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    Semblance of Identity Aesthetic Mediation in Asian American Literature

    ISBN-10: 0804778701
    ISBN-13: 9780804778701
    Author(s): Christopher Lee
    Description: The history of Asian American literature reveals the ongoing attempt to work through the fraught relationship between identity politics and literary representation. This relationship is especially evident in literary works which claim that their  More...
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    Publisher: Stanford University Press
    Binding: Hardcover
    Pages: 208
    Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.90" tall
    Weight: 0.990
    Language: English

    The history of Asian American literature reveals the ongoing attempt to work through the fraught relationship between identity politics and literary representation. This relationship is especially evident in literary works which claim that their content represents the socio-historical world.The Semblance of Identityargues that the reframing of the field as a critical, rather an identity-based, project nonetheless continues to rely on the logics of identity.Drawing on the writings of philosopher and literary critic Georg Lukacs, Christopher Lee identifies a persistent composite figure that he calls the "idealized critical subject," which provides coherence to oppositional knowledge projects and political practices. He reframes identity as an aesthetic figure that tries to articulate the subjective conditions for knowledge. Harnessing Theodor Adorno's notion of aesthetic semblance, Lee offers an alternative account of identity as a figure akin to modern artwork. Like art, Lee argues, identity provides access to imagined worlds that in turn wage a critique of ongoing histories and realities of racialization.This book assembles a transnational archive of literary texts by Eileen Chang, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chang-rae Lee, Michael Ondaatje, and Jose Garcia Villa, revealing the intersections of subjectivity and representation, and drawing our attention to their limits.

    Acknowledgments
    Introduction: The Post-Identity Condition
    The Strange Smell of Truth: Ethnicity, Translation, and Realism in the Cold War Writings of Eileen Chang
    The Ironic Temporalities of Cultural Nationalism
    Sound and the Subject in The Woman Warrior and Tripmaster Monkey
    Form Giving and the Remains of Identity in A Gesture Life
    Semblance, Shame, and the Work of Comparison
    Conclusion: The Difference Asian America Makes
    Notes
    Works Cited
    Index

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