still grappling with ideas, still caught up in working out where and how and why she belongs both as a critic and a creative writer. She doubles back, she retracts, she muses - a lot. In a journal entry from 1984 she asks, 'as a writer, where am i? somewhere in the gap between the social realism of most Anglo women's writing & the "fiction-theory" of Quebecoise feminists.' Here, as elsewhere in the book, she locates herself (and her writing) somewhere in the in-between: between Anglo and Quehecoise feminisms, between a masculine-oriented Tish poetics and a lesbian bodycentred writing, betweennarrative and analysis, between truth and fiction, between a feminist 'me' and 'we,' between history and utopia. This intense focus on the in-between helps to explain the preoccupation in all her writing with autobiography, a genre (or anti-genre) that, according to Marlatt, occurs in the confluence of fiction and analysis; 'a self-analysis that plays fictively with the primary images of one's life, a fiction that uncovers analytically that territory where fact and fiction coincide.' It is precisely this focus on what Marlatt calls the 'curious dance' between private and public selves that makes this collection so educative, so evocative. Her constant questioning and positioning, her emphasis on process and flux, her refusal to pick sides in order to hold tensions suspended, and her stretching and reshaping of the boundaries between criticism, literature, and autobiography continue to define Marlatt as a 'writer as critic' well worth reading. (JOANNE SAUL) Roy Miki. Broken Entries Mercury Press. 224ยท $19.95 When the author of this collection raises in it on three separate occasions the subject of cover art as an integral part of criticism of a text, I do not feel out of line in directing attention to the redundancy of the three versions (front, back, spine) of the cover photograph of Broken Entries, a redundancy that well reflects the contents of this collection. Seven of the ten essays have been previously published: they represent an anthology of MikiJs critical positions since 1989. In part the book is an anniversary marker, of a decade since the 1988 Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement, and as such (re)covers earlier work, such as his Justice in Our Time (with Cassandra Kobayashi , 1991). However, as much as it is a reflection upon that agreement, the social struggle that led up to it, and the ideological consequences that come after it, this book is also an application of those literary aspects of these consequences. As such it provides a fine overview of Asian-Canadian writing, using Kogawa and Kiyooka as touchstones. As the essays were written for a variety ofdiscrete situations and publications, their packaging together has meant considerable redundancy, giving a slow and frustrating movement to the overall reading. Still, each essay by itself is valuable and thought-provoking, and altogether the text dearly supplies one important HUMANITIES 353 function for scholars: it provides an excellent schematic diagram (and bibliography) of Asian-Canadian writing and the criticism that writing has attracted over the last thirty years or so. In particular the book serves a function Miki emphasizes: 'to suggest the need for critical readings of critical statements that respond to the new visibility of racialized texts.' Miki begins by applying Derridean principles to texts such as Survival and Butterfly on Rock, before advancing to show the weaknesses of Kogawa and Bissoondath. He castigates Atwood and Jones for their egotistical and thematic priorities: yet in so doing he reveals egotistical premises in his own writing, and does treat redress as a theme, apparently not seeing its relation to Atwood's discourse of victimization. These liabilities are so obvious that they are easily marked and bypassed. While the reader may have a disquieting sense of soft ground to the rear, the movement forward into 'Asiancy,' where Miki demonstrates illuminating insights and a sparkling, poeticized critical discourse all his own, is W1doubtedly valuable. Miki brings postcolonial theory to bear on the canon with insistent momentum. His discussion is entirely limited to the English-Canadian canon. French Canada is ignored. Miki...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 352-353
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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