Apparitions of Asia: Modernist Form and Asian American by Josephine Park

By Josephine Park

Walt Whitman known as the Orient ''The earlier! the previous! the Past!'' yet East Asia used to be remarkably current for the U.S. within the 20th century. Apparitions of Asia reads American literary expressions in the course of a century of U.S.-East Asian alliances within which the a long way East is imagined as either close to and modern. advertisement and political bridges around the Pacific generated American literary fantasies of moral and non secular accord; Park examines American bards who capitalized on those ties and considers the cost of such intimacies for Asian American poets. l l The ebook starts its literary heritage with the poetry of Ernest Fenollosa, who known as for ''The destiny Union of East and West.'' From this top instigator of the Gilded Age, Park newly considers the Orient of Ezra Pound, who became to China to put the basis for his poetics and ethics. Park argues that Pound's Orient used to be certain to his the United States, and he or she lines this American-East Asian nexus into the paintings of Gary Snyder, who chanced on a local American spirituality in Zen. the second one 1/2 Apparitions of Asia considers the production of Asian the United States by contrast backdrop of trans-pacific alliances. Park analyzes the load of yankee Orientalism for Asian American poetry, and he or she argues that the strategies of Lawson Fusao Inada supply a critique of this literary earlier. eventually, she analyzes Asian American poets, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha and Myung Mi Kim, who go back to modernist varieties so one can demonstrate a background of yank interventions in East Asia.

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Extra resources for Apparitions of Asia: Modernist Form and Asian American Poetics

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My reading of Pound begins with the specter of Walt Whitman, whose Americanness Pound envied. Pound fled America for London in 1908, but despite his exile he strove to be an American bard—and Whitman’s example presented both an example and an obstacle for the young poet who yearned to be “among some/Alien people” but whose artistic ambitions shackled him to a despised and familiar land. The clean strokes of Fenollosa’s ideogram conjured up a poetic image, and it was through this new apparition, learned through Chinese writing, that Pound answered the challenge of Whitman’s status: Pound’s creation of modern poetry, shot through with Fenollosa’s American Orientalism, earned him a place next to Whitman as the next American innovator in verse.

The poem moves the poet from filiality to friendship in the lines between the two dashes at both ends, but the abrupt declarations of the first and last lines are speech acts which have the tones of an official document; a formal feeling surrounds this familial diction. The phantom is brought into a jarringly real world, and the new wood which is called forth to be carved does not permit even a momentary flight into Whitman’s world of song. “Let there be commerce between us”: the tone of divine fiat settles around a negotiation in hard currency.

The binding theory of Asian American literature is antiracism: the fact of a determining white gaze pitched the movement into a mode of resistance. 24 With the post-1965 boom in Asian immigration, however, came a heterogeneous population whose artistic expressions did not always adhere to the founding principles of the Asian American movement. Some stalwarts of the movement adopted a combative stance against these writers, but as Asian American studies settled into the academy, new advocates extended the initial claims of Asian American literature to address a growing field of work.

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