- “I haven’t seen you since (a specific date, a time, the weather)”: Global Identity and the Reinscription of Subjectivity in Brian Castro’s Shanghai Dancing
- ariel: A Review of International English Literature
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 47, Numbers 1-2, January-April 2016
- pp. 223-251
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Globalization provides an important means of understanding the new linguistic composition of the contemporary world, which is itself grounded in shifts in social reality and social relations. Such shifts impact models of selfhood and otherness as well as constructions of identity. This article considers how Brian Castro’s award-winning fictional autobiography Shanghai Dancing represents identity by concentrating on perceptual deixis and the text’s narration—that is, on pronouns of address and focalization. I use stylistic analysis to demonstrate that Castro uses language, particularly the referential positioning(s) of pronouns, to articulate an experimental poetics of subjectivity in the globalizing world. In doing so, he not only tests autobiographical boundaries but represents the contemporary formation of identity in the globalizing world as reflexive, variable, and relationally constructed.